This post teaches you how to overcome fear and its various guises. These include worry, nightmares as well as non-acceptance of the past and future. Learn how these move in your space, and you grow more aware and less driven by their influence. In time, fear loses its grip and cannot taint the mind’s thoughts.
What is fear?
Fear is an emotion occurring in the body as a response to potential danger or harm. It stems from the possibility that your life and safety could end or change without warning. In light of this, the brain and body create discomfort as they prepare for a threat. As a result, many humans are afraid of fear and revolt against its presence. Once you grow aware of this reaction, it reduces and stops ruling your actions.
The main purpose of the brain is to ensure the body’s survival. On this account, fear is an important emotion that serves to keep you safe. Realise it’s a temporary force that doesn’t intend to last for longer than necessary. Once the threat is over, fear has no further use. This truth is hard to accept if frightening thoughts appear in the mind. Understand that these often occur without your conscious control. Here, the brain’s programming creates thoughts in a robotic fashion. You cannot stop this action, but can witness it, then allow its power to reduce. Upon doing this, you accept the mind’s purpose to ensure your survival.
If the energy of fear builds up to high levels, it attracts further pain. In short, if the mind gathers too much fearful material, its thoughts share similar themes. These attract worrisome life situations and people with similar mindsets. Here, life mirrors fear back to you, thus keeping its cycle in place. The moment you grow wise to this is when unease loses its grip on your being. From this point, it’s not possible to attract further pain.
On balance, fear is a natural response to protect you. If it produces distressing thoughts, notice these and let them pass. Such an approach leads you to accept fear, as it ceases to rule over your actions.
Why does the mind fear specific events, scenes, or people?
The mind fears painful events, scenes, or people because of the thoughts and feelings they raise. Such emotions often feel unpleasant and range from mild pain to extreme distress. For this reason, people often stay away from anything that raises discomfort. This approach appears to be correct at first, however in the long term, it hinders growth. By allowing yourself to go through fearful scenes and thoughts, they soon disperse.
Life brings challenges, pain and misery to test your steadiness. On most occasions, people argue with these trials and often try to fix them with haste. This approach works like trying to remove a parasite plant by cutting its leaves rather than the root. Instead of this approach, embrace your mind’s unease. Stay with its thoughts in a gentle manner – for however long they last. Don’t strive to undo them with force or haste. By allowing fear in your space this way, you lose the need to argue with it. This patience allows the steady wisdom of awareness to ease pain and misery.
Your brain’s imbalanced emotions form the root of its fears – not so much the events that raise them. To confirm this, take the scene of someone in prison. Here, they often sense extreme anger, frustration, loneliness, guilt, and shame. When these emotions reach a high level, they cause intense pain in the body. Such emotions, coupled with the mind’s high momentum, bring suffering. If your mind was clear and open, it wouldn’t suffer the same way. Instead, it accepts the situation, uses the time available with wisdom, and sorts matters from their root cause.
In short, the real test of faith is the hour of misery. As pain arrives, allow it to remain, then leave without force. In doing so, life’s trials, challenges, and pain disperse.
How do you stop worrying?
You stop worrying by witnessing and allowing its energy to release. In effect, the mind relaxes. It’s then easy to realise the difference between practical tasks and the brain’s imagined fears.
Worries are troubling thoughts relating to actions and events in the past or future. They result from a mind that’s too active and afraid of its safety. Here, your brain thinks at a fast pace. It also gets confused about how to act or what to believe. This combination creates further mental trouble. To balance this energy of worry, grow aware of it and allow solutions to come. In this aligned mindset, worries become useful and prompt you to take precautions. For example, checking and fastening your seat belt before driving. To ease troubling thoughts, move through the following sequence.
- Let go of your efforts to control or silence the mind’s fears.
- For several minutes, pause and notice any worries that come up. How do they make you feel?
- List what actions you can take to resolve these problems. If you can’t think of any – it’s fine.
- Note what actions you cannot take. Why are these not possible?
- Explore where worries come from. Do they stem from fear? What are you afraid of? Write your answers.
- Allow the energy of worry and doubt to come up. In doing so, you face your fears and stop trying to suppress them.
- Allow insights and solutions to arise in their own time.
- Once your ideas are clear, choose what to act upon.
- Set a plan of action and timescale next to each solution.
- Take action without worrying about the outcome.
In essence, these steps lead you to grow aware of the mind’s troubles – real or imagined. You then move into a relaxed state of allowing, which brings forth practical solutions to worries.
What are the benefits of fear and worry?
The benefits of having fear and worry are that they drive you to be more aware. This state allows you to face the parts within your space that need growth. By seeing how fear and worry help to balance the mind, you accept – rather than fight them.
When you accept worry, instead of fearing it, explore what it offers in terms of inner growth. Practice this when life brings forth something you don’t wish to face. In such situations, note the event or thought, sense how it feels, and see what insight it provides. You then take action if needed and learn from the experience. It doesn’t mean that you continue to allow a problem (Such as an abusive relationship). In contrast, this means you stop fearing these realities, learn from them, and open yourself to inner growth.
