Fear and Anxiety

WHEN YOU FEEL JITTERY OR ON HIGH ALERT...

  • Do something that is routine or habitual. Some examples of this may include household tasks such as doing the dishes, mowing the lawn, or cooking a meal.

  • Go for a walk. This will give you a sense of being grounded, wear off stress, and release serotonin, which makes you feel good about yourself and the world.

  • Decide which high-alert activity is useful and worth incorporating into a habit. For instance, you may decide you aspire to be more aware of your surroundings (as opposed to being nervously on high alert, becoming more aware of your surroundings would mean being peacefully conscious of what is going on around you). 

WHEN YOU ARE AWARE OF NEGATIVE THOUGHTS...

  • Turn the negative thought to a neutral or positive statement. “I can trust the people I know. I can trust myself to do the best I can in the moment. I can make good choices and do what I can with the information I have.”

  • Develop a mantra: “Life has risks; I can choose to take reasonable risks so I can fulfill my dreams and live my life.”

WHEN THE WORLD SEEMS SCARY AND DANGEROUS, REMEMBER...

  • Fear is self-doubt and destroys your confidence.

  • Giving in to fears makes life less safe, as you do NOT learn what you are capable of doing. If a parent refuses to allow a child to do things for her or himself, then the child cannot learn what he or she is capable of doing. When you live in fear, you bring upon yourself the losses you dread and keep yourself from growing.

  • Fear lets you know there MAY be danger. Recognize the danger and adapt to it. You only get to know a risk when you take it and taking the risk builds self-confidence.

  • Stretch yourself and take a small step into doing what you are afraid of. Become comfortable with that step, and then take another step. Keep stepping into your fear and you will learn what you can do when you face your fears.

  • While facing your fears, breathe deeply three times (in through your nose and slowly out your mouth) and repeat your mantra for strength and courage.

  • It is important NOT to allow your fears to keep you from living your life fully. Most accidents occur within 25 miles of home. Therefore, going to the store for milk is statistically more risky than taking a plane to your dream vacation destination. An avoided risk is an experience unknown forever.

  • Avoiding your fears lowers your sense of self-esteem and self-worth. When you don’t trust yourself to be able to deal with your fears, you never quite feel safe. When you allow your anticipated fear of the future – anxiety – to keep you from doing what you want, you don’t master life’s lessons.

 

 

So, decide to live your life fully despite your anxieties; use these fears not to hold yourself back from valuable and safe experiences, but to increase your awareness of potential dangers and adapt as needed. Life provides us with countless opportunities to face our fears and master life’s lessons.

Diana Kierein, LICSW

Watertown, MA 02472

DKFamilies@gmail.com ● 617-467-4611 office ● 509-362-9656 fax

© 2020 Strength-Based Counseling