We all know the feeling of fear, whether mild (“Did I leave my purse in that store?”) or more intense (“Is that person following me? Am I in danger?”). The feeling of fear is a gift that can protect us from dangerous situations. Our inborn “fight or flight” response kicks in when we are faced with a threat of some nature. Fear is one emotion among many in the range of a normal human emotional experience, and it is wise to acknowledge fear and care for yourself well in the midst of fear.
However, fear can go beyond a feeling state for some people. It can escalate to the point where a person’s fight or flight response kicks in too often, even when there is not any real danger. This stress response takes a toll on the body and can lead to physical as well as psychological problems. Living in fear and being afraid can rob you of the joy you were designed to experience in your life.
If you believe you are living in fear rather than just feeling afraid at times, consider talking to a friend, another loved one, or a therapist. Consider seeking out an empowering experience such as a self-defense class or martial art. Talk or journal about your fears and consider whether they are realistic in the present moment and circumstance. These and other helpful strategies for facing your fears at your own pace can empower you to lead a more secure and joyful life.