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  • Writer's pictureConnie Leach

Facing Fear During Uncertain Times

Uncertainty is an inescapable part of life, but there are moments when the world seems particularly chaotic. When this occurs, fear can consume us as a powerful and often paralyzing emotion. As it's a natural response to potential threats, however, fear can become overwhelming, impacting our well-being and quality of life.

Fortunately, there are strategies to help manage fear and at the same time strengthen your inner stability, allowing you to have some sense of self-empowerment and control.

Below, you will find some practical steps you can take to confront and manage your fear:

Understanding Fear

Fear is an essential human emotion designed to keep you safe. It triggers the well-known "fight or flight" response, preparing the body to take action.

While this response is crucial in life-threatening situations, like what may be happening in this picture, it can become a problem when it is triggered by an imagined situation or an irrational thought that is not life threatening.

Identify Your Fear

Sometimes you're not even aware of your fear or what is causing it. For example, if you find yourself feeling stuck, perhaps even feeling paralyzed and not able to manage your life, chances are fear is lurking beneath the surface.

Journaling about your feelings is a good way to reveal what lies beneath the surface. For example, you might write something like, "I'm feeling afraid right now. What could be causing me to feel this way?" Or, talking to a friend or a counselor about what you're feeling may help reveal the underlying cause.

Manage Your Fear

When you notice yourself feeling agitated or fearful, it's helpful to put it into perspective. Try this simple tool: On a scale from 1-10, choose the number that best describes how fearful you're feeling in that moment. For example, your fear may feel like an 8. Next, identify the number that reflects the actual threat. Perhaps, you realize that the actual threat is a 3. Notice, in this example how the feeling is much stronger than the actual circumstance. This little exercise can help you discern the reality of the fear and how rational it may actually be.

"We can't control the world, but we can control our actions to it."

-Susan Jeffers, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

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