Remember: Our Circumstances lead to A Thought which elicits A Feeling which fuels An Action which produces A Result.
Fear is an unpleasant feeling of apprehension or stress when you think something bad might happen. When fear is experienced, we have worrisome thoughts, which lead to anxious feelings, which leads to more fear.
When I was here I was scared of something that hadn’t even happened!
I don’t blame myself for being here. This fear of things that hadn’t happened and that I had ZERO control over led to some hypervigilant or mildly compulsive behavior (enter emotional eating!). Thankfully, I acquired tools to break out of this cycle.
Example: My husband sometimes told me he had suicidal thoughts and leave for a run that same day. I would think thoughts like “I don’t know if he’s going to come home.”
This elicited fear.
I didn’t like this feeling, so I distracted myself from it with work, food, etc.
I remained in this cycle because I wasn’t shifting my thinking, just my actions.
A few ideas to get out of fear cycle:
- Noting: Sometimes we have a feeling and we make it bigger than what it is—a feeling. Writing it down can help us see this. Getting something from the inside to the outside of our body is oftentimes therapeutic.
- Breathing: Slow breathing can help you be present with yourself and remind you that right now, you’re ok. Focus on the outbreath just as much as the inbreath.
- Understanding: Fear is simply a protective mechanism designed to keep us alive. Our brain is doing what it knows how to do—keep us alive. Sometimes recognizing that the brain is just doing it’s thing can help us get the reality check needed to reduce fear.
In a nutshell: do anything necessary to be more present with yourself.
Instead of thinking “my husband may not come home” what if I said something like “My husband’s actions have nothing to do with my worth/lovability.”
This helped me feel relief.
Feeling relief enabled me to be more present with myself and reinforced the idea that other people’s thoughts aren’t a reflection of me.