The strongest feeling and the one that best describes us as conscious beings is fear. It’s what leaves us open to attack, but it’s also what causes us to stop, consider, and respond (or not). We experience fear relentlessly, and it rarely follows reason or prudence.
Fear causes us to pass up possibilities. Living in dread causes us to hold back, come up with justifications, and exist in a peculiar state of monotony and immobility. Without a question, it can be crippling. How then can you deal with it?
Dismantling what fear is
As much as you might like to think that fear is some arbitrary sensation, it is not. Simply said, fear is a reaction to real or imagined stimuli. Our bodies produce a physiological response when we feel danger so that we can “cope” with it.
Many of us are fortunate enough to not have to spend our days dodging bears, fires, or guns. Why then do we still battle with fear even in the absence of these present dangers to our wellbeing?
It all boils down to separating danger from safety once more. Yes, there is a real risk (i.e., the bear or gun). But there are also countless shades of vulnerability and uncertainty present in every aspect of your daily life. There is the fear of rejection, suffering physical harm, and disappointing oneself or another. Even while none of these are necessarily clear-cut means of demise or destruction, your emotional state frequently doesn’t distinguish between the two.
Fear recognition in recovery
During recovery, overcoming fear is never the aim. That’s because, of course, it is believed that experiencing fear is a normal emotion that we all go through. You must understand when you are in danger and when you are safe.
There are two general types of fear in recovery:
- Fear of failing (relapsing);
- Fear that things won’t improve in recovery (also failure)
These are both legitimate concerns, of course. The fear of relapse is frequently a positive thing. It indicates that you regard recovery highly enough to understand that doing so would be risky. In addition, having the dread that things won’t get better could be advantageous. It demonstrates initiative, a feeling of humility, and a desire for change.
Fear management in recovery
Most of us experience a fight-flight-freeze response when we are afraid. Those who “fight” their fears confront them head-on. They push through the emotion, sometimes without even acknowledging or confirming that it is there. People who “flight” from situations tend to do so because the feelings are too painful and overwhelming. They are most at risk of relapsing or engaging in other unhelpful activities. In the end, freezers freeze. Their anxiety virtually paralyzes them, which prevents them from acting and stunts their growth.
Fighting or not fighting is not the only option when dealing with fear. Instead, mastering the art of acceptance of fear is crucial. Anxiety is countered with peace, which also makes room for acceptance and breathing. In other words, you learn how to avoid letting fear control your behavior by learning how to lean into fear.
Understanding the function that fear has in your life is the first step toward making peace with it. Instead of criticizing yourself for feeling fearful, think about how you may accept the significance of this emotion.
Making decisions out of emotion on autopilot frequently results in irrational behavior. You can better decide how you want to deal with a sensation when you can take the time to understand why you’re feeling that way. You can check here for complete guidance to overcome your fear during recovery.
Fear is not a challenge. It is merely an emotion. In the end, you are in control of how you perceive, control, and respond to that experience.