Fear and Anxiety Make You Live in a Shell? Learn How to Stop It |Self-help|
As I said in 8 Steps to Make the Law of Attraction Work for You, positive thoughts = positive life. I am certain that our mindset shapes our reality. People who fear something, who tend to see problems and dangers everywhere, people whom fear and anxiety make live in a shell are usually the ones who get into trouble. People who are not aware about certain complications, somehow avoid them.
Just a quick example: I had to remove 4 wisdom teeth because they were damaging the ones next to them and moreover, they grew horizontally, not vertically. I had no negative thoughts about this procedure. The first 3 teeth were removed without any complications just as I expected. Only one tooth was remaining and I moved to another city, so I went to another doctor. The doctor told me that there may be a number of complications because the tooth is in a very bad position and close to a nerve, so I may not feel some part of my face for some time after the removal. I was terrified. Know what happened? Exactly what the doctor had told me plus other complications even though this tooth was very similar to the previous one I removed. I feared complications and I got what I feared. We attract in our lives what we focus our thoughts on.
But how is it possible to maintain positive thinking all the time? Sometimes, fear and anxiety absorb me. Recently I’ve asked myself: how come I’ve accumulated this huge number of fears being just 26 years old? Most of the things I fear have never happened to me or to my family. So, what are the roots of fear, anxiety and how to overcome them with self-help?
Roots of fear and anxiety
It’s actually funny how humans who are believed to be superior intelligent creatures have so many psychological issues while creatures that are believed to be less smart and therefore inferior, I mean animals, don’t have such issues. For example, a dog does not fear death because it is not familiar with this concept. Therefore, dying for a dog doesn’t seem a tragedy. A dog lives in the here-and-now and the only thing it understands when dying is that it doesn’t feel well but that doesn’t make the dog anxious. I’ve seen it when my 13-year old dog was dying. She wasn’t terrified. She was at peace, while we, her humans, were terrified, anxious, then devastated and had post-traumatic stress disorder for many months after the event.
So, let’s take a closer look at the roots of our fears.
Society is the first one to blame for developing fears in people. When we’re born, we are like a blank sheet of paper but then we start learning through concepts present in society about death, diseases, accidents, bad luck, superstitions, etc. We adopt negative mindsets of people around us that they’ve accumulated throughout their lives and then we pass these negative thoughts and expectations to next generations.
If there’s at least one anxious person or a person with a post-traumatic stress disorder in your family, you’ll learn a lot from them about how dangerous life is. But don’t believe everything you hear! Don’t let their horror stories get to you! The truth is that THEIR life was dangerous (or maybe it wasn’t, they just adopted someone else’s fears too), THEIR life was difficult and whatever else they may be telling you. Don’t buy into it. Your life is different.
For example, my grandmother and other relatives of her age survived World War 2 and so they passed a pile of irrational for a modern person fears which they gained many years ago. So, due to the influence of her relatives who survived the war and told a lot of horrible stories about it, my mother, in her childhood, was afraid of loud noises because she thought that it may be the Nazis approaching their village. That was like 20 years after the war which my mother has never seen ended.
In my childhood I was afraid that any moment blood may start fountaining from a vein because this is what happened to someone of my grandmother’s relatives in her childhood (I still don’t know how and why and I bet she didn’t know that either, yet it terrified her so much that she was mindlessly telling this story to everyone including her small grandchildren). Since then the world has changed, healthcare has become so much better, people don’t do a lot of hard physical work as they used to when my grandmother was little, people don’t starve in our country anymore and they don’t have to share the same pair of boots with their relatives because that’s the only pair they have, there are no wolves looking into our windows, etc. However, these were situations that affected my grandmother greatly, so she could do nothing better than pass this information to next generations (her daughters and granddaughters). Maybe she wanted to prepare and protect us that way, maybe she just couldn’t handle those memories in another way.
There is no sense in trying to understand why your relatives pass their negative mindset to you just like being angry at them for it is absolutely pointless as there’s no way you can solve your problems with destructive emotions such as anger (I write more about other ways to cope with problems instead of experiencing negative states of mind here).
Another powerful and never-ending source of fears is culture.
TV-series, movies, news, songs, books show us numerous terrible accidents, insane people, cruel situations daily. Add the effect culture has on us to the stress we get every day at work and maybe somewhere else and you’ll get anxiety. Do you still want to watch another cruel TV-series about a psychopath voluntary?
Even if you’re not afraid of what is shown on TV or news you hear, slowly it gets recorded in your mind and as a result, one day you’ll find yourself greatly influenced by it with a new pile of irrational fears.
Traumatic past events
Last but not least. If something bad happened to you in the past, you need to work on that situation mentally. Seek help from a psychologist, read relevant literature, watch educational videos. Luckily, we have full access to information nowadays and sometimes we’re able to cure ourselves on our own. Just don’t ignore the problem if it exists and if it limits your life.
Also, remember that the fact that something bad happened to you once in the past doesn’t mean that the situation will repeat.
How to deal with fear and anxiety
If you adopt too many fears you may start fearing leaving your house, travelling, attending concerts, etc. Do you want to live your life in a shell and never see anything just because you’re paralyzed by fears which aren’t even real?
1. Question your fears
When and how did you develop them? What are the chances that what you fear will happen to you? Why should it happen to you? Is it something real or are you afraid of an illusion?
2. Make your fear shut up
What do I mean? Whenever a fear starts crawling into your mind, dismiss it. Tell yourself: “it’s not true. It’s just a stupid fear! It won’t make me live in a shell.”
3. Stop adopting other people’s fears
Distance from negative people who fear everything and tell you about their fears as much as possible. Whether they fear death or a financial crisis, it’s not going to help you succeed in anything. Remember, even during a financial crisis there’s still people who increase their capital and the fact that something bad happened to someone’s friend doesn’t mean that the same thing will happen to you. So, even if this negative person is your relative of a close friend, distance from them for your own good. You may explain to them what the problem is and if they agree to change or at least watch what they talk about when you’re around, you can still spend time with them.
4. Stop developing new fears
If it means stop watching news or popular TV-series, do it for the sake of your mental wellbeing. Watch positive and inspiring movies, read good books rather than news, find new positive hobbies. All in all, substitute sources of negative information with sources of positive information. Mindfulness Inspo is one of those sources of positive information. Follow Mindfulness Inspo on Pinterest to stay tuned.
5. Substitute your fears with opposite positive affirmations
Instead of thinking “this idea will fail”, start thinking “I am able to make it a success”. Instead of thinking “I must be falling ill”, start thinking “I am strong and can heal anything just with my positive thinking”. Instead of thinking “he will dump me”, start thinking “I am so amazing that he will never find anyone better than me”, etc.
6. Learn to trust the natural flow of events (or the Universe, God or whatever you believe in)
Of course the most effective and important thing to do in case you have fears is to learn to trust the natural flow of events. Realize that you’re not God and no matter how much you desire it or how hard you try, there is nothing under your control. Trust the Universe, if you’re a good person it doesn’t want to screw you up. Everything is going on according to a plan you have no idea about. Anyway you’re safe. Relax, everything will happen just as it’s supposed to. Accept life as it is.
If trusting the natural flow of events is not your thing yet, if you feel the need to control everything, I strongly recommend reading these best self-help books: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams and Reality transurfing. Steps I-V.
Remember that everyone’s lives are different. Some negative event that happened to someone else may never happen in your life. What’s the point in worrying about the future which may never exist in YOUR reality? Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace. Don’t let your fear and anxiety deprive you of happiness! Also, read How to Relieve Stress Quickly.
Follow Mindfulness Inspo on Pinterest to stay tuned.