There has been much said about fear this past year
If i'm honest, I had my share of worries.
I’ve been directing a group home for people with intellectual and physical disabilities during this Pandemic. At the time of writing, I still have numerous “what if” scenarios keeping me up at night.
I have felt the impact of fear (and courage) on the residents and care workers.
Yet, I remain convinced that fear should not always get a bad rap.
A healthy fear is meant to warn us of imminent, potential or real dangers
It gives us the opportunity to get prepared and to explore new avenues of possibility. It also gives us the opportunity to love, protect and comfort others.
I have produced a ”Real-Life” booklet to help you mentor elementary kids about fear.
To overcome an ingrained response, you can’t just tell yourself to stop and expect the response to go away. You need to replace the negative emotional response with a positive one, like replacing a bad habit with a good one. So, if you notice that you are consistently afraid of something non-physical, try replacing that emotion with its opposite—dwell on something or someone you strongly love.
Explain that fear has a good side and bad side too. The good side is that it can protect you from dangerous things. The bad side is that it can wrongfully categorize something as dangerous. In other words, there are two kinds of fear: a healthy or reasonable fear and an unhealthy or unreasonable fear.
Provide an example or two:
Ask students if they can figure out what the good side of fear could be (or if there is one). If students answer incorrectly, explain that fear can protect you from potentially dangerous threats.
Explain that fear is an emotion that provokes a physical reaction in your body. You can start to breathe faster and your heart can start beating quicker, pumping more blood to your muscles and oxygen to your bloodstream. When this happens, your body is preparing itself to react to the perceived threat. This is called the “fight or flight” reaction. Depending on the threat, your body is preparing you to either fight that scary thing off or run far away from it. This can be a good thing. If the threat is truly dangerous, then it’s good to be scared so that you don’t get hurt. Explain that we can call this a healthy or reasonable fear.
In total you have 28 pages of educational materials on Fear.
May this humble present help someone in your life get a grip on their fear.
Keep well my friend, and may you and your love ones have a very Merry Christmas.