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Fear – the greatest stressor of all

Perhaps the greatest stressor in a lot of lives right now is fear.

When we are fearful, we can usually find attached to those fears the following thoughts that begin with what if. . . . .



What if . . . . .

• I lose my job because the company downsizes again

• My unemployment runs out

• My rent goes up

• My utilities go up

• The gas prices keep rising and I can’t get to work

• I have to go into foreclosure

• I can’t send my kids to college

• My car breaks down and I don’t have the money to fix it

• They reject my job application – again

• I can’t get this part time job because I have too many college credits

• I lose everything and I end up on the streets

• I get sick and I don’t have health insurance

• I can’t get that raise

• My parents get sick and I will need to take care of them

I’m sure you could extend this list to fill a notebook. So go ahead, list all your fears. Spend some time listing all the fears that constantly keep you uptight. Read them out loud.

As you read your list, are you aware of the emotional and body response that these thoughts are creating? Have you avoided focusing on any of these fears because you think by ignoring, denying or keeping them out of your awareness, they will go away? 

We don’t want to identify our fears, because then we feel out of control. We also don’t want to let go of our fears because if we let go, what will we have to replace them?

If I admit that my fear borders on terror at times, wouldn’t I be telling myself  that there is nothing I can do nothing about my situation. Therefore I am done for. 

When we feel there is nothing we can do about our situations, we end up discouraged, hopeless and utterly depressed.  So we pretend we are not afraid so maybe we can somehow survive our fears.

Fear has a purpose.  When we discover and use that purpose we can resolve problems.  When we don’t confront our fears, they immbolize us. 

Between now and my next blog, identify as many fears as you can.

Marlene Anderson, MA, LMHC, NCC

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