“Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom”. Bertrand Russell
How often have you felt fear? Does fear stop you from pursuing the things you wish you could do in your life? Fear can keep us from harm or it can become an inner voice that causes us to make poor decisions or stop us from participating in activities we would like to pursue.
What is fear?
“An unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm”. “Be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful or harmful’. English Oxford Living Dictionary
What causes fear?
“Fear is a feeling induced by perceived danger or threat that occurs in certain types of organisms, which causes a change in metabolic and organ functions and ultimately a change in behaviour, such a fleeing, hiding or freezing from traumatic events’. https://en.wikipedia.org
“Fear in human beings may occur in response to a certain stimulus occurring in the present, or anticipation or expectation of a future threat, perceived as a risk to body or life. The fear response arises from the perception of danger leading to confrontation with or escape from / avoiding the threat, which in extreme cases of fear can be a freeze responses or paralysis”. En.Wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear
What do Australians fear the most? A 2017 client survey revealed Australians rated at the top of the fear table cancer, as their primary fear, followed by heart attack, car accidents and stroke. NobleOak Life Limited: PureProfile Survey – December 2017
Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018 figures show that Ischaemic Heart Disease, Dementia, Alzheimer Disease, vascular, respiratory diseases and diabetes are among the some of the leading causes of death in this country. ABS Changing Patterns of Mortality in Australia 30/11/2018
When it comes to health risks, projections indicate that the number of people aged 80 and over will double the next twenty years and Dementia will become our leading cause of death over the next few years.
The term ‘mental health’ is often used to describe mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and PTSD. The World Health Organisation WHO views mental health as a ‘state of well-being’ it’s about what’s going well, rather than what the problem is. Mental health is about wellness rather than illness.
The benefits of positive mental health increases learning, creativity, productivity, positive social behaviour and relationships, improved physical health and morality. Mental health is about being cognitively, emotionally and socially healthy.
“Around 1 in 6 women in Australia will experience depression and 1 in 3 women will experience anxiety during their lifetime”. Beyond Blue Ltd 2019. Women are well known for being nurturers and it’s no surprise they put others first, so when it comes to women’s health, it’s imperative that women learn to prioritise their own needs, speak up and seek help when they need support.
Do you ever find yourself driving along cautiously, peering through the Vaseline coated lens of time, wearily gazing into the rear-view mirror at the history of your life? When you return your focus to the windscreen in front of you, do you find that you quickly comprehend with alarming clarity, that ‘this is it, this is my life’? Then you’re experiencing a moment in time prompt and will probably find yourself asking, “is this all there is to my life”? This happens to many people who find they’ve studied hard, worked long hours in a career without thanks, nurtured and raised a family and seem to never have enough money to take a long holiday. These people are constantly tired and feel fear that they cannot see a way forward or out of ‘the rut’, that has become their life.
Do you see a future stretched out in front of you like a dark, dismal, never-ending highway on a rainy night? When you peer through the flip, flopping of the rubber wiper blades, swishing at the pounding droplets of rain drizzling down on the cold, foggy glass, do you feel fear? When you feel that first frightening glimpse and tightening grip on realisation that “this is it”, do you find yourself questioning your life with the words “is this as good as it gets” or “is this all there is”? Then you’re feeling fear, experiencing a ‘moment in time prompt’ I call that a life breakthrough as opposed to a life crisis which is more about a traumatic experience.
Some people often refer to their anxiety in experiencing a life breakthrough, as a time when small hills turn into great mountains. Some even describe their hardships as comparable to a horror movie, played out in front of them on a theatre sized movie screen, powerless to grab the remote and press the stop button. A catastrophe of this enormity, slams you face first into a brick wall with such gravitational force, that your life’s journey is permanently etched onto your face! That hurts, it hurts your pride, values, sensitivity, principles and more importantly, your future plans.
If you’re a glass half-empty person, then you will be feeling sheer fear, but if you’re a glass half-full kind of person, always looking for the positive in every negative situation, a crisis or life breakthrough, can provide you with the perfect opportunity to recognise what you want in life, what is meaningful to you and what is realistic for you.
I choose to view a crisis as a life breakthrough, a rough road which needs to be branded with its own unique term and recognized as a significant watershed in a one’s life. Rake through all the raw tenderness, pain and fatigue and look closely at what messages that crisis can teach you. It’s a little like reading your horror scope!