The dictionary definition of fear is a painful emotion marked by alarm, dread or
anxiety. To evaluate a fear's necessity for survival, you can use test it with the 'fight
or flight' response. Is there protection available? Can you protect yourself by
fighting? Is escape available? Can you protect yourself by running away? If you
can't justify the fear by fighting or running away, the fear is unnecessary to your
Coupled with the emotion of fear are physiological responses that prepare the
body for fight or flight. Muscles tense, mouth gets dry, palms sweat with nervous
perspiration, gastric secretions cease, adrenalin is shot into the system, the heart beats
faster and the blood pressure rises. If there is no fight or flight energy released by the
body, the physiological changes can cause damage to the bodily system. Mostly this
is in an accumulative way, but fear has also caused sudden psychological blindness,
deafness or speechlessness, hair to turn white or even death.
Fears can be based on a negative expectation of something, sometimes accom-
panied by feelings of helplessness or some kind of lack. To help yourself, first
identify what specifically you are fearful of. You might say you have a fear of flying,
but in reality it is a fear of crashing. That is the negative expectation. How do you
reverse it? You turn the negative expectation into a positive one.
Do "Exercise -- Relaxation For Improved Awareness" prior to this exercise. To
reverse a fear of crashing in an airplane, first visualize yourself driving from your
home to the airport. You feel calm as you approach the airplane and take your seat
inside. See yourself smiling throughout. Everyone around you is happy and
thoughtful. Your stewardess gives you a magazine to read and afterwards brings you
a meal. Your flight and landing is smooth and peasant. You smile as you leave the
plane. You proceed to what the trip was about -- visiting friends, relatives or
business associates. You enjoy and complete the visit; then return to the airport and
board another plane. After a gentle take-off and smooth flight, you land again and
If you perform this visualization exercise at least 3 times a day for one or two
weeks prior to your flight, your fear should be greatly alleviated and flying will
become expectantly enjoyed. The same process can be employed with any fear. First
determine what the negative expectation is, then create a visualization to reverse it into
a positive expectation. Everything in your life can be controlled by your thoughts.
Remember, you can do anything if you think you can. Since you create your own fears, you can eliminate them too.
Worry is the inward dwelling on something you don't want to happen and should
be avoided. When fear is associated with a feeling of helplessness in operating
successfully in the world, visualizations can help alleviate this state of mind.
Visualizations are very powerful to your body/mind combination, and chemical
changes happen in your body as a result of them. If you visualize sucking on a
lemon, you can bring about the physiological change of increased salivation. If you
visualize being buried alive, the psychological change of terror can be brought about.
If you acknowledge these principles, it naturally follows that correct visualizations
can bring about beneficial physiological and psychological changes, right?!