Avoiding the Fear Trap During Challenging Times
Updated: May 5, 2020
Pandemics and other disasters present us with the chance to lead by example and to behave in alignment with the type of person we claim to be.
By Cynthia Gomez, The Gaia Revolution
Fear is such a powerful emotion, but the power it yields over us is perhaps the most harmful thing there is. Yet every aspect of our lives these days may feel as if it’s bookended by fear. The coronavirus has made fear an undercurrent running through all of society.
The thing about fear is that it’s a trap. Why waste time and energy feeling anxious and worrying about things that may never come to pass? Of course, it’s one thing to say that, and another completely to live it, because as humans, we are conditioned to fear. While some fears are justifiable — for instance, fearing lions and tigers kept our ancestors safe in the jungle — all of society is structured to keep us in fear. Why? If we think of the matrix like code on a computer, fear is the electricity that allows the code to operate. Fear is a constricting emotion. It is dense. It weighs us down to this third-dimensional reality.
Understanding the Fear Loop
Being fully present in the now is the way up, how we evolve into our best potential. Yet, when you fear something, you are not living in the present moment. You are stuck in a potential future, a potential that may or may not happen. And in fact, the anxiety — or persistent worry about a fear — can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Our thoughts shape our reality.
The universe doesn’t differentiate between a fear and a hope — it sees only what you give mental and emotional energy to — and uses that as creative direction. Thus, your fear may cause what you fear to come true, leaving you with a past basis for fearing the thing in the future. In other words, we create a loop that goes like this: the world is scary because it has proven itself to be so in the past, and so I am scared of what it may bring in the future. Once you get swept into the undercurrent, it just keeps pulling you further from center. Do you see the trap?
The Biology of Fear
Likewise, consider what you do to your body when you spend time in fear. Science has shown that living in fear can lead to everything from a weakened immune system to gastrointestinal and cardiovascular damage. It can speed up aging and death. It’s not always what we fear that is killing us; rather, it’s the fear itself. Fear places us in a fight-or-flight state, triggering a chain of reactions that starts in our brains and affects our entire bodies. Being in a chronic state of fear can impair memory and damage certain parts of the brain that allow us to regulate emotions and make rational decisions. Over time, it can become even more challenging to regulate fear, leading to chronic anxiety and fatigue, clinical depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder.
Remember, your body is a universe for all of your cells and selves. Fear creates an ideal environment for disease to thrive. As within, so without. Fear is a contagious frequency. As gods of our inner universes and co-creators of our shared reality, the environment we create is entirely up to us.
There has not been so much fear in recent history as there is now, as people everywhere are dying from COVID-19. That’s the nature of a pandemic. When it can affect anyone anywhere, it is difficult for many to not be afraid. Yet, fear is the least helpful emotion in this situation. With a weakened immune system from the body’s fear response, we can become more susceptible to catching the virus, or any other illness.
Regulating Ourselves Out of Fear
So how can we choose not to live in fear? After all, our bodies are still wired to react with fear to things that are rightfully frightening. Given that fear begins in our brains, the antidote to fear must begin in our hearts. As with every other feeling, the way out of fear is through it.
Allow yourself to bear witness to your fear, observing what it does to your body and how it makes you feel, without getting caught up in it. Think of it like dark, passing clouds. You are the sky. Allow the fear to be, yet recognize that it is not you, simply something you are experiencing. Send love outwards as you send love inwards, and you may find your fear softening. Bring your awareness to your heart space, allowing yourself to be enveloped in a bubble of love emanating from within you. Love is the emotional charge that can neutralize fear.
Deep, slow breaths can help you bring your body from a fight-or-flight state to rest-and-digest mode, which is the opposite of a trauma response. I like inhaling through the nose for an eight count, holding for a four count, and then breathing out for an eight count through the mouth. Practicing this breathing technique for two-minute intervals several times a day puts you in a better position to respond rationally to whatever may come, rather than react from a place of emotion.
If you are prone to anxiety attacks, try looking straight up and smiling anytime you find yourself getting pulled into the rip currents. Doing this for even just 30 seconds will help bring you back from the brink of an attack. This super-simple-duper-awesome biohack works by triggering a change in your vagus nerve and resulting in an immediate mood boost. From a spiritual perspective, why wouldn't smiling up to the heavens bring immediate joy?
Ultimately, there is a lot outside of our control that can seem scary. But guess what? You’re not the driver. The force in control is much more powerful and much more capable than any of us alone. So let go. You were never really in control anyway. What will come will come whether or not you spend your now in fear. Thank your brain for trying to keep you safe through a fear response, but let it know that all is well; you are safe.
An Opportunity to Lead with Love
This virus as real as the rest of this waking dream. I do not fear catching the virus — If I’m meant to catch it, I will regardless of what precautions I take. That doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t take precautions. It’s a case of preparing for the worst, but expecting the best. And it’s not just for me. Following health experts’ recommendations to prevent transmission is as much an act of self-love as it is an act of compassion for my fellow human beings. If I can do something that might prevent the suffering and even death of another, why would I not? This is a chance to be the kind of person I say I am.
Given that fear lowers the immune system, increasing the likelihood of illness, I do not want to play a role in increasing others’ fear level. So, I follow the established recommendations not just to prevent the spread of the virus, but also to prevent the spread of fear. When people see that we are all in this together, a sense of communal trust and strength can be established that overrides fear. It’s an energetic, “I got you, sis/brother.”
Because we are so intrinsically interconnected, my actions eventually swing back around to benefit me. You see, for those of us who are energetically sensitive, fear doesn’t have to be ours to be felt. So, if I do my part to reduce fear among my fellow human beings, I am also reducing the reverberation of that frequency with which I come into contact as I move about, albeit in limited ways, in the world during this time.
What opportunities to embody your highest self are you being presented with during this time? We are co-creators of this universe, you and I. But it’s up to each of us whether we passively receive the vibration that others emit, or whether we actively radiate a vibration of our own out into the world. When enough of us transmit the same high frequency, we create an energetic hug for those who need it, helping them consciously or subconsciously rise out of the fear vibration to match our own.
Parts of this blog post were excerpted from “Rise: A Call to the Light Tribe,” coming from Light Rising Publishing in late 2020.