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  • Elisa Brazell

NAVIGATING THE PLAGUE OF FEAR

Updated: Feb 13, 2021

Fear is a part of life. Every person experiences it. We worry about many things- health problems- our own or others, finances, projects at work or school and trying new things. Some people fear for their safety or living under an oppressive government or in war zones. In my country, The (supposed to be) UNITED states of America, many are fearing the race riots, the threats to many of the freedoms and protections we have always had, and the political divide and the upcoming election. Across the world there is fear of natural disasters, human trafficking and generally, evil people and evil designs. There is much to fear in the world, it's true.



“Entertaining fear invites illness, accidents, and troubles that we don’t have to have. Fear attracts and acts as a conductor for devastation, just as water is to electricity.” -Suzanne Freeman

If we are not careful about controlling it, FEAR will be the next illness that plagues the world.


What is fear and what does it do?


According to Wikipedia, "Fear is an emotion induced by perceived danger or threat, which causes physiological changes and ultimately behavioral changes, such as fleeing, hiding, or freezing from perceived traumatic events."


Our mind and body are trying to keep us safe and comfortable. Fear is often instinctual and one of it's benefits is that it can save us through the fight or flight response if, for example, we're being chased by a wild animal. But it can also hinder us in reacting or not acting because of "perceived" threats.


Examples of perceived threats:

• The roller coaster that goes upside down!

• What others might think of me.

• What if I fail- I've never tried that.

• Fear of things out of our control, such as natural disasters


As you can see, this means for all the threats that are only perceived, we really don't HAVE to feel fear. We can learn to retrain our brain to stop recognizing those as threats. So easy to say, so NOT easy to do. There is an easier way than reconnecting and growing new dendrites and rewiring the brain. The following section goes into easier tactics to squashing fear. And if used regularly, these following tactics will retrain your brain eventually. But they work at eliminating the fear immediately.


Think of a fear you're experiencing that you can you try these tactics on.



Replace fear with FAITH


"Perhaps our Heavenly Father’s greatest hope is that through our fears we may choose to turn to Him. The uncertainties of earth life can help to remind each of us that we are dependent on Him. But that reminder is not automatic. It involves our agency. We must choose to take our fears to Him, choose to trust Him, and choose to allow Him to direct us. We must make these choices when what we feel most inclined to do is to rely more and more on our own frantic and often distorted thinking." 
                                           -Virginia H. Pearce,  "Fear"   


Try using a visual of Christ's Atonement.


I do this often. I love the power of visualization /meditation coupled with prayer.



Visualize yourself taking that fear- whatever it is and pull it out of whatever part of your body it seems to be affecting or weighing down. Notice its shape, color, size, weight. Ask God if there is anything you need to learn from the fear before giving it away. Then visualize yourself giving this fear to Christ. Remember, He has already atoned for everything you have and ever will experience so he will gladly accept it. In my visualizations, He always thanks me for what I give Him because He knows I will be able to move forward. I love thanking Him back for the incredible opportunity I have to clean my life up from things that have held me back. The Atonement is so incredible, the way I feel about it is beyond description.




Replace fear with LOVE


“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
                                                     -1 John 4:18

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
                                                      -2 Tim. 1:67 

Visualization is helpful here too. I love SEEING and FEELING the love energy go from my heart to others. When I have done this, my heart is filled with love for the day usually and it's hard for fear to creep in. When I am in a state of love, I focus on the good. I see what is right in the world.


On the flip side, just yesterday, I was watching videos about all that is wrong and scary in our government, and I had a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach- kind of a depressed feeling, until this morning's visualization, when I was able to clear that out and replace it with love.

Life is so much better when we replace fear with faith and love and focus on the good.


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