In the blog Managing Fears, we shared how perception of scenarios impacts our body’s fear response. How we perceive something and the messages we tell ourselves really do matter. Our perception and inner voice help us to ground ourselves and not get as worked up.
Most of the time our perspective, or the way we see an event, happens instantly. It can cause a quick bodily response. We can learn how to slow down this response and validate experience, while also responding to what is actually happening.
Growing in self-awareness can help us analyze and investigate the threat of the experience.
Having perspective and self-awareness can help us identify if we are okay or safe. If we are able to acknowledge that something may feel scary but is in fact not dangerous, then we may be more able to access tools to respond differently. Having self-awareness can help us tell the difference between perceptions and reality.
One example of a self-awareness statement that could help us distinguish between perception and reality is acknowledging, “I feel afraid right now because…” then following that statement up with a clarifying question: “Is this actually a scary situation?”
For example, we have a fear response to our boss requesting to talk to us. If we can analyze and recognize there could be multiple reasons why our boss asked to talk to us, we may be able to slow down our automatic responses of fear and explore resources that we have to either prepare for the minute (for example, notes from a project you were recently working on) or access grounding resources so that we don’t stay worked up until the minute happens (for example, going for a quick walk outside, drinking water, deep breathing).
Another good way to manage fear responses is to maintain regular, consistent self-care practices when we are not in fearful situations.
Examples of self-care include moving, drinking water, eating, sleeping, breathing, resting. An easy breathing exercise is to breathe in for one second and out for two seconds.
Hopefully these resources can help us learn how to tell the difference between a bear and work meeting!
Written by: GROW Staff