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4 Questions to Transform Fear ~ Dr. Orloff, author of Emotional Freedom, discusses how to transform fear and experience more joy.
If you don’t make it your business to overcome fear, you better believe it’ll try to overcome you. Most people are subservient to this emotion though they may not know it. Fear is an emotional response to danger but many times it is just False Information Appearing Real (F-E-A-R.) What underscores fear in all its permutations is the feeling that you won’t be all right.
Take this Emotional Action Step from “Emotional Freedom:” Harness Your Biology to Quiet Fear
To short-circuit fear and turn off your flight-or-flight response, you’ll need to train your brain to send chemicals to counteract them. Otherwise, fear and its hormones will make you crazed. In contrast, with a calm biology it’s easier to find courage by practicing the combined techniques below to quiet your system.
To achieve immediate and longer term results:
- Eliminate caffeine, sugar, and other stimulants–these fuel the fight-or-flight response.
- Avoid people who reinforce your fear–they are biological irritants; stick close to emotional nurturers.
- Stay away from violent newscasts, traffic jams, arguments, or other stress inducers.
When you’re in the grip of a fear-driven adrenaline rush, try these quick solutions.
- Use this Progressive Relaxation Technique: In a comfortable position, sitting or lying down, take a few deep breaths while letting your body go as limp as possible. When you’re ready, begin by tightening the muscles in your toes…hold to a count of ten… then relax. Enjoy the relief of tension melting. Do the same with flexing your foot muscles, and move slowly through your entire body: calves, legs, stomach, back, neck, jaw, face, contracting and releasing each area.
- Immerse yourself in hot water to relax muscular tension as soon as possible.
These practical changes, which allow you to take control of your body, can be tremendously effective in restoring calm. You don’t have to be passive while battered by fear. The victim mentality takes many forms. It requires courage to assume control, to say, “I’m going to be responsible for my biological self-care.” Educating your body how to respond makes you emotionally freer.
Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff’s New Times Bestseller “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life” (Three Rivers Press, 2011)