“The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself”

by Dr. Kathleen Hall

These powerful words uttered many decades ago by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt are more relevant now than ever before. Our nation and the entire world is now consumed by fear. Fear is a weapon used throughout the history of humankind to control, manipulate, and strip us of our power and rationality. We know more terrorist events are inevitable. So, our best strategy is to make a choice about how we will deal with this ominous, haunting fear in our own lives, the lives of our families, our corporations, our nation, and our world. We have a right to live our lives without the invasion of the virulent cancer of fear therefore we must learn stress resilience.

As a stress expert I teach people that when we feel in control we experience less stress and when we feel out of control we can become extremely stressed, unless we learn stress resilience.

Have you noticed how your mind and body changes immediately when you experience fear? Your fight and flight response kicks in immediately to respond to fear in order to protect you. Research shows us that certain tress reduction practices can slow down and even stop your fight and flight response when you experience fear. Please learn more about stress resilience practices by visiting The Stress Institute.

3 Simple Stress Resilience Tips To Dissolve Your Fear

  1. Affirmation: Memorize a positive affirmation. Research at the University of California tells us that individuals who repeat an affirmation when they experience fear or stress have lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone that causes our body to have a fight and flight response in a time of fear. You may say, “I am calm, I am in control, I am strong, and I a free.” Or you may use an inspiring religious statement from your faith or any short positive statement you believe in. Research continues to show your brain believes what you tell it in any situation.
  1. Guided Imagery: Research at the Cleveland Clinic shows a simple guided imagery works. Memorize a calming, peaceful place from a past experience where you had peace and calm—a mountain, the beach, a farm, or a garden. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and be at that place in your mind. Your blood pressure will drop, your heart rate will decrease, and you will be in your calm and controlled world. You are not in the elevator but at your cabin in the woods in your mind. Olympic athletes and other successful people also use this effective technique.
  1. Diaphragmatic Breathing: Memorize a stress/fear reduction breathing technique. Research at Harvard and University of Mass. shows it works to reduce fear. Focus on your breath as you take a deep breath through your nose to the count of four, (1-2-3-4) hold to the count of four, (1-2-3-4), and release your breath through your mouth to the count of four, (1-2-3-4). Imagine the air you are breathing in is cleansing and the air you are breathing out is your fear.

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