Fear and Anxiety - A Duo That Can Be Overcome

Toni Star
 


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Everyone suffers from some form of fear, most everyday. Some fear is helpful while other types of fear are hurtful to the body, soul and mind.

First off, what is fear? From Najemy (2007) comes an answer: “The prime and basic cause of all fear is the ignorance of our true nature. If we experienced or were convinced of our invulnerable eternal soul-nature, we would never feel any fear whatsoever. Because we do not, or cannot, believe this truth, we feel vulnerable, separate, isolated and susceptible to extinction or insignificance. ”

Najemy (2007) goes on to write about other subordinate factors that contribute to fear. Such factors presented are: a feeling of separateness from others, unfamiliarity with people and things, attachment to people and objects related to our security can often cause us to fear and then play power games in order to protect our possessions, or self-image when we fear losing them, imagining frightful images such as loss, and the unknown and reliving negative experiences.

But, it is important to remember that fear can be helpful when one faces a situation that threatens one’s life or safety.

A form of fear for some is social anxiety. Social anxiety, according to Freedom from Fear (2007) is: “a disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. ” In this situation people with this affliction have a persistent, intense and chronic fear of being watched and judged by others.

Some researchers think that a structure in the brain—the amygdale—brings about this disorder while others think that social anxiety is inherited. In addition, some researchers think that social anxiety is brought about from an imbalance of hormones. Still others think that social anxiety is learned by observing others—observational learning or social modeling. Perhaps it depends on the person and what fear factors are in his or her life.

As with many fears and anxieties, treatments that seem to work best are medications and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Social skills training also seems to help. And, as many know the best way to overcome a fear, is to face it and then deal with it. Once the fear is faced—either with or without medication or therapy—the fear will cease to exist.

I sought and found a clear definition of anxiety: “In MSN Encarta (2004) I found: “anxiety is a feeling of worry: nervousness or agitation, often about something that is going to happen or something that worries somebody. ”

I might also add that in my opinion, anxiety is worrying about something that will probably never happen. How many times have you worried about something you thought would happen but didn’t? Yet, even though you knew that in most cases such an event wouldn’t happen, you find yourself, time and again, worrying once again about what will happen, if….

The online American Psychological Association (2004) offers additional information on anxiety disorders by providing a checklist to see if you need help. This checklist includes: “endless checking or rechecking actions, a constant and unrealistic worry about everyday occurrences and activities and fear and anxiety that appear for now apparent reason. ” If any of these symptoms sound like you, check out this site for help: (Psychology in Daily Life—the article, “Do You Know the Signs of an Anxiety Disorder?” Retrieved May 2004

Ponder these words from famous people found in Non Stop English site (2007):

From Napoleon Bonaparte: “There are two levers for moving men—interest and FEAR. ” From the Bible: “The FEAR of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. {King Solomon}.

Check out these wise words from Albert Einstein: “If men as individuals surrender to the call of their elementary instincts, avoiding pain and seeking satisfaction only for their own selves, the result for them all taken together must be a state of insecurity, of FEAR, and of promiscuous misery. ” (Like this one the best because I see so much of this in today’s society. )

The one that fits the bill for me, besides the one above comes from Alexander Pope, British Poet, Critic and Translator, “Only he who can say, “The Lord is my strength, ” can say “Of whom shall I be afraid?”

Other famous people who suffer from some kind of anxiety disorder are: Anthony Hopkins, Barbara Bush, Dick Clark, Howard Stern, the late John Candy, Kim Basinger, Roseanne Barr and Sally Field.

So if you have a fear or anxiety, you’re not alone! Many suffer from some kind of fear or anxiety. Just knowing that many—including famous people—suffer from such anxiety and fear, helps me to better understand myself and look into ways to make my life better. We—you and I—we only have one life to live; so let’s make it good!

One very effective way to lessen one’s fears and anxieties is to talk with a trusted friend or family member. Just talking with someone and sharing how you feel, helps to lighten the loud and helps to put the concern in perspective. Sharing with another takes the “worry load” off and offers a ray of hope and sunshine.

Along with most fears is the obsessive need to think about them. If you will think back on the times when you were fearing something, and then find to your surprise that it was all in vain, you will know deep in your heart that worrying and anxiety do nothing to make the fear go away. In fact, worrying just makes it worse and is totally unnecessary…You say, it’s easy to say; yes that’s true. But, bad habits can be broken; they just take time. Something you might try to help deal with fears, is to write down exactly what is worrying you and list the reasons why. Once you see the fear on paper and descriptive words, you may see that the fear is not that large—not too big to handle. And, remember, everyone has fears: we either find a way to deal with them or the fears overcome us.

Don’t know about you, but I don’t like anything having a hold or control over me. I like driving the train—not the train driving me!

I find that if I have something fearful coming up—for example I have a colonospy coming up next week-I do what I can to prepare myself for this even. I purchase necessary items that I will need, make notes for the event that will help guide me through and most importantly, take the matter to God. I can’t stress it enough—the belief and trust in a higher power to help get one through. Releasing one’s faith to that higher power, does more good than anything on earth!

So, when the next fear comes knocking at your door, don’t panic—get prepared, seek professional help or medication if needed and above all, seek Heavenly support! You will not only face the fear with confidence and calm, but will come through the dreaded event, better than ever!

References:

Freedom from Fear (2007) Causes of Anxiety Disorders: Nature or Nurture? Retrieved March 15, 2007 from: http://www.freedomfromfear.org/causes.asp

MSN Encarta (2004) Description of anxiety.

Najemy, R. (2007). The Causes of Fear. Overcoming Fear—Part 3. Retrieved March 15, 2007 from: http://choosetoprosper.com/najemy-causes-fear.html.

NonStopEnglish (2007). Quotations Database. Retrieved March 15, 2007 from: http://www.nonstopenglish.com/reading/quotations/k_Fear.asp

The American Psychological Association (2004) Anxiety Disorders information.

Toni is a freelance writer/author and master's student at Capella University. She hopes to do some online teaching upon graduation in June. You can see more of her work and books in the links below:

Dreams and Goals: http://tonisworld.blogspot.com

Lulu Bookstore: http://www.lulu.com/tstar

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