Keeping Your Spirits Up When You’re Feeling Vulnerable and Fearful

Dear Readers:  In light of the recent New York City and Washington D.C. terrorist attacks, millions of people are experiencing pain, fear, threat and an alarmingly heightened sense of vulnerability.   If you have those emotions, here are a variety of things you can do to keep your spirits high and your fear lower:

  • Stay with your hope.  Hope is what gives us our vitalness, and is the only thing we need in order to keep functioning.  Hopefulness is about being Pollyannaish—it’s optimistically viewing the future—and is not objective and neutral.  Regeneration begins with the vision of something you hope for.
  • When we focus on what we have, on what we’re thankful and appreciative for in our lives, we’re happy.  When we focus on what we don’t have or what we’re afraid of, we’re not.  Live more in the spirit of appreciation, gratitude and thanksgiving for what you have, what you are becoming or what gifts life has graced you with.
  • Do not let your fear stop you from going after what you dream of.  Feel the fear—and then go out and do it anyway.
  • Pay attention to how often you are having fun.  Fun is one of the best and most effective ways that keep you from despair.
  • Maintain healthy relationships with as many people as you can.  That includes spouses, siblings, parents, children, friends, colleagues and extended family.
  • Stay focused on your personal life goals, missions and passions—or re-create them again.  What do you want to accomplish or experience this year?  This month?  This week?  Before you die?
  • Set some new goals for yourself.
  • Learn something new.
  • Challenge yourself to do something you thought you couldn’t do.
  • While you’re alive, make sure you are living.  Don’t be numbed out or unconscious.  Don’t indulge in alcohol, drugs, food, passivity—things that keep you from experiencing your aliveness, your passions and your vital life forces.
  • Watch less T.V.  Be more an active participant in your life and less an observer.
  • Plan something special soon:  a weekend trip, a vacation, a visit with your family, a special event.
  • Exercise.  It will help you to feel better.
  • Tend to your sexual health and well-being.  Sex is one of the most powerful ways of regenerating yourself.
  • What have you been putting off that you would feel better about if  you completed?
  • How recently have you watched the moon rise?  The sun set?  Made a new friend? Cultivated an old friendship?
  • View every day as precious.  Make every day a gift:  everything you do, every experience, every encounter.
  • Increase your susceptibility to love—and invite more love into your life.

But such is the nature of giving into fear:  if you are not looking at or dealing with your fears, you will back away from life and from living.  Believe in yourself and the value of your life and don’t let adversity beat you emotionally.

“A high station in life is earned by the gallantry with which appalling experiences are survived with grace.”  Tennessee Williams

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