Today I want to talk to you about a subject that I have had some 30 years, give or take, of experience.
In Challenging times, Fear is the most debilitating of emotions.
My experience comes from where I grew up, Brazil.
I spent most of my formative years and some of my adult life under a military dictatorship. So, fear was very real.
My parents did their utmost to keep my brother and me safe and to give us a sense of normality. They did their best to protect us from fear.
I don’t remember being afraid during my childhood. Some weird things were going on around me that I didn’t really understand, a lot of whispering amongst the adults talking in the kitchen.
I began to understand fear when I was doing my university entrance exams, the equivalent of A levels here. Then, when I went to university, it became very very real.
For me, the worst part of giving into fear, of giving control to fear, was losing trust.
When you lose trust, you get disconnected from people. Your world shrinks very very quickly.
So, I was scared of talking to people, classmates, colleagues and others. I was very aware of what I could talk about and what I could not. So, my world did shrink and I had very few people I could trust and talk to. It was awful!
I see the same thing happening here right now in these challenging times.
Fear is very real!
I know parents are doing their best to keep their children protected.
There is a lot of support from psychologists helping parents in self-isolation keep their children free of fear and how to talk to them.
But I also see a lack of trust.
A good example was when I was at the supermarket this morning. We were observing the two-metre rule as we queued to get in the supermarket. The security officer was helping control the flow of people into the supermarket. Then, this person came by me pushing their trolley and said:
“This is all very ridiculous, it’s not that bad!”
This is a lack of trust.
So, right now, let’s replace fear for trust.
You don’t have to do anything special to do this exercise. Wherever you are, standing up, sitting down, lying down or even when having a cup of tea or coffee. It doesn’t matter.
When you think about self-isolation and not knowing what’s going to happen or how long it’s going to last, while thinking about this, scan your body and see where you feel the tension or discomfort. If you are like me, then you feel it in your stomach. When I talk about feelings, my hands naturally rest on my stomach. Perhaps you feel it in your chest.
While you read this, if you are clearing your throat right now, then perhaps that’s where the tension is.
So, think about self-isolation and uncertainty and see where the tension is.
When you find it, focus on that area of your body.
Then, I want you to think about the meaning of trust. What does trust mean to you? Really, think about it and also the feelings associated with trust.
When you feel the emotions associated with trust, put them where you feel the tension in your body.
So whether it is your throat, chest or stomach, cover that area with the meaning and the feelings associated with trust. Really, fill that whole area with trust.
If it helps, also think about a person you trust the most.
Fear and trust
A go-to person, someone you can be yourself with, who can talk freely to. A person who doesn’t judge you and who supports you.
As you think about this person, think about the feelings associated with that person. You probably feel support, a sense of safety, calm and relaxed, or even possibly love.
Fill the area of your body where you feel the tension with these emotions associated with trust and the person you trust the most. Keep thinking about those feelings until the tension, the discomfort and the fear disappear completely.
You can do this every time you feel mild discomfort, so you stop the fear leading you into a full-on panic attack.
You can do it tonight before you close your eyes to fall into a deep healing sleep.
Focus on that part of the body, focus on the meaning of trust, the feelings associated with trust and the person you trust the most. Do it again first thing in the morning, when you start your morning routine. Anytime you feel any discomfort or the fear creeping in, do this exercise.
Stay with trust and those associated feelings. The more you do it, the more used you get to the process the easier it becomes. Take responsibility. Replace fear, discomfort and uncertainty with trust!
If you have any doubts or questions then please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Now is the time to get in touch with me. I can help you. I can support you. And I want to help and support you! You can sign up on my website, send me an email or you can send me a message.
Please, do not be afraid of sharing this with as many people as you can. They could probably benefit from this.
You do not have to go through this challenging time alone.
Read my article about anxiety here
I’m Regina, stay strong, stay safe!