24 Oct How To Reclaim Your Life From Fear-Based Living?
Fear is a common emotion that individuals experience throughout their lives. It is so common that it often becomes normalized or even goes unnoticed. As people work their way through life, many will experience fear of the past in the forms of regret, fear of the present through feelings of anxiousness or nervousness in the moment, and fear of the future through anticipation of the unknown.
While some individuals can work through these fearful thoughts and move forward from them, others find that the fear is taking over their life. If fear is consuming your thoughts, your quality of life is often lowered. Retaking control of your life and overcoming fears can help you create a better life for yourself on your terms.
Dangers of Fear-Based Living
Living in fear can be detrimental to your long-term success in sobriety. Though some of these avoidances may temporarily benefit you, they reinforce your mindset of sticking to what is comfortable and avoiding progression.
If you struggle with living in a constant state of fear, you likely develop a few unhealthy habits. Fear can range from a variety of things, such as a fear of going outside or fear of rejection. While these fears may be reasonable when maintaining sobriety, you likely also experience negative consequences that come along with them.
If you fear going outdoors because of the potential of being presented with an opportunity to relapse, you may feel that you are making the right decision by staying indoors. This action reinforces the idea that situational factors are out of your control. It also can eliminate the time you spend outside engaging in other healthy activities that are necessary for keeping the rest of your life balanced.
If you deeply fear rejection or judgment, you may avoid applying for jobs, housing, or engaging in new social groups because of the possibility of failure. In order to grow and move past sober living, it is essential to get out of your comfort zone and experience small levels of failure. Failure is a stepping stone toward true success.
Lack of Coping Skills
Throughout treatment, you gain knowledge in various emotional regulation techniques and coping mechanisms to help you appropriately respond to difficult situations. While you likely had some opportunity to practice these skills in treatment, it is hard to fully establish the skill and put it to use in the outside world. When in our sober living home, you have a support group to practice these skills with and real-life experiences you can implement into your everyday life.
If you are living in fear, you likely will refrain from practicing any new techniques in the outside world. By avoiding the practice and implementation of these techniques, the information and skills you have learned will slowly fade away, which can cause a lack of coping skills to manage your emotions during future situations.
There are many levels and types of fear that you may encounter throughout your journey to sobriety; however, living in fear can halt your progression and lead to some dangerous effects. It is vital to address the anxieties you are experiencing and establish a clear mindset on them.
One of the best ways to handle fear is to put yourself in the situation. If you fear rejection, apply to some jobs. It is nearly guaranteed that some will reply saying they have found a more qualified candidate. This can be heartbreaking news, but use this information to help further your success on the next round of applications.
If you fear going outside because of the possibility of being presented with an opportunity for substance use, try going out with a friend to keep you accountable. You will likely find that these opportunities are not present without seeking them in many situations. While you may still encounter an opportunity or trigger for substance use, having a supportive friend with you can help keep your mind off the temptation. After practicing this, you will be able to take the same actions on your own.
Reclaiming Your Life
After following these simple practices, you may be surprised by the results. As you learn to address fear head-on, you can stop allowing your fear responses to take over your thoughts. It is time to reclaim what your fears have stolen from you. When you address your current fears, you will realize how unrealistic some of them are.
You will continue to have new fears present themselves throughout your life. Sadly, fear is not something we can fully escape; however, it is possible to manage. By learning to cope with different fears throughout your life and healthily address them, you can reclaim your life and no longer allow fear to run your mind.