I have a seemingly random question for you: Are you afraid?
I don’t mean afraid of spiders or afraid of heights (though that’s two checks for me.) I mean is there something in your life that leaves you with a scared pit in your stomach, which paralyzes you and stops you from living your life to the fullest?
It’s only recently, through practicing mindfulness, that I have been able to recognize my fears clearly for what they are and begun the process of facing them.
I know it sounds cliché to say “face your fears.” But guess what? It’s so true.
And it doesn’t require going cliff diving or forcing yourself to do something crazy. For me, all it takes is recognizing my fears and rather than reacting to them in a negative way I try to observe them in my mind from a distance and let them move on.
If you want to take more control over negative thoughts and fear, the best ways I know how are through meditation and mindfulness.
I want to share these 2 awesome tips from tinybuddha.com that I think are really helpful. Here’s what they have to say:
1. First, accept that in order to become more mindful, we must recognize that we are solely responsible for the thoughts our minds produce. While we can’t stop our minds completely, we can take control over them and create moments of peace for ourselves.
2. Second, when thoughts or fear arise, try to do the following as soon as you are aware of what’s taking place in your mind and body:
- Take a long, deep breath in and out. In your mind say “in” as you breathe in and “out” as you breathe out in order to ground yourself in the present moment.
- Then, feel the ground beneath your feet. Notice the way your clothes feel against your skin, the wind against your face, the sun on your cheeks. Listen to the birds singing, the rain falling around you, or the ticking of a nearby clock.
All this will ground you in the present moment. Even if thoughts want to drag you away with them, coming back to recognize the breath will give you the control you need to prevent this from happening.
I’m betting that if you follow these steps until you feel that the thought or fear in your mind has moved on, or is slightly less powerful and consuming, you’ll be able to return to whatever you were doing with a clearer mind and a more peaceful feeling.
But I don’t want to just bet—I want to know! So please leave a comment below and let me know how trying these steps work for you. Did practicing mindfulness help you in a moment of fear? Or do you cope in some other way?
And as always, I’m here if you just want to share your stories, experiences, or have any questions or concerns. I can’t wait to hear from you.
With love + gratitude,