Fear is our natural reaction to an immediate threat or imminent danger. We are born with two fears—the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. As we develop and are able to run or fight we also develop fears of threatened annihilation or eminent threat to ours or others survival. Remember our cave-men ancestors when a saber toothed tiger showed up for dinner had to run or fight. Fear is a primitive emotion that can save our lives but when it gets stimulated and there is nowhere to run or nothing to fight, it will send us immediately into a waking hypnotic state or trance.
Fear is usually felt in the heart or solar plexus and sometimes in both places. Many of my clients have described it as stomach pain while touching their solar plexus. It appears to be most intense there… in the diaphragm. If you’ve ever had the wind knocked out of you then you know where this area of the body is!
This year’s presumptive presidential candidate debates are activating “fear programs” in people’s subconscious minds. When that happens, psychological stress can reach severe levels and cause cardiovascular and gastro-intestinal distress and worse. Many blood pressure, stomach, kidney problems and even cancers are stress-induced so it is extremely important, even life-saving that you learn how to manage your fear, not your stress but FEAR! You can nip fear in the bud by first and foremost understanding exactly what it is that you are dealing with.
If there is a lot of fear and it seems to be running away with you, then first— identify the emotion and state it in present-tense to yourself— something as simple as, “I’m afraid” can be enough—or just imagine for a moment that your emotions are like a small child (because they come from your subconscious mind which was largely programmed before age eight). What could you say to reassure the child and let it know that you hear what it is saying and feeling?
If you were a loving parent you wouldn’t invalidate the child’s reality by saying “You aren’t afraid or— there’s nothing to be afraid of.”
Remember the Subconscious mind does not acknowledge or hear the negatives in an affirmation— so the statement “You are (not) afraid” is heard as “You are afraid”. This can serve to affirm the fear and can make it escalate.
A very powerful affirmation that validates the emotion but slows down the energy of any negative program that may be running is a statement of fact like— “You’ve been afraid before”. This is an extremely powerful inferred affirmation and re-frame at the same time. The inference is— you’ve survived this emotion before, and you will survive it again. The affirmation “You’ve been afraid before” calms down the intensity of the emotion and allows or creates a small gap in our running stream of thoughts as they are dropping into the Subconscious. It is the adult- you or parent-you soothing the fearful child-you. The child wants desperately to have someone take control because the fear grips us tightly.
Fear can make a lot of noise in our head and create a lot of physical discomfort and pain as well. If you tend to process information more literally, something like— “I am brave and optimistic” may feel better to you. All of this work with affirmations and re-frames is about parenting or re-parenting ourselves. As always, as long as these are stated in present-tense— are believable to you— and meet the litmus test of, making you feel better, then you have just re-parented yourself successfully.
There are many more processes to reduce and demolish fear in my book but this is a great psychological field-dressing or band aid to help