A New Relationship With Fear

Here at Barn Life Recovery, we receive a lot of inquiries from folks dealing with anxiety. And a couple weeks ago, a blog of ours laid out some strategies for dealing with anxiety and we’d like to pick that thread back up. A recent piece in O, The Oprah Magazine delves into the topic of anxiety and fear at length. It also includes many of the ideas we’ve discussed previously in these blogs. Over the next few weeks, we’d like to take a closer look at the piece, starting with the first article, “Creature Comfort.”

A Quiet Spot

First, we need to “get in the now” and set the mood, so to speak. To do this, we need to find a quiet spot and, with the quarantine going on, that may be difficult. Many of us have kids are home from school, spouses working from home, roommates laid off from work, etc. If this is true for you, the article suggests perhaps taking an extended bathroom break or waiting until everyone has gone to bed. Next, shut off your phone and take a deep breath. Now we’re going to bring our attention to five things we can see and four things we can hear. Follow this with three things you can touch, two you can smell, and one you can taste. This is a technique we teach to people who suffer from panic attacks and it’s a great way to center yourself in the moment.

Let It Be

Now that we’re quiet and living in the now, things are better, right? Well, not exactly. This is one of those things where it’s going to get worse before it gets better. Furthermore, this is something that requires practice and repetition, but don’t worry! We’re going to get there. With the panic gone and our breathing regular, we’re able to start thinking clearly about things. However, this is also where our capacity for abstract thought can derail us and worries start seeping back in. To combat this, we’re going to take an approach that may seem counterintuitive to some of you. We’re going to let the worry in. We don’t feed it and we’re not going to react to it. We’re just going to let it be. The article mentions some mantras that may help you in the process. But what we’re doing in the bigger picture is taking the emotional struggle out of our relationship with fear.

Rehabilitating Our Relationship With Fear

Our next step is going to sound a little goofy or hokey to some of you. However, we need to remember that fear is a primal feeling. Furthermore, as we mentioned earlier, it’s a necessary instinct. If we’re going to rehabilitate our relationship with such a fundamental presence, we’re going to need to appeal to visceral emotions. The article talks about imagining your fear as a wild animal like a wolf or a lion and thanking it. I think of fear as a big Italian mastiff. It may be a little annoying when he barks at the mailman. But getting angry and yelling at him for doing what he was bred to do will only confuse him and exhaust you. And when a shady character comes creeping around, you’re going to be glad he’s with you. Give him some love and let him know he’s a good boy.

Love Life Again

Barn Life Recovery, now offering telehealth therapy, combines an evidence-based approach with ancient Eastern healing methods such as tai chi and qigong. It’s all part of our holistic solution to mental health issues. If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety or depression, please give our admissions office a call today to find out if Barn Life Recovery is right for you. Call now and learn to love life again.