What Living in Fear does to Us

Since you were little, you have been told by your parents/ guardians, grandparents, friends, teachers, what to be afraid of without even realizing it. Think about it. A perfect example would be what my parents told me when I was younger. They told me that I must go to college and must focus on a major that would get me a good paying job. I appreciate their concern and them wanting me to be financially stable. They wanted me to be safe. However, what this really did was create a fear inside me. If I don’t get a good job then I will be more and won’t be able to pay my bills and risk getting evicted or not being able to eat or even feed and take care of my children. This would be scary for anyone. These are basic human needs in which we must survive. It was and is that easy to install a fear inside of me. For some people this fear doesn’t really bother them too much, but for others it can be a tangible fear. This fear could potentially and will take a toll on us. This fear could hold us back from so much. I know so many people who are young and haven’t gone to college and are stable financially. However, let’s see what this could do to someone who takes this “advice” (fear) a step further than some people do. Let’s say we have a young college student who is undecided. I will call him Bryan. His father is pushing this “advice” on his son. This will almost immediately create a fear in his child. This child will think to himself “Oh goodness, I don’t know what I wanna do with my life. What if I never do know? I’m not getting any younger. How much longer will I not know? What if I get more bills or my bills grow larger? How will I afford them without a degree?” Please keep in mind this does happen more than you realize in our society. This child would then have anxiety which can lead to multiple issues such as loss of sleep, weight loss, anxiety attacks, headaches, nausea, and more. Who on earth would like to live like this? My real question is, is that who on earth would like to install a fear in someone like this? It is something that some of us do not realize we are doing and that is because it was done to us by our own parents or what we have had to deal with in our lives or what our parents had to deal with in their life. Joel Brown, a professor at Boston University stated in an online article that anxiety was now the most common mental issue diagnosed in college students across America. By this conclusion, I am not surprised in anyway. Please imagine this. A student is going to take a test at her college. She is afraid that she may not do well on the test. She is afraid of the test. She is afraid of failing that test. But why? Because if she doesn’t do well on the test, then she won’t pass the course, which will then keep her in school longer to only owe more money, to keep her a semester further from getting a well paying job. It is all fear based. My father didn’t really have a father growing up so he was forced to make ends meet more than I was growing up, so I can understand his concern from a place of understanding and open mindedness. This anxiety can lead to multiple other problems such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Depression, and more. Thankfully, we also are living in time where help is available to us for our fears. Deborah Khoshaba, a psychologist states that Psychotherapy (therapy), keeping up a good diet and exercising, and sometimes medication can help anxiety or fear disorders (GAD, OCD, PD.). I like to call this type of thinking, fear based thoughts compared to love based thoughts. A love based thought would be this, “I am going to pass this test. I will know all the answers. I am prepared for this test.”. Fear based thoughts would be this “I am going to fail this test. I won’t know any of the answers. I will never be ready for this test.”. See the difference? If you are living a fear based life, that means ultimately that fear is running your life. This can also be extremely detrimental to our health and our lives. If you are living a fear based life, according to M.D. Lissa Rankin, you settle more, you lose yourself, you get sick more often, you are more tired, and you have more toxic relationships. Who in their right mind would want to live a fear based life? The sad thing is, is that so many Americans are living this type of life and aren’t even aware of it or even aware of how to fix it. This is why an end must be put to fear based living and installing fears in others all together. To keep us safe is one thing, but to keep us small and contained is another.

References from 3 articles