Fear, rational or irrational, is real. How you feel, justified or not, is important, to you so it’s worth exploring. Having fear is one thing but being controlled by fear is definitely different. Think about your fears right now. These could be fears that you were alerted to today and fears that you’ve carried around a lifetime. What kind of role do they play in your life? Fear can be exciting and fear can be paralyzing. On this show, we are going to be talking about all aspects of this natural reaction, how to harness these emotions, and how to overcome their power.
I’m going to share two of mine. Both are pretty irrational but to me, they seem uncontrollable. I HATE JUNE BUGS. I don’t like any bugs really but June bugs are particularly unpredictable. You know, you’re outside, enjoying a lovely summer evening. Bugs are out and minding their own business or so you thought. Then without any warning, BAM, one comes out of nowhere and it is buried in your hair. So buried that you become a raving lunatic trying to get it out. Can you picture it? I can and it’s making my skin crawl just thinking about it.
My Father always assured me that I am so so much bigger than that little bug and their’s no way it’s going to hurt me. And as logical as that sounds my fear is overwhelming.
Ok, now #2 might be even harder to believe. Hi, my name is Kendall and I’m afraid of balloons. "Giant fun ruiner party of one your table’s ready!" Imagine my poor kiddos faces when I told the hostess to skip the balloons at the table and there is no need suggesting picking one up as we rode home. Being trapped in a car with one was out of the question.
This might be a good time to talk about what does afraid actually mean in this instance. Of course, I’ve done the math, what could possibly go wrong. What am I actually afraid of, the pop? I’m not sure but all I know is I’m very uncomfortable being around balloons. They cause me to be distracted wondering where they are going to waff to next. I don’t like the sound of them being twisted so balloon art is out. Mylar ones are the worst because as they lose steam they are way more elusive and even follow you around.
What is the difference between fears and phobias? I found some invaluable advice in an article for helpguide.org from Melinda Smith, M.A., Robert Segal, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.
What is a phobia? Almost everyone has an irrational fear or two—of spiders, for example, or your annual dental checkup. For most people, these fears are minor. But when fears become so severe that they cause tremendous anxiety and interfere with your normal life, they’re called phobias.
A phobia is an intense fear of something that, in reality, poses little or no actual danger. Common phobias and fears include closed-in places, heights, highway driving, flying insects, snakes, and needles. However, you can develop phobias of virtually anything. While most phobias develop in childhood, they can also develop in later life.
Understanding your phobia is the first step to overcoming it. It’s important to know that phobias are common. (Having a phobia doesn’t mean you’re crazy!) It also helps to know that phobias are highly treatable. No matter how out of control it feels right now, you can overcome your anxiety and fear and start living the life you want.
Self-help strategies and therapy can both be effective at treating a phobia. What’s best for you depends on factors such as the severity of your phobia, your access to professional therapy, and the amount of support you need.
As a general rule, self-help is always worth a try. The more you can do for yourself, the more in control you’ll feel—which goes a long way when it comes to phobias and fears.
We dig into:
Tip 1: Face your fears, one step at a time
Tip 2: Learn to calm down quickly
Tip 3: Challenge negative thoughts about your phobia
What about fears that are situational, temporary, or suggested. Words are powerful and marketers learned long ago, the power of suggestion well ….is powerful! On this show, we look at the power of the media to influence and elicit fear.
In an age of information overload, is everything you hear, see, or read, good for you? Could too much information be damaging the way we perceive the world and our place in it? How can you safely glean what you need to stay informed while creating a healthy boundary to protect yourself from the rest?
Is it healthy to hear the good but mostly the bad and ugly 24 hours a day? I found a very interesting article for psychology today called If It Bleeds, It Leads Understanding Fear-Based Media by Deborah Serani Psy.D
News is a money-making industry. One that doesn't always make the goal to report the facts accurately. Gone are the days of tuning in to be informed straightforwardly about local and national issues. In truth, watching the news can be a psychologically risky pursuit, which could undermine your mental and physical health.
News programming uses a hierarchy of if it bleeds, it leads. Fear-based news programming has two aims. The first is to grab the viewer's attention. In the news media, this is called the teaser. The second aim is to persuade the viewer that the solution for reducing the identified fear will be in the news story. If a teaser asks, "What's in your tap water that YOU need to know about?" a viewer will likely tune in to get the up-to-date information to ensure safety.
It's been said that fear-based media has become a staple of popular culture. The distressing fall-out from this trend is that children and adults who are exposed to media are more likely than others to
- Feel that their neighborhoods and communities are unsafe
- Believe that crime rates are rising
- Overestimate their odds of becoming a victim
- Consider the world to be a dangerous place
Releasing fear is not as easy as deciding this is the last day you’re going to be afraid. It’s a great declaration and one that needs to be made, but that’s just the start. Next, you have to be willing to face the fear, challenge it, try to adopt new coping strategies, and stay consistent. You have to want freedom more than you want to be afraid.
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CHALLENGE: Evaluate each fear to uncover the source. Don’t accept defeat but realize you can assert your authority and make real changes in your life. You deserve peace, freedom, and all the power that is available to you.
I Know YOU Can Do It!