It is often said that there are actually only two main emotions that humans experience, and that all other emotions can be categorized under one or the other:
Love and Fear
We can all agree that most of us, if faced with a choice, would choose the former (Err, yes, I’d like number one on the menu please, love? To go).
We can’t deny that the spectrum of emotions encompassed by Love – joy, happiness, peace, and bliss are infinitely more desirable than those encompassed by Fear – hate, anger, shame, and guilt. And as humans, we can often pass through the entire spectrum on both sides on a daily basis. The trouble really kicks off though, when the emotions in the fear camp begin to far outweigh those in the love camp, and before we know it, this imbalance begins to affect our wellbeing and peace of mind. Fear? Dix point, Love? Nil point.
So the question is, what is it that makes this happen and how the babbins do we prevent it?
If we stop for a minute and smell the coffee around us, it’s really not surprising that fear can grab the upper hand. Just spend a nanosecond looking at the TV/magazine/online news – it’s all Armageddon before the sun comes up tomorrow and we’re basically doomed. This in turn leads our mind on a one-way ticket to fearville. The big problem with this is that what we are seeing is only one side of a coin.
The other side of the coin, and the one that we rarely see, is the everyday kindness, compassion, and love that you and I and Bob on the street show to each other all the time. But alas, for whatever reason, this aspect of humanity is not newsworthy.
But think about it, have you ever seen anyone fall over in the street and hurt themselves? The vast majority of people within spitting distance will instantly rush to their aid, help them up, or if it’s more serious, call for help. They will stay with the person, looking after them, and before we know it we have a fabulous group of strangers all interacting with each other in the name of love and kindness, helping another in need. Now this kind of thing happens ALL.THE.TIME: humans coming together for the sake of others, and in the name of love, compassion, and care, on a small scale, on a big scale, on any scale.
If we were to focus on this side of humanity, we would find that instead of buying a one-way ticket to fearville, we buy a ticket to joyville, because we would believe in people, the human race, and the world as a whole as a kind and loving place, and what you put your focus on, is what you will see.
So what can we do? Well, if you find yourself in the tenacious grip of fear or anxiety without really knowing why, here are three simple steps that you can take:
Step 1. Go on a news diet
You know what, just don’t watch/read the news! Or limit how much you watch/read the news. You’ll vaguely hear from others around you what’s been going on in the world anyway, but in not such a focused, doom and gloom way.
Step 2. Spin the coin
Spend time focusing on the goodness in humanity that you see all around you. Really look for it. Sit in a coffee shop and people watch, and count how many kind things you see people do for each other. You will see LOADS, guaranteed.
Step 3. Slam dunk fear in its place
Recognise that fear is a normal part of human life, but it doesn’t have to run your life: you can accept it’s there, but that doesn’t mean you have to give it a foghorn with which it orders you about. Acknowledge it, feel it, then look for something to counteract it.
Fear can be debilitating, especially fears that aren’t real, and as the author Elizabeth Gilbert writes:
“if you can’t learn to travel comfortably alongside your fear, then you’ll never be able to go anywhere interesting or do anything interesting. And that would be a pity because life is short and you want to do and make interesting things while you’re here.”
So our best bet is to learn to tackle our fears, rise above them, and go make our lives interesting.
 Gilbert, Elizabeth. Big Magic: creative living beyond fear. 2016. New York: Bloomsbury Paperbacks.
The Healing Room
Reiki and Reflexology are especially good at helping anxiety. They both work by bringing the body and mind back into balance, allowing space for deep relaxation, and quietening the mind. At The Healing Room, the Healing Booster is an excellent treatment as it combines both therapies together, ensuring a deeply healing experience. meditation is also key for de-stressing. Come along to the Circle here or try one of the FREE guided meditations here.
Useful resources for managing fear and anxiety:
Jeffers, Susan J. Feel the fear and do it anyway: how to turn your fear and indecision into confidence and action. 2007. London: Vermilion.
Weekes, Dr Claire. Self-help for your nerves: learn to relax and enjoy life again by overcoming stress and fear. 2015. London: Thorsons Classics edition.
Pittman, Catherine M. Rewire your anxious brain: how to use the neuroscience of fear to end anxiety, panic and worry. 2015. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.
https://www.anxietybc.com – A Canadian based website offering plenty of tools, including a Mindfulness app, to help you manage worry.
http://www.moodjuice.scot.nhs.uk/Anxiety.asp – A printable guide that takes you through every step of recognising and dealing with anxiety.
http://www.worrywisekids.org/ A UK based resource offering guidance on how parents can help their children navigate through their stress and anxiety.
Headspace. https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app. Offers short, ten minute meditation sessions to help re-train the brain and help reduce anxiety.
SAM. http://sam-app.org.uk/. Guides you through the process of understanding the root of anxious thoughts and help you manage them through self-help exercises.
Worry Watch. http://worrywatch.com/. Helps you write down and then monitor your fears and worries in order to become conscious of your negative thought patterns.