On balance, worrying is the fear of bad or harmful events. These offer a chance to notice and resolve such areas of your life. Explore what they offer in terms of facing fears and worries. For example, if you’re worried about losing your job, allow the pain of loss (which is not pleasant) until it loses its power. When feelings of loss and fear dissolve, you discover the solutions that were there all along. Given these points, you no longer sense the need to protect yourself from the risk of pain or fear. Instead, allow these emotions and experiences without seeking comfort or reassurance. In effect, the fear of pain or harmful events leaves you.
As the mind becomes more balanced, you have fewer unpleasant or harmful experiences. Here, life situations no longer mirror your mindset. The mind then stops putting everything in opposing groups, such as good or bad. On this account, you accept each thought, mindset, and event in life.
Why do nightmares occur?
Nightmares occur because your body and mind are holding a high volume of fear. When you’re asleep, it’s not possible to use force or effort to stop such contents from arising. In this situation, the brain runs its unreleased fears through graphic images while you sleep. By learning how this process takes place, you’re able to face and dissolve nightmares.
In brief, nightmares are thoughts that stem from the energy of fear within you. Upon realising this, it’s easier to grow alert to their presence. By staying in this space, you don’t shy away from discomfort and dread. Such an aware state prevents these emotions from creating more fearful thoughts.
If you experience a graphic nightmare, it’s best to stay in bed for 10-15 minutes after waking up. Here, allow images from the nightmare to run in your space. Witness them like watching a film at the cinema. What emotions, thoughts, feelings and movements do you sense? If they are violent, crude, or scary, it shows the fearful nature of thought energy within your body. Stay with this awareness and the deep fears behind nightmares become clear. Let these emerge without distracting yourself. Stay open to the mind this way for 10-15 minutes.
As fearful images from nightmares run in the mind, they feel scary and uncomfortable. These responses are natural, but don’t let them lead you to avoid or suppress your thoughts. Instead, allow the mind’s contents to be as frightening as they wish. By doing this, they cannot blackmail you with threats of more pain. After a few months of this practice, the intelligent space of your awareness reduces the energy of fear. It’s then possible to see through the illusion of nightmares and fearful images. From here, you become open to the insights that dissolve them.
Can your mind fear the past?
Your mind can fear the past by scanning memories to gauge its safety in the present. This action often causes great distress if thoughts relate to something bad that could have happened. Here, the mind raises images of alleged mistakes. It then debates if these are true and judges whether you should receive punishment. Grow wise to this pattern and gain the awareness to release such fears.
Common thoughts in this state follow these lines:
- I might have done XYZ. Will something bad happen to me as a result?
- What mistakes led to this tragedy?
- Did someone else do XYZ to me?
- What if XYZ happened, did it occur or not?
- Am I a bad person because XYZ might have happened?
These thoughts happen because the mind is projecting its fears onto memories. For example, if you’re afraid you committed some wrongdoing as a child – the mind will taint any childhood memory it can find with fear. In an attempt to relieve this, you delve weeks, months, and years into memories. Despite such efforts, it’s not possible to find lasting answers. The reason is that you’re trying to solve the mind with more fear. Notice this reaction and it ceases to distort memories.
Fears about the past and future pull on each other, thus causing the brain more confusion. This exchange also causes despair and a sense of being trapped. See how fear and your efforts against it create more pain. To free yourself from this cycle, stop trying to answer the mind’s questions. Instead, allow its past fears, doubt, confusion and regrets to arise. You then gain the awareness to balance your life and mind. In time, clarity emerges about the past. This wisdom releases its energy. In effect, you accept who you are now – in the present.
What happens when the mind fears the future?
When the mind fears the future, it imagines scenes of harm to you and others. Once you see through the limits of these thoughts, they cannot rule the mind.
In a fearful state, you think of measures to protect yourself. This action happens, even if there is no real threat. People with this mindset create fears and methods to escape it at a fast pace. Such acts often cause exhaustion as the mind ponders and worries over every potential outcome. No matter how much you analyse these images, it’s impossible to know your future. For this reason, accept uncertainty and let thoughts run their concerns over what could happen. From this point, relax all measures to protect your inner space.
By nature, life is unknown, and your mind often views this reality as threatening. To cope with this dilemma, the brain creates content to fill its gaps of uncertainty. These include fear of flying, heights, illness, small spaces, loneliness and death. Where do such images occur? These thoughts and events happen in the mind’s space. You cannot handle these situations – because they don’t exist in reality. In short, they are mental movies arising from the fearful thoughts you gather over time. Witness how you view and react to these. In doing so, you handle the unknown and cease to view it as a threat.
As future fears arise in the mind, accept them as normal functions of the brain. Don’t aim to quash them with techniques, philosophies, mantras, self-talk or rituals. Instead, allow them to have their say. Ask yourself why you’re afraid of such thoughts and explore the feelings they bring. Fear can only create discomfort in the body and brain. Once you allow and move through this sensation, it cannot rule the mind.