Knowing the symptoms and some of the body’s reactions will help you become more realistic about your fears. In addition, you may need to take some important specific steps to subdue any fears of being out of control. When you recognize the icy fingers of fear digging into your shoulder, here are five practical strategies you can consider.
1. Face Your Fear – You need to open your locked closet and let the sunlight in. You can’t get well unless you confront the facts. The fear of your fear can sometimes be the biggest problem you face. There are many different approaches to getting honest with yourself about your feelings. Taking a peek into your dark attic can be one of your most important steps toward sound mental health.
2. Set Boundaries – Learn to say no! Drs. John Townsend and Henry Cloud’s book entitled, Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life, revolutionized practical Christianity. Their Boundaries series (Boundaries in Dating, Boundaries with Kids, Boundaries in Marriage, Boundaries with Teens) has helped millions of people both directly and indirectly. In this series, Drs. Townsend and Cloud make the point that everyone needs to set parameters. Creating limits keeps us out of the places where destructiveness happens. Learning to say no is one of the most important boundaries that will keep us out of harm’s way.
Many people find this change to be a particularly difficult step because they have become conditioned to saying “yes” to every request. Refusing feels inconsiderate or impertinent. Consequently these victims go from problem to problem without realizing that they keep opening the door to their own difficulties. And the fear of disappointing someone controls them. Being unable to say “no” may be a symptom of a deeper fear that needs to be uncovered and dealt with.
3. Consider Insight-Oriented Therapy – We must learn to face and resolve old losses and stresses. Often we need help in working through these unresolved issues. Don’t feel weak for needing help. Feel strong and courageous for asking for it. Scripture reminds us: Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed (Proverbs 15:22 NIV). Professional help can make all the difference in getting to the bottom of our fears and taking the steps needs to freedom.
What Are You Afraid Of? #HealthStatus