“Never trust your fears, they don’t know your strength.” ~ Athena Singh
When fear takes hold.
I felt such deep fear that for a solid moment, I didn’t think life was worth living.
I thought all of my best years were behind me, and the burden of living felt too difficult, unbearable, and impossible. It was my lowest point, and I was frightened in an exhausting, bone wearied way.
Fear is energy, and it is attracted to itself. When we are in a cycle of fear, we attract more.
My every thought trapped me in a whirlpool of fear, and I could not pull myself out. My mind felt dark, tangled, and chaotic. My heavy muscles and bones wanted to curl up in bed and never wake up. My mindset was black or white, all or nothing.
Since I couldn’t be my best anymore, I couldn’t do anything.
I still don’t know exactly how, but one evening, I made a clear, firm decision that I couldn’t keep living this way. It was only a spark, a fleeting idea, but it was enough to inspire me to stretch my vulnerability threshold and get really honest about my horrible self-talk, the terror I felt in my body, and ask for help.
So I began the slow climb out of burnout and depression. It took all of my strength and courage to open myself and ask for help. I had to admit that I needed someone else, expose my horrible thoughts, and bring them out into the light.
When we are in the midst of fear, we need simple and gentle ways to pull ourselves out. A good starting place for shifting fear is to have a clear plan, which provides a little hope and optimism. We need a solid, uncomplicated action to pull us out of the heavy worry that we have carried, sometimes for months, years, or decades.
I have come a long way since feeling low, and I practice a few rituals to help me manage.
These are the things that help me face my fear:
Exercise: Fear is energy that we need to move out by connecting with our body.
When I feel too low to even get out of bed, it terrifies me to think about moving or walking. When I was first diagnosed with depression, a doctor told me to take up kickboxing. I thought he was kidding, but he was right.
Exercise is perfect for moving out anxious and fearful energy.
Some people need low-impact movement such as yoga, walking, or swimming. And some of us need high-impact exercise that gets our blood pumping and sweat pouring, like spin classes, running, furious bedroom dancing, and hiking.
When I feel the heaviness returning, movement is crucial.
Sleeping and meditation: Sleeping puts our fears to rest, so when we wake up, we have the opportunity to consciously reset our energy. I spend the first 10 to 15 minutes of my day deliberately focusing on the positive things in my life.
There are many ways to bring us into the present moment: guided meditation, positive mantras, focusing on all of the things we can appreciate in our lives, listening to our breath, and feeling our bodies from toes to crown.
Creating a morning ritual will set our day in the right direction, and this can help us feel peaceful rather than afraid.
Focus: The things we focus our attention on will manifest. If we focus on fearful thoughts, we will attract more of them into our lives. If we focus on love, appreciation, and gratitude, we’ll attract more of this. I like to start my day focusing on the things I love.
I keep a gratitude journal to help me when I start a downward spiral into fearful thoughts. Fear can take over and cloud us, even though there is much to be grateful for. When I feel afraid, I like to watch funny shows, play with pets, listen to inspirational podcasts, swim in the ocean, or read a positive story.
Life really is beautiful, and fear is not real.
Get help: Fearful energy likes us to feel as though we are small, alone, and beyond help, but this is not true.
We do not have to live alone with fearful thoughts.
Asking for help is a powerful step, whether it’s from a loved one, therapist, life coach, doctor, or close friend. When we start sharing our feelings and thoughts with someone we trust, even if it feels scary to do so, we are inviting in the light.
We are creative beings with unlimited potential. We just need to remind ourselves of this—often. And sometimes it takes another person to help remind us—to mirror our basic goodness back to us—so we don’t continue forgetting who we really are.
Author: Amanda Edwards
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock