Fear is a natural response of our nervous system. It was built into us for survival. However, over your life, it may have overdeveloped. Unnecessary fear can be generated in your nervous system and body from negative thoughts and imagined scenarios. Our fear generating system can’t tell the difference between a real scenario and one we imagine. If you imagine a hurtful scenario your nervous system and body responds with creating fear as if it were a real situation. If you have a mind that imagines painful scenarios in uncontrolled ways, then you will have an uncontrolled amount of fear.
Fear isn’t the problem. Fear and anxiety are natural responses to what your mind is imagining. The problem is that your mind is creating too many fearful scenarios and thoughts.
Read this article we wrote, “What Is Wrong With Me?”, if you are in need of more resources.
Let’s say you have a fear that your partner will cheat on you and that creates some fearful and jealous feelings. When your mind imagines such a scenario your nervous system and body responds. It might seem like this is the whole thing. It’s not. There can be more layers of beliefs embedded within the thought. You could say these are the unconscious meanings of that original thought. The emotions created are likely a response from what the thought means. Being cheated on has a lot more meanings. These are some different meanings that elicit fears.
● I will be alone
● I will look like a fool
● I will be rejected
● I will be compared to another and be “less than”
● I am ugly
● I made a mistake to trust this person
● I am unworthy
You are not just having a fear that your partner will cheat on you. You could be having a fear response to several other meanings associated to that thought. What might look like fear of your partner cheating, could be a combination of several combined beliefs. This is why not everyone will have the same reaction to the thought of their partner cheating. If someone isn’t happy in their relationship and were looking for a way to end it, then their partner cheating will bring a feeling of relief as it gives them an easy out. Emotional reactions have a lot to do with context and beliefs about what thoughts mean.
Read our article The Mind Creates Irrational Fears here.
Fears that come from thought and beliefs are only part of the cause. There are certain fears that we are born with. Consider the first meaning to fear, “I will be alone.” This can cause that nervous system response because our mind is imagining a future where we are without someone to love, and that loves us. It’s kind of sad and bleak outlook.
If we are 40 years old, being alone is a fear of loneliness. However, there is something in our biology that is a survival instinct. If we have the sense of “I will be alone” as an infant or a toddler the situation is life threatening. Without someone there to take care of us we are going to die. This is an instinctual fear we have before we learn to think and speak. It is possible that we could be 40 years old, and our nervous system has not outgrown this survival association. If so, then our nervous system will associate our partner leaving to be life threatening. Our nervous system and emotional response will panic in a life threatening way about our partner possibly cheating. It will be this way because of the associated meanings triggering a biological response that hasn’t been outgrown yet.
What was once a legitimate authentic fear response when we were young, might still be in our nervous system even though our physical body no longer needs to operate by it. We are reacting based on a biologically programmed fear that needs updating. Sometimes you might find clues to the meaning level associations of these fears by writing out all the thoughts you have. If you have thoughts such as: “My life is over, I don’t know how I will go on, or I feel like I am going to die.” You have clues that your mind is feeling a biology based fear from when you are young that hasn’t been released from the body or re-programmed yet.
Repressed emotions could be another source of possible fear. Many of our emotions are unprocessed and that means they remain repressed or stored in our body. Suppose you had some fearful event happen when you were young. Maybe you were in your crib for a nap, and your mom had gone to get the mail and was chatting with the neighbors for a bit. You were left there crying. You might have had surgery at the hospital, and after visiting hours you were in that room alone and it was a very scary experience. You weren’t in danger, but you experienced being alone as a very frightening thing. Maybe an event happened repeatedly, and maybe it happened once. These strong emotions, and associations to being alone can be stored and repressed in memory.
Your mind has associated being alone with that fear from memory. When you are alone, think about being alone, or alone in certain circumstances, your mind connects to that memory and feels that fear. These repressed emotions don’t typically appear as connected to the memory. Someone is late to pick you up and you become fearful about being stranded or forgotten. Or you become fearful that something happened to them. You are alone, and you have the fear, but the mind doesn’t know it is from memory and so it attributes it to something else.
So you have a stored fear in memory and an association to being alone. It is not consciously processed out of the body and nervous system. With repressed emotions the mind will project instances of being alone and infuse fear into them. If you are in a close relationship with a loving partner, it will still do this. However, to make the movie in the mind make sense, it will have to imagine a scenario where you will be alone, there will be no one there for you. Your mind will essentially imagine a scenario that fits the feelings of the repressed emotions and memory. It will project that your partner leaves to be with someone else so the scenario will be congruent with the emotions stored in memory. The emotions are already stored in memory in the body, and they drive the mind to create thoughts congruent with those emotions. This is why you can have a great loving relationship and your mind will create scenarios that don’t fit with your relationship. However those scenarios of fear may fit better to unprocessed repressed emotions.
Read our article Creating Wealth and Eliminating Fears here.
By now it may be clearer that it will take more than just changing a thought to change your fears. It may be necessary to inventory the underlying core beliefs and repressed emotions. This may be a relief. If you have tried to change the thoughts or emotions in the past, but didn’t succeed, perhaps you didn’t look in all the right places. Repressed emotions and unconscious beliefs associated to thoughts may be avenues for successful change. With a good map and guidance, you can make these changes. In the material on this site, and the courses I hope you will find a better map to change the thoughts, underlying beliefs, and emotions you wish.
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