When my teacher told me that ‘fear’ was actually a mnemonic and broke it down for me, it summed up exactly what is going on inside my head for much of the time.
F.E.A.R really does stand for False Evidence Appearing Real.
My mind runs with all possible scenarios that could potentially happen but most likely will not. Fear is an illusion and it’s these illusions that we humans treat as real. Instead of focusing on the things that are happening, our brain tricks us into focussing on the the unknown, the ‘what-ifs’.
Fear is one of the most common human emotions. Babies to toddlers, to children, to teenagers, to adults all experience fear. Some fears don’t make sense to others but that isn’t to say the fear itself isn’t real; a fear is a fear. Fear appears very real. When it appears real, it feels real. Therefore, the fear is real.
This is where Fear’s best friend starts to creep in, Anxiety.
Everyone needs some anxiety in their life it keeps us safe. It alerts us if we’re in possible danger and so on. The anxiety that we’re discussing is not helpful. It causes distress, paranoia and is hard to control.
The way I try and manage fear is to the think of the mnemonic. I then write down what is true and what is false so I have it in writing, while constantly reminding myself of the facts and asking people that I trust to remind me as well.