Were you born fearful and anxious? If not what happened? Where do they come from? Taking a spiritual approach we are going to dive beneath the surface, to consider what it going on and how we might enable ourselves to return to our original state of being. Fear and anxiety are not our original and natural state of being. It is to be curious, ‘What can I learn here?’
What is the difference between fear and anxiety?
Fear is our in-built survival instinct. It’s there for our protection. It enables us to sprint out of the way of a speeding car, to face an immediate threat or freeze in our tracks if needed. Anxiety, on the other hand, is more pervasive and more connected with the mind, insecurity, future uncertainty, relationships, meeting demands, making the grade and the state of the world.
So, if fear is a survival instinct how is it that we can have a feeling of fear out of the blue? Mostly it is connected with our past, either something that happened to us or around us or something that we did and later regretted. When the memory is triggered, we feel the fear again. To overcome these fears we need to be able to resolve, learn from and let them go. We can then step into living a more present and appreciative life.
If the fear, for example, is from something we did, we need to forgive ourselves and make amends if possible. At that time you were under the influence of your emotions. Your conscience, your compass, wasn’t awake and so you lost your way. We then say, ‘Why did I do that?’ ‘I didn’t mean to do that.’
By forgiving and putting things right we finish them for ourselves. Sometimes it may not be possible to speak to the other person involved or things may be too messy to resolve. In these cases, our pure love and good wishes can work wonders and things can get resolved all by themselves.
What about anxiety? Anxiety, at a deeper level, is connected with poor self-esteem or not living aligned to our inner values or the loss of inner authenticity. To compensate we either create a huge ego or we fall into an inferiority complex. We become dependent on external supports, as there isn’t inner understanding and integrity.
The answer is to discover our true inner self, our values and our unique gift. We then become aware of our own inner worth. When our identity is connected only with our external form, name, wealth and position it will always be precarious. When we understand our-self as a spiritual being we discover the true value of our being and our soul’s values. We can then start to use those values in our work, play and home life. This further increases our natural value, esteem and love for the self.
We also need to be aware of some traps that can keep us in anxiety. The answer is to learn to coach ourselves in new and supportive ways. Here are 3 examples.
The Anxiety Habit: Why is the anxiety habit stronger than the happiness one? The moment we hear any news we instantly start worrying. Even if we know it isn’t going to help! Instead we need to coach ourselves to take a deep breath, stay connected to our inner calm, have the faith that it will all be OK and give our mind the task of finding the benefits in the situation. Such as, if we hear some news about our health, by staying calm we actually allow the healing process to work more effectively and faster. Maybe we can use the time to look at things we have put aside for later. If we use the time well it can even become an opportunity for us to step-up in life.
Anxiety Paralysis: We don’t know what to do. Inner Coach: It’s OK. There is a good reason behind this, there is a gift in this. When we stay calm and connected inside solutions present themselves to us much faster. It might even be that what we desire may not be the best thing for us too.
Uncertain Times: In uncertain times, to stay strong, we need ask ourselves what are these calamities asking of us? We need to coach ourselves to be prepared and teach ourselves how to stay calm, peaceful and loving in the midst of calamities, as these qualities have the power to change situations. We are also then able to be of use at those times.