If we were in control of everything in life, we’d do a miserable job at it. As human beings we are limited, and self-discipline comes from the understanding of our limitations and that we can’t control every single situation. But we always strive to push that boundary of limitation one step at a time.
However, as a sufferer of anxiety, I found myself gravitating towards a life without calculated risk, even if that meant not moving forward. And for a long time, I sheltered myself mentally from any situations and environmental conditions that could elicit anxiety and, possibly, a panic attack. Looking back at that period of time, my life, in general, was leading one of plain existence and this prompted me to re-evaluate and probe deeper into my psyche.
I realised the main core problem of my anxiety is fear – that of the unknown and of the intangible future that spiralled my mentality into a whirlwind of panic attacks. I knew I had to do something about it as I was losing control of my life, and this journey took me into understanding self-discipline and what it means to let go of the need to be in total and absolute control.
Fear is the cause of some mental health issues. When we look deeper into this emotion, we can understand and even appreciate the importance of it, as it is a natural response to threats. However, the exaggerated response to fear becomes a panic attack, and with it comes an avalanche of cognitive impairments. Reflecting on this point can broaden our understanding and perhaps uncover the roots of why panic attacks manifest.
Self-discipline is about controlling ourselves; anything else that resides outside of us is shared by the environment around us, including people and nature. Unwarranted fear can play a major role in how we construct our lives.
Fear is an emotion essential for our survival, a fight or flight reaction to any situation threatening our existence. It protects our person and our loved ones from harm. But, what happens when our fear is constant? When a perceived threat is a constant state of our own creation?
Fear then becomes a paralysing emotion; it keeps us from going forward in life. It halts any progress and we become stagnant, spinning our wheels and exerting energy without actual movement. Becoming slaves to our fears, prisoners in our own minds, is the worst thing we can ever do to ourselves. And for a long time, I have been such a slave and prisoner, until I realised I am the master of my own mind.
Fear is a powerful emotion only if we fuel it with negative thoughts, giving it control over our every move. It will play with our anxieties, manifesting itself in a full-blown panic attack. We’re not meant to be afraid in that sense, as fear is an action/reaction response. It moves us to do something about a situation, finding solutions, resolving, and neutralising the threat. But when we’re afraid without a perceived trigger, we freeze, we become still, and nothing is resolved.
Let’s break down this four-lettered word: F.E.A.R.
F: False. No threat is real until your mind makes it so.
E: Evidence. Do any clues direct you to a concrete conclusion of the situation?
A: Appearing. Your mind can influence how things appear to you.
R: Real. Your mind can manufacture thoughts that feel very real.
How can you conquer your fears?
- Let go of the desire to have control over every single aspect of your life.
- Be spontaneous every now and then; it’ll do your heart good.
- Surround yourself with people that bring out the explorer in you, people that make you shine, and let go of those toxic people that play on your emotions.
- Push your limits; dare yourself to do something you’ve never done before without being reckless.
- Live in the moment and let the future worry about itself; trust me!
You are worth every effort to better yourself, your life, and your overall well-being. You are an incredible human being of possibilities; you are the master of your own mind.
Alla Abdin is a writer, thinker, philosopher, and an eternal student of life. Alla is one of the regular contributors to Psychreg.