Monday, April 29, 2013

Stop Living In Fear

One societal tragedy seems to follow another these days, causing many people to live in a constant state of fear. In the last year alone, we have seen shootings in schools, malls, and movie theaters, public bombings, and several accidents of a deadly nature. It is no wonder that fear has become part of many of our lives. Though fear is an important survival instinct it is also much more and we must be careful not to let it control our lives.

According to researchers, fear can short circuit our brains, making it difficult for us to cope with events that affect us. Just ask residents of the Boston area whose neighborhoods were invaded by military helicopters, SWAT teams, and law enforcement agencies from all over the country for several days during the manhunt for the marathon bombers. Quiet, rural neighborhoods were transformed into war zones making many people afraid to step foot outside.

When tragedies like the Boston bombing or school shootings occur, scared parents must do their best to calm petrified children. Youngsters grow up knowing that bombs can detonate in public places and preparing themselves for school shootings. Though this is far from an idyllic childhood, it has become necessary. Unfortunately, fear is one of the consequences for even children untouched by such tragedies.

Though evildoers are mainly responsible for inducing panic and fear, the media also plays a role. Media coverage constantly replays images and audio of horrific events, maximizing their impact. This causes the threat to remain real and alive in the minds of observers. A sustained response to threat is the natural reaction, causing people to remain fearful long after the immediate danger is gone.

What most people do not realize is that feeding fear only causes it to increase. Fear can wipe out confidence, affect the ability to make decisions, and prevent us from living our lives. In fact, fear is often the only barrier to achieving what we want in life. It can prevent us from committing to a loving relationship, achieving a successful career, or starting a work at home business. All of these great things lie beyond our fear making it important for us to overcome this obstacle.

At some point, fear stops each of us in our tracks. It may be as small as a nagging thought or as prominent as a physical reaction such as shallow breathing or a speeding heartbeat. Fear can cause us to alter our daily routines and may even prevent us from resuming life as we once knew it. When we are born, we have adventurous spirits and are not afraid to take risks. Fear destroys this and affects our enthusiasm, determination, and faith.

What we should not do is let our fears control us. We must nurture the positive feelings that contribute to success. Belief, action, and faith can overcome fears that try to stop us in our tracks. Whether we have been personally touched by a tragic event or worry that we may be, we should not let fear destroy our lives.

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