Anxiety – a thin stream of fear

 

Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained. Robert Albert Bloch

Robert Albert Bloch (April 5, 1917 – September 23, 1994) was a prolific American crime, horror and science fiction. You remember the Alfred Hitchcock movie “Psycho”? Well that was based on the book Psycho written by Bloch.

But back to his quote ...

We can’t control the thoughts that pop into our minds, but we can control what we do with the thought, how we let the thought affect us. Anybody who suffers from anxiety knows how anxious thoughts can spiral out of control.

Your partner doesn’t answer the phone …
Whoops! what do you think has happened?
Does your mind run out of control cutting a stream, or raging river of fear through your mind? He’s had an accident, better phone the hospital.
Or … He’s having an affair and doesn’t want me to get through to him.
And so on and so forth, our minds can get quite carried away, when we presume we know what has happened and also presume that our thoughts are telling us the truth!

When that thin stream of anxiety enters your head, don’t let it gather momentum by catastrophizing and predicting the worst. Whatever thought pops into your head, ask yourself if you have any proof that what you’re thinking is right. There’s most likely none!

Every time my mind starts getting carried away with disastrous thoughts, I remind myself that I haven’t got any proof! Needless to say, the thought doesn’t go away with one rebuttal, it might take several. The bottom line is that you don’t want to encourage the thought.

This is a fantastic tool for keeping control on anxiety.  Try it out!

 

Develop Self-Confidence

This week’s QUOTE FOR ANXIETY.

The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you. Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” William Jennings Bryan

William Jennings Bryan, (1860 – 1925) practiced law in Jacksonville. In 1887 he moved to Nebraska where he hope to start a political career. He was elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-second and Fifty-third Congresses. He was unsuccessful in his bid to be the Democratic candidate for President in 1896. 1900 and 1908. He became Secretary of State in the Cabinet of President Wilson and served from March 4, 1913, until June 9, 1915, when he resigned.

Much wisdom is to be gained from this quote by Bryan. You’re not going to get self-confidence if you wait passively for things to happen to you. You have to be proactive and facing your fears and achieving success can be a real confidence booster. It’s important to remember these achievements as ‘marker points’ on the journey of life. When you feel fearful or afraid, just remember all those things that you have successfully achieved and move forward in confidence.

 

Look fear in the face!

This week’s QUOTE FOR ANXIETY:

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” Anna Eleanor Roosevelt

These words by Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (October 11, 1884 – November 7, 1962) really sum up her life experience of fear. She had a difficult childhood and despite the trappings of wealth, Eleanor had an unhappy childhood. Her father turned to alcohol for comfort at the death of his own mother and was away from home for long periods of time. Her mother also battled as she was disillusioned by her husband. Little Eleanor couldn’t help but become very aware of the the tension between her parents and at the young age of six took on mothering responsibilities towards her mother. This is so typical of a child brought up in a home with alcohol abuse. Eleanor’s mother, who was one of New York’s beauties at the time, intimidated her daughter making her very self-conscious. She even nicknamed her daughter ‘Granny’ because of her ‘very plain, old fashioned’ looks. As a result, Eleanor was a serious child.

At the tender age of 8 her mother died and Eleanor focused on getting attention from her father who she felt loved him. However, he died of alcoholism and depression some 19 months later. At the age of 10 Eleanor became an orphan and was cared for by her grandmother. Life improved for Eleanor when she attended Allenswood Academy in London in 1899. These were very happy years during which time she became socially and politically aware. She gained confidence and became more independent during this time. Much to her families horror she became involved in reform movements.

A chance encounter on a train led to a romantic involvement with her cousin Franklin D Roosevelt. Franklin’s mother disapproved of the relationship but after a 16 month engagement, they were married in 1905. To put it mildly, her mother-in-law was very interfering, and made many of the family decisions for Eleanor. Once Franklin Roosevelt’s political career developed, Eleanor was able to live a life released from the shackles of her mother-in-law. However, the marriage was not happy as her husband was continuously unfaithful. In the end the marriage was one of political convenience rather than a marriage based on love.

Franklin D Roosevelt became the 32nd President of the United States of Amercica serving between.March 4, 1933 – April 12, 1945

Closing words: Being rich doesn’t protect one from hardship. Hardships can be used for good, allowing us to gain courage and confidence. Keep moving forward and if there is something that you think you cannot do, face it and do it. If the idea came into your head in the first place, you can use the fear as a challenge from which to grow!

Sailing the Storms of Life!

 

This weeks QUOTE FOR ANXIETY

“I’m not afraid of storms for I’m learning how to sail my ship.” Louisa May Alcott

Fear can really stop us from living our lives to the full. Fear of rejection, fear of criticism, fear of facing new situations are a few in a long list. People with agoraphobia are even too afraid to go out of their homes into open spaces.

