Is it Possible to Overcome Fear, Anxiety and Stress When Fear is Everywhere?
We have celebrated two new year’s eves since the pandemic started. On one hand, the time has flown by. On the other, it has been a long and tiresome journey for us all. During our guided meditation courses, we have met many who are tense, anxious, and full of emotion. They are not alone. How are we to overcome fear when we are constantly having to adapt to changing conditions, rules, and circumstances – with no end in sight? Fear comes in many shapes and forms:
• Heartache and apprehension about leaving and possibly not being able to return to a loved one’s bedside.
• Uneasiness about being forced to isolate alone.
• The exhausting worry we aren’t resilient enough to face the next hurdle.
• The overwhelming feeling of having no control over our own lives.
Guided Meditation to Overcome Fear
Guided meditation naturally grounds you, allowing you to keep control over yourself and your life. Fear tends to sweep you off your feet. It can disconnect you from yourself, your loved ones, and your life.
So, let’s explore fear to better understand it. Then how guided meditation can help in ways you may not even be able to imagine. Reconnecting with yourself, seeing the truth, remaining calm in the eye of the storm and reigniting the fire inside you is possible. If you are ready, join a class or book a one-on-one session with Senka, or join the next In-studio course starting the 22nd February in Sydney. Join me live with the online zoom course starting tomorrow evening at 7.30pm and practise guided meditation with me from the comfort of your home.
The Fear System in the Brain
The fear system in the amygdala is one of the oldest parts of the brain. Without it, humans would have died out long ago(*1). As natural as fear is, it can be disabling.
The amygdala goes into overdrive as soon as it registers a threat(*2). From an image to a smell or sound. The brain responds as if we are in a life-threatening situation.
Our body is flooded with stress hormones, adrenaline, and an increased heart rate. While some senses go into overdrive, others flatline. We start to become drained, foggy, and unable to settle(*2).
Unfortunately, the pandemic has amplified our fear senses and seems to surround us constantly. When fear is chronic and so intrinsically fed into our daily lives, it negatively impacts our psyche and health.
Fear as a Controlling Force
Fear can become a controlling force that veils the truth. The truth about yourself. The truth about the world around you. It can become paralysing. By dwelling on topics and surrounding ourselves with fearful imagery, anxiety and stress are constantly held in the body(*3). When this happens and the veil comes down, “we pull back from life” (John Lennon). Denying feelings of fear or running away from them only continues the cycle and its control.
Is it Possible to Overcome Fear?
As Indian philosopher, Jiddu Krishnamurti asked, why hasn’t society become more aware of fear and how to manage it?(*4) Fear can make you feel small, helpless, and paralysed but it can be cleared. You can become more resilient, stronger, and more in control.
Overcoming Fear with Guided Meditation
Fear is something that will always play a role in our lives. After all, aspects of fear are essential for survival. So, how do we manage it? We observe what fear looks like for us and learn how to control it. We also observe what calms us and what grounds us. This might be:
• The smell of freshly ground coffee.
• Calling a loved one and hearing their laugh.
• Watching the branches sway gently in the breeze.
• Having a lovely long soak in the bath.
Sometimes, it is as simple as stopping to watch the light dance as the sun’s rays bounce around the garden. Guided meditation is also immensely helpful.
How Does Guided Meditation Help with Fear?
Guided meditation gives you a break from the noise of the world, far away from fears. It also helps you build your resilience and develop skills to use during moments of chaos. Whether you do guided meditation for 10 minutes or two hours, once a day or once a week, it offers a safe space for you to:
• Reconnect with your inner self.
• Become more mindful.
• Strengthen your resolve.
• Clarify your mind.
Re-Train the Brain with Meditation
The best thing about guided meditation classes is the tools you pick up. When fear strikes, you can fall back on the guided meditation to ground yourself, maintain control and keep perspective. Many people experience a great boost to their confidence and inner strength after just one class. By the end of a course, you will be calmer, more in control, healthier and stronger.
Scientific studies have shown how meditation changes the brain (for the better). Meditation trains the mind to strengthen higher-order thinking and decreases primal responses (such as the fear system)(*5).
A Quick Meditation Exercise You Can Do Right Now
Guided meditation classes offer immense benefits and powerful ways to clear negative energies. Right now you can try a very quick mindfulness exercise. If you are on the commute home, you can still do this although it may take a little extra effort to relax. In time, you will be able to do this at any time but starting in a quiet, relaxing space will be much easier.
This is like the warm-up we do in some of our guided meditation classes – whether you are in our studio or joining via Zoom.
Find yourself a quiet space and make yourself comfortable. Keep your body straight without crossing your legs or arms.
Turn your thoughts to your breathing. Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose. Fill up your abdomen and hold for a moment. Count to three.
One… Two… Three.
Release all that air out of your body.
This time, when you take a deep breath, visualise the air you are breathing in as white light. Fill your lungs and chest completely with this white light. Let it wash over your whole body. Count to three slowly. Release the air again.
Breathe in the white light one more time and release the air with a big blow. Let your worries, tension, and negative energy out.
Take your time, focus on your breathing, and be patient with yourself. If your thoughts wander, don’t worry. Gently send them on their way and return to your breathing. This is your time to clear negative energies and replace them with positive ones. Guided meditation classes with Senka are incredible and worth doing yourself or gifting to a loved one.
New guided meditation classes start this Wednesday (tomorrow night) the 2nd of February. You can join via Zoom. If you have already done the classes and need a refresher, you are more than welcome to join in again. We would love to see you back!
*1. Panksepp, J & Biven, L. The Archaeology of Mind: Neuroevolutionary Origins of Human Emotion. W. W. Norton & Company. 2012.
*2. Northwestern Medicine. 5 Things You Never Knew About Fear. 2020.
*3. Panksepp, J. Affective Neuroscience of the Emotional Brainmind: Evolutionary Perspectives and Implications for Understanding Depression. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. NCBI. Vol. 12. No. 4. 533 – 545pp. 2010.
*4. Krishnamurti, J. The Ending of Fear. Krishnamurti Foundation Trust. YouTube video. 1984.
*5. Ask the Scientists. Change Your Mind: Meditation Benefits for the Brain. 2022.