Welcome friends to Consider Yourself Hugged episode 27. Today’s Hug: What are you afraid of: Your unique fears (click here to listen).
I’m Dr. Tami West, here every week to bring you tips on living a life that brings you mental and emotional wellbeing.
“The night is dark and full of terrors.“ According to Siri, 17 million of you will get that reference – Game of Thrones. Yep. I’m a fan and super sad that it’s over! By the way, there is a hidden lesson there – I am speaking into existence that over that 17 million of you are listening!
In the show, horrific things happen at night. If you aren’t a fan, it’s basically zombies :-) When I shared my journey during episode 1 (click here to listen), I talked about my panic attacks. For several years as a child, when the sun would begin to set I would be filled with terror. Over what? My mind couldn’t really grab onto anything specific. That’s part of the nature of panic attacks.
You may have heard the word FEAR described as False Evidence Appearing Real. Weeelll…maybe it depends on what you mean by evidence. I get what those who use that are trying to say, but I’M of the mindset that if we have fear, there is some foundational evidence to it that we just haven’t figured out and worked through yet. I’ll come back to this. As an adult I can look back on the panic attacks and see what was happening. So today let’s do a little self psychotherapy.
I am going to share 2 nighttime terror stories of my own and I had very different reactions to them. As I am sharing, or maybe after, I want you to think of two similar situations of your own of which you had very different reactions. Then, let’s analyze for our current and future selves because remember, every week we want to take steps toward better mental and emotional well-being.
The first story happened on December 22 1994, three days before Christmas.
The 2nd story happened in august 1995.
(click to listen in podcast).
Fear is a basic emotion and I’m not trying to drive you crazy with splitting hairs, but what we’re really talking about is worry, terror, panic, dread, horror, etc. Fear is a basic emotion which happens automatically. Those other words occur when thought comes in! Here's a link to the emotions episode, and it makes a huge difference to use the right word.
My point is this: we spend lots of time trying to figure out why other people act the way they do. We make assumptions. We often place blame. We come up with reasons based on their pasts. But we don’t often take time to figure ourselves out. What makes me tick? Why am I afraid of this? Why do I get x reaction when y happens? I don’t mean to be harsh here, but we probably need therapy just as much as that person at work who drives us nuts!
Back to the false evidence appearing real. The reason I’m not necessarily a fan is that there’s always some reason we have fear, and if we just say to ourselves, ‘oh this isn’t real’ and try to move on, it will almost certainly resurface. It can be helpful to remind yourself to change your thoughts, so I'm not saying it's completely worthless to use the acronym that way.
So here’s a new acronym for these letters. Ready? (details in the podcast)
1. Figure out the reason for the fear, alone or with counseling.
2. Explore the details, again alone or with counseling.
3. Act, alone or with counseling.
4. Ready yourself for the future, alone or with counseling.
And that’s our time for today. I hope your learned something today about fear and that you’ll jump in and take some steps to move forward! Please pass the show link along to a friend or two. And look around here to get info if you’d like me to speak at your next event. The monthly giveaway will come from leaving a comment on the blog there so be sure to do that. I think I’ll change the giveaway to a CYH mug, there’s a pic here.
And thank you for listening – it means a lot to me!
Finally, remembering our mental & emotional wellbeing goal, I hope that you will renew your thoughts daily, adopt empowering language that prevents verbal harm to yourself and others, and make positive mental and emotional choices on a daily basis.
And until next time, Consider Yourself Hugged 😘🤗