CUTTING THE CORD TO ONGOING FEAR AND ANXIETY
AND OPENING THE DOOR FOR HAPPINESS
We have a "vague", undefined arena of fear. We do not know where to draw the line, so we include all sorts of things as being something in the fear area. We err in this way in order to "be very, very sure" that we will survive. But if we actually use our higher thinking brain we can vastly alter and dismiss much of what we erroneously hold to be in the arena of what to fear - and we can free up our lives from the misery of fear and anxiety to the joy of happiness.
We evolved over time in such a way that we were able to survive better. All the genes that caused us to survive better to procreate were passed down much better than the others, which, if poor survival genes, would have dissipated or become less dominant.
Fear - the emotion to mobilize us into action to protect against a threat/danger.
If we act on it and have confidence that we will "handle it", fear stops right then.
The intensity of the feeling = how dangerous we "think" the threat is.
Let's look at the things we fear and see what we can adjust and/or eliminate: (look at the diagram to get the gist of it, and then read the discussion - and then do the exercise!)
A HUGE SHIFT IN "NET POSITIVE VALUE UNITS" IN LIFE
I'm not asking that you suddenly drop years of fear beliefs, but that you accept the possibility that many of those fear beliefs might not be legitimate or useful - even 95+%, and that we could reduce the impact of and the time spent in fear by 99+% - but we'll set, to make it believable, a goal of eliminating 80+%. I ask you to realize what effect that would have on the net "value" of your life.
Now Step 1 Step 2
Positive value units 50 50 80+
Negative value units 40 → 8 8
Net units 10 42 72
% increase 320% 620%
If this is for a normal person, why, you ask, do I have so many negative value units, as not that many negative things actually happen? I have those because of the background noise and mental concern related to the ongoing angst, negative evaluations, anxiety and fears prevalent in our culture - and artificial disappointments from unrealistic expectations set as a "standard" to be at (The Unhappiness Gap).
OLD SYSTEM IS FOR OLD THREATS
Our fear system evolved to have us survive better. And it did a great job.
But now that old system is out of date. It is still basically the system that was adapted to our lives 10,000 years ago.
The signals we are getting now that say things aren't quite like they "should be" have no real meaning in terms of survival. We will survive as we will not run into tigers, warring tribes, famines, and other truly life threatening activities.
Yet, it is not quite "as it should be" if we don't have as nice a car as someone else or the latest gizmo or comfort.
Well, that version of "something is wrong, I better watch out and adjust" is simply meaningless. There is no legitimate threat to survival and no reason to get all those fear chemicals going as we do not need to run and/or fight for our lives.
Most of the signals are just plain "wrong" about threats, because the actual threats are very few and far between. However, the signals function perfectly to warn us about "made up" threats. Those are strictly imaginary relative to survival and they are meaningless, not worthy of fear and our marvelous danger reaction system. We have created artificial "not enough" criteria that create a "should be or it's awful" imaginary threat - and it's just a bunch of BS (belief systems) that are very correctable.
FEAR CATEGORIES ONE BY ONE - MOST ARE FAUX
If I receive a "warning" that things are not good for survival or for "good survival", I use it as a sign that I had better invest efforts in shoring up that area - but I need not fear it, as there is no actual threat to survival! It is only a thought based on BS (as discussed above).
If we make a mistake, why do we rush to find someone else to blame? To get rid of the judgment by other people that might cause us to be thought less of and to be closer to being kicked out of the tribe, which means that we would die. (Which of course is not the case in developed countries.)
I made a mistake. That is simply human. It only indicates either an accident or a "not yet knowing", which only means I might consider learning something to plug the hole. There is no fault here, no shame here, and it means nothing about me. I am secure in my social status to the safety point.
If we don't get what we want from another person (or if things don't go our way in anything), why do we get frustrated and upset, even mad, when that actually makes no sense at all? Because we see it as a sign of our being less able to handle life, and we make up that that is a threat, conceptually, to our survival. (Sounds ridiculous, but why else would we get upset, instead of just saying "so what, it's just what's so, so now what...") I might prefer more, but I fear not about not having more, for I am truly blessed in life and will always be ok, capable of extracting happiness from life.