Another feeling we try to escape from is fear. Experiencing fear is not a pleasant feeling – we feel confused and helpless in many life situations. To deal with this problem, we try to find ways to reduce our fear or to remove it totally from our lives. Many people try to banish fear by drinking alcohol, smoking, having sex or watching TV; however fear persists despite these counter-actions. And although the methods we adopt at best provide temporary relief, we still choose these time and again. This may be because we do not know of any other ways of reducing our fears or we are afraid of trying new possibilities.
Even though we may be unaware of our fear, our body reacts to it. It can manifest itself in the form of sleep disorders, breathing difficulties or other symptoms. This does not necessarily mean that such symptoms are exclusively caused by fear; they can also have other causes. However, as fear can also manifest itself through such symptoms, we need to closely examine the (warning) signs that our body conveys to us (and their causes), when these result in chronic problems.
Fear causes tension and this tension remains inside our body, but when we accept this fear our body starts to tremble. The purpose of this trembling is to release the tension that was built up. However, if we suppress this impulse each time we are afraid of something, the tension builds up and over time the body becomes stiff and rigid.
Paradoxically, fear disappears as soon as we face it but this has to be done in an appropriate setting. A woman who is afraid of men will not be able to reduce her fear if she faces an objective danger such as a violent man in the street. In order to work with fear, it is important that there are no so-called objective dangers present. We need to become aware of our fear and to express it. Role plays can be helpful in getting in touch with our fear.
It is important to face our fear; otherwise fear will constantly follow us and so restrict us in our everyday life. Often important decisions are made to reduce these fears rather than to enhance our development. In facing our fears, we facilitate our growth. We also learn to relax much better and to feel freer in our daily life.