How to end fear

Added: Juluis Shedd - Date: 10.09.2021 21:45 - Views: 45804 - Clicks: 7521

When you feel fear, the answer to that question usually seems obvious. We typically assume our fears are generated by this or that situation. We feel certain that if we could just change the circumstances — or, better yet, if some higher power would kindly rearrange them for us — we would feel better. Yet according to psychotherapist Richard Schaub, PhD, such assumptions not only ignore the real source of our discomfort, they can actually feed our anxieties. Schaub believes that fear is triggered in part because we love life so much.

Such reactions may work to keep us alive in dire circumstances precisely what the survival instinct is deed to dobut day to day, these protective responses can diminish the quality of our lives and relationships. He offers case studies to show how efforts to avoid our mortality — or, as he regularly refers to it, our vulnerability — ultimately backfire.

A successful businessman is unhinged by a midlife crisis as he begins to sense that no amount of material success will keep him alive forever. None of these very human attempts to handle fear — materialism, blind faith, entrenched skepticism — will provide the promised peace, Schaub believes.

How to end fear

This is because each one relies on the idea that loss and death can, with the right formula, be cheated. Does accepting vulnerability doom us to a life shrouded in a gloomy awareness that this is all going to end anyway? Absolutely not, says Schaub. In fact, if we can more accurately identify the real causes of our fear, it can help relieve us of the stressful experience of repressing our feelings — and allow us to become considerably more at ease.

He teaches simple methods to help quiet the mind and accept vulnerability as a natural state. They include taking a walk around the block while looking carefully at everyone through the lens of vulnerability — understanding that each person you see is just as susceptible to loss, change, and death as you are.

This exercise has become altogether more salient during the coronavirus pandemic. Finally, it allows us to use fear, which usually springs up during moments of uncertainty, as an invitation to become curious — instead of worried. When we understand the nature of fear, Schaub maintains, we can learn how to use it to wake ourselves up to a deeper love for life. Wisdom from psychotherapist Richard Schaub, PhD, on the connection between fear and vulnerability, and how embracing mortality can bring relief.

Experience Life Most of us prefer to avoid things that scare us.

How to end fear

How did you become interested in approaching fear and exploring it professionally? Richard Schaub I would say it was an awareness of my own nervousness and tendency to worry. I saw a lot of fear in people around me as well. In my first job out of college I was a caseworker, working with people who were addicted to heroin, and I saw that when they were in recovery, these were just sensitive people overwhelmed by the world.

I had the sense that the people who appeared to be unafraid were really masking how they felt. Is there a difference between fear and vulnerability? RS This is not an unusual confusion, because people think of vulnerability as a feeling. Vulnerability is our situation. It is a natural state, our human condition. We are vulnerable beings, period.

After this interview, for example, you or I could get a phone call with bad news. So, that vulnerability is our human condition, and fear is the result of the fact that we are, in fact, vulnerable. RS All destructive fear reactions can be categorized as expressions of three natural instincts: fight, flight, and freeze.

In my mind, the most destructive reaction is fight. The fight reaction directly affects other people, and it comes out in many forms. But the fight reaction [can be] the most destructive communally. RS I would say 99 percent of it. For four years, I ran a program for adolescents at a day hospital.

They were thrown out of school because they were violent or vandals or whatever, and they were classic examples of disguised fear. I mean, you could look at them and see clearly that their whole point was to look scary.

How to end fear

They were just hurt, vulnerable, and protecting themselves in this way. EL Can you teach kids who are really angry to consciously accept their vulnerability? It seems like that involves a degree of maturity not associated with adolescence. RS I think maturity can be translated as self-awareness, and that can be cultivated at virtually any age.

How to end fear

If you can train someone to be more awarethey become more mature. EL What are some techniques you teach to help people respond to their fear more consciously? So how do you learn self-awareness? Or you might notice you are feeling nervous and frightened and ask, What am I so anxious about?

Just that moment of noticing and self-inquiry gives you the chance to do something different with what you are feeling.

How to end fear

It just means lowering the degree of alarm in the system. It could be putting on your favorite music, just doing something else instead of automatically acting on the feeling inside you. Some people like mental imagery. Some people like breathing. Doing this for ourselves means that we are aware, and we are accepting that the state we are in can be changed. Could you explain that idea? What you are is a state of awareness. You are aware of being connected to or participating in something greater than yourself. EL And this helps calm us, because we know some part of us lives on and exists beyond the fragility we feel in the moment?

RS The first thing that happens when people accept their vulnerability is that they become more compassionateboth toward themselves and others. It just means that they can see, Wow, that person is struggling, too. I think the second change happens when people begin to have more insight into behaviors, including their own. Usually this guy would be intimidating and motivating everybody through fear. Instead, as he starts dealing with his own [fear], he just sits there, and he notices how each of his managers is actually reacting to his or her own vulnerability. And they start to respond to him less fearfully; it changes the whole relationship.

City and state are only displayed in our print magazine if your comment is chosen for publication. Life Time Member App. Psychotherapist Richard Schaub shares insights from his groundbreaking work on how we can acknowledge our vulnerability, build our courage, and find a path to serenity, even in a scary world. Courtney Helgoe is an Experience Life senior editor.

Thoughts to share? Leave a Comment. More Like This. Wise advice from a master life coach to help you overcome angst and reach your full potential. How to Embrace Uncertainty. Ease your concerns about the unknown by learning to get comfortable with the unknowable. Functional Medicine General Health.

The Healer Within. Science has now confirmed that our thoughts and emotions have very real physiological consequences. What does this mean for medicine in the 21st century? Among other things, that many potions of choice might be produced by our minds and delivered without prescription drugs.

How to end fear

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How to Permanently Overcome Fear