Releasing fear and panic

(Watch the youtube video about this blog here)

As someone who struggles with fear and anxiety, I know how helpless one can feel when caught in an experience that is generating immense fear. Yet, my practices over time have helped me learn that fear is a bunch of thoughts and some sensations in the body, that seem to threaten us. When caught in the grip of fear, you feel that nothing will help you and that no matter what, things won’t change. You can feel incapable of dealing with what is happening and feel afraid things will get worse. But, the truth is we can feel better. And the power to enable this change rests with us.

Here are three things to try whenever you are afraid. You can think of this as a three-step process where you change the pattern, release the pattern, and replace it with a positive one. Try them sequentially for best results or do any one of them you feel drawn to.

  1. Change the energy pattern – Fear affects our ability to think. It ushers in the fight, flight or freeze response and takes away the blood from our fore-brain. The entire body is geared towards survival and blood flow is taken away from other bodily functions like our digestive system. When the entire energy is geared towards survival, the experience in the body is of immense stress. At such times, one of the most helpful practices is to calm the body and mind, and encourage the energy ( and blood) to flow in healing patterns.

    Energy Technique: – Place the palm of one hand on your forehead. Place the other palm on your neck, covering the soft indentation on the center of your neck. Hold this pose and breathe deeply for 4-5 breaths. Next, leaving the palm on your forehead, shift the other hand to your heart. Again, breathe deeply in this pose for 4-5 breaths. Lastly, keeping the palm on the forehead, shift the other hand to your belly (upper or lower, wherever it naturally wants to be). Breathe deeply again.

    See this video about this exercise for more clarity on how to do this here – here
  2. Release the negative thoughts – Fear and panic are about the uncontrolled, unquestioned surge of thoughts in our head. Moments of fear are moments of zero patience, faith, or trust. Our bodies have shut down, frozen, or going crazy, while are minds are working overtime analyzing everything and trying to defend/protect ourselves from the crazy scenarios and thoughts in our head. The need of the moment is to find some comfort from our own minds and what it is throwing up at that moment.

    Writing Practice:- Find 10-15 minutes when you won’t be disturbed. Take a loose, blank piece of paper, and write down every negative thought in your head. Do not censor what you write. Write the worst you can think about that situation. Write down how you are feeling – helpless, angry, frustrated, confused, emotional. Write down what you don’t want to feel. Empty your mind completely on paper. Write without thinking, write without hesitation. Do not judge anything that appears on the paper. Let yourself feel what you are writing. Then, when you are done, tear the paper to tiny bits and throw it in the bin or flush it down the toilet. As you tear it tell yourself you don’t want these thoughts and feeling anymore, and are willing to let it go. Do not read what you have written again. Just tear it and let it go.
  3. Bring in the positive – Fear is a state of isolation. Fear is a state of separation, where we feel utterly and completely alone. We feel no one can understand us, help us, or change how we feel. Fear makes our experience unique, and the world, people, disease, the enemy we need to protect ourselves from. Those who believe in God, can feel God has left them alone to suffer. But these are all just thoughts. The truth is we are never alone. Even if we don’t have people we love around us, we always have God or some form of support. Healing from fear means a shift to a space of faith, that you are never alone. It is a continuous choice. It is a remembrance of who-we-truly-are.

    Prayer/Meditation/contemplation: – Create a few statements that will help you remember the truth of who you are. We are all strong in ways we do not realize and this is the memory we need to return to. Use prayer, chants, meditation or any tool you like. But use it throughout the day to keep returning to a space of peace. You can say to yourself –
    “Even though I am feeling this fear/anxiety/worry/pain and believe it won’t go, still I am willing to release it all and return to space of peace and healing. I have chosen this for some reason, but I can choose differently now. I release all resistance to healing. I forgive myself for feeling this and ask God/universe (you can name anyone or anything you have faith in) to heal my body and mind.”
    Let it be just 2-3 lines of truth. Use it like a mantra throughout the day. Keep reminding yourself to choose peace, strength, love and faith over fear.

If you want further support in this topic please feel free to reach out to me. Love and light.

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