Fear, anxiety, and worry is a current place of being for many! With the current state of our world, if we choose to absorb all that is shared our internal voices can easily lead us to despair and even panic.
Fear defined: an unpleasant emotion caused by the BELIEF that something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
To remain resilient and effect change, we have to be aware of our feelings. Feelings or emotions dictate how humans allocate energy. Awareness, that is, pausing to understand how we feel is critical. Other people have feelings as well, so we need to be sensitively aware of their feelings which are 80% non-verbal.
The limbic system is the structure in our brain that deals with emotions and memory. This system regulates the endocrine system that releases hormones in our body in response to emotional stimuli. For example, adrenaline is released when fear is felt, whereas endorphins are released during exercise. Hormones dictate how we feel and behave.
Understanding this connection provides the rationale behind managing emotional responses. Energy can be used to propel joy and happiness, and energy can be used to produce angst. There is a choice!!
To manage emotional responses in a productive way, self-care is essential!! The following suggestions are easily achieved:
Exercise: Hormones released during exercise induce pleasure, such as dopamine. Being fit also makes you healthier, which helps in managing emotions.
Be kind to others: This will cause you to stop you worrying about yourself.
Be present: Learn to appreciate what is happening and avoid excessive criticism of others or of situations. Mindfulness!
Choose company: Spend time with other positive people and sincerely enjoy their company.
Spend time with nature: Breath in the fresh air, pet an animal, smell the bay/ocean, or watch a sunset. Nature is very helpful for calming the emotions.
Practice gratitude: Thank people in person for doing nice things for you, and do it often!
Play to your strengths: This means doing things you enjoy, but it also involves doing activities that are good for you.
Refuse negative thinking: If you find yourself experiencing negative thoughts, challenge them. Notice the good in your life. In old-fashioned terms, count your blessings.
Creating a posture of health and joy is contagious: Pay it forward!
“There is no illusion greater than fear.” – Loa Tzu