Where do I even begin? Fear all around us! The west minister attack, Manchester bombing, the London bridge attack, Borough market attack, the horrific fire on Grenfell tower in London, the mosque attack in London and now the Brussels attack. With all these terrible incidents that have happened so close together without apparent warning, we don’t know what is going to happen next or what is around the corner. My first instinct was of course the shock and speechless moment where I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, was it true? or was I generally imagining it. For days and days my mind kept consciously re-thinking about these awful events. I was absolutely petrified. I would go to bed terrified. My head was filled with all kind of thoughts. What if that happens here. What will I do. What if someone close to me dies. Then what will I do. Will I cope. I cant go here or go there. I cant leave the city etc.
Then after quite a few days to process the major events that had happened over the country, I realized that I cannot carry on living my life in fear. I was scared of everything. Everything from getting cancer or a horrible disease, to terrorism to losing another person you’re close to. I have always been a fearful person and over the years it has became more intrusive and has gradually started consuming me. It started to stop me doing things from enjoyable things I want to do, to daily things I have to do as part of my routine. Do I want to live my life like this? No I do not. I don’t want to feel scared of every single thing you could possibly think of and anxiety plays a massive part of this as you begin to overthink then overthink that and around the vicious cycle. Things needed to change. If I wasn’t going to try change something, nothing different will happen and it can only escalate further. So I have recently started by trying to accept things. All sorts of different things. Some that will be more difficult than other and will take a long time. I am in the process of trying to accept two major things ‘control’ and ‘ the past’, that have been a huge part of my life for quite some time now. I know it is going to be incredibly difficult but i’m now realizing that things happen in the world and sometimes I cant control them. I can only control certain things and I can start by controlling the way I react in the world. Similarly to the past, I realize that I cannot turn back time and change things that have already happened (as much as I would like to, it wont ever happen), so dwelling on all this baggage will only lead to negative consequences.
We need to live in the moment more. The things we take for granted are the best things we have. Practicing gratitude and the things we are grateful for enables us to see what a great place the world actually is. Although there are many awful things in the world that happen, there are a huge amount of positive things in the world, some that we do not even realize at the time. This doesn’t mean you cant be angry or sad or have a bad day because this happens to everyone. It is part of life. It is the way you use these emotions and actions that count.
Over the past two years I have been learning about emotional logic. I had been having all these emotions building up that people would assume to be ‘bad’ such as depression, anger, guilt and shock etc. But no, there isn’t one bad emotion! It is the way you use that emotion that could be ‘negative’. Rather soon into the program, I noticed I had been using these emotions in the most unhelpful ways possible. Can you believe that? for a moment I was thinking ‘using an emotion in the wrong way. How on earth could that happen. We are human. We are made to use emotions in one way… the right way without even thinking about it. How could that be wrong’. But no, not as it seemed. There are different ways in which the main emotions that are present, can be helpful such as –
- Guilt – helps us to learn what to do to prevent something happening again
- Depression – enables us to see the limits and not reach for the impossible
- Shock – lets us to stop we are doing and go to a ‘safe place’ and review your resources
- Anger – allows give us to have energy which helps us to do something about the situation.
- Acceptance – which lets us move on from what has happened. It isn’t saying what has happened is okay, it is just having the power to say ‘its happened and there is nothing more I can do about it’.
Learning about the different uses of these emotions has allowed me to really try use them in the most helpful way possible.
Start living and stop fearing the things that you want to do from the beliefs you have and the things that have happened in the world around us.