What do you fear? Some people find it difficulty to pinpoint exactly what they are afraid of, exactly what they are anxious about. If you can name your fear you’re in a much better position to overcome that fear.

You have 2 choices You can either live a life handicapped by fear, and miss out on all the excitement of living. In other words, you can stay in the harbor and never venture out in your ‘yacht’

OR

You can face your fears, learn how to sail your ship and voyage to new horizons! Knowledge brings power and freedom from fear. The choice is yours!

For more information on how to overcome fear and learn how our thinking affects our mood, please click here. 

This beautiful photo of the Durban Yacht Harbor was taken by Nicola Stewart http://beblessedphotography.co.za/

Go with your fear!

This week’s Quote for Anxiety. “We must travel in the direction of our fear” by John Berryman.

Trying to escape or change directions to avoid our fears is actually just going to make matters worse. Applying brakes, doing U-turns in the road, stopping in the fast lane are all very dangerous. Go with your fear. You can even speak to your fear with words like “go on, do your worst to me, but I am not stopping!” The best way of conquering fear is to go with the fear.

A person who has a fear of elevators should get into the elevator, go up and down for as long as it takes for the fear to dissipate. It might be terrifying at first but actually the fear has no base in reality! Only by traveling in the same direction of our fear will we overcome that fear!

Facing Your Fear

“We cannot escape fear. We can only transform it into a companion that accompanies us on all our exciting adventures.” Susan Jeffers

Once upon a time in a nearby valley there lived some people. Now, these people never dared to move from their valley because whenever they tried to do so by climbing the surrounding hills, they were met by an enormous giant who roared at them most ferociously. They were so terrified that they ran back into their valley as fast as ever their legs could carry them …. Determined never to venture forth again.

This had been going on for hundreds of years until one day, a new and brave king was chosen from among them. And he thought to himself, ‘This simply isn’t good enough! We never meet new people, never develop our trade and never make new friends. Indeed we are becoming very dull, ignorant and boring.’ The new king decided to journey out of the valley and beyond the hills all by himself and in spite of all dangers. He set off out of the valley with some feelings of trepidation and expected the giant to appear at any moment. Sure enough the giant appeared, horribly enormous and roaring most ferociously.

However, instead of running away as all of his people had done before, the king took one step forward. To his amazement the giant became one inch shorter. Thus encouraged, the king took one step forward. Eventually, when the king came right up to the giant he was so small that the king could hold him in his hand. The king then asked the giant his name. The giant replied. ‘My name is fear.’

The moral of the story?

Face your fears. That’s the only way to get rid of them, despite all the panicky feelings involved. Avoidance maintains the anxiety. Ask yourself, do you want to be like the King or the villagers?

 

What is Fear?

This week’s quote for anxiety comes from Richard Carlson. His quote is a very good answer to the question ‘What is Fear”

“Fear is the concern over events that might happen in the future – we won’t have enough money, our children will get into trouble , we will get old and die, whatever.” 

Somehow these fears seem to be worse at night and can even keep us awake at night, fretting. If you have a concern that’s causing you anxiety, keeping you awake, keep a pen and notebook by your bed, write down the concern and go back to sleep! Writing can STOP the mind from getting too carried away!

Name your fear!

The good news is that if you can ‘name’ your fear, you are half-way towards making an action plan for overcoming the fear. An action plan is very important!

  • ‘Fearing that you won’t have enough money’ in the future is a concern especially in the present economic climate. But fear on its own won’t get you money. Sit down and make a plan and do the best that you can to allay these fears.
  • ‘Our children will get into trouble’. This fear might come true, but your fear is certainly not going to affect the outcome for your children. This fear only causes you, the parent, unhappiness. Do the best you can at parenting your kids and when fear comes knocking on your door, tell it to take a hike! Even when you do your best for your children, in the end they are responsible for their behavior, not you!
  • ‘We will get old and die’ No point in fearing this because we know that just as surely as we are born so we are going to die. Ask yourself what exactly it is about getting old and dying do you fear. Work out the specifics, because that is the only way to address your fears.

Have a good week and stay focused in THE PRESENT!!

Combat Anxiety!

This week’s Quote For Anxiety.

To combat fear, the best strategy is to learn to bring your attention back to the present”  Richard Carlson

To conquer anxiety, it can help by asking yourself, what exactly are you afraid of. So many people say they don’t know but they just feel anxiety all the time. Just remember that anxiety has to do with future events and an unrealistic fear of future events.

Thoughts rush through your mind. Maybe thoughts like: “No point in going for the job interview, I know I’ll never get the job”. “No point going to that party, I probably won’t know anyone there anyway.”

The truth is that no-one does know what will happen in the future, let alone in the next hour or so, so it is better to stop predicting the future. When you find yourself negatively predicting the future, which by the way, is a source of anxiety, rein in your thoughts to the present, to reality!

Richard Carlson writes words of wisdom when he says “To combat fear, the best strategy is to learn to bring your attention back to the present”