The Fear


  • Author Harry Meehan
  • Published January 21, 2022
  • Word count 837


Fear is caused by worrying about something, often an event or situation which is in the future. Fear and nerves are two separate ideas and feelings and I believe that they should not be used in an interchangeable way, let me explain. Fear is a feeling that incredibly powerful and overbearing emotional state, which can in some cases lead to fear paralysis, in an emotional and physical sense. Nerves are an equally powerful emotion which show we care and when harnessed in the correct way they can be an incredibly formidable lieutenant to have by our side. Put simply, nerves can help us, fear does not.

When I write that fear does not help us, of course I am referring to the fear we create by intense worrying about situations far beyond our reach. Fear is an entirely necessary and primal function of the human body because it is an effective warning system which in theory should steer us clear of any impending danger, for example guiding us away from a situation of intense violence because our innate system of thought is aware that immense pain and anguish can be caused if we were to remain.

Moving onto the man-made fear that I have already referred to and the type of fear which I wish to eradicate in society to promote happier living. Remember that immense feeling of relief and literal ‘weight’ being lifted off your shoulders after finishing that presentation you had spent weeks agonising over? Yes, I know you do. Remember the stress it caused you worrying about it after work, negatively impacting your relationships and even your sleep? This can be resolved. Now don’t get me wrong, of course it is important to perform well and we as humans are wired to seek approval from others, so yes, it is important that you prepare well, this goes for any job from corporate professionals to professional athletes, but it is important that this eagerness to perform does not turn into performance related anxiety and creating an imbalance in your life. Fear of failure is often a self-fulfilling prophecy, so cut yourself loose from this fear and give yourself a shot at success.

The answer to all of this? Let Go.

Remind yourself of what is important to you and strip it back your happiness to its most embryonic form. If compiling a sensational sales report is what drives you and gives you fulfilment and happiness, then crack on; but I suspect it is not for most of you.

I believe that life is best when things are simple and this is not me reinventing the wheel by any means, I believe that you are all acutely aware of the benefits of simplicity, be it in the way we think or the way we live. When things are simple, by definition there is less to worry about and by worrying less we begin to release ourselves from the metaphorical straitjacket which we have all been slowly dressed in in an underhand way by the modern society in which we live.

Now I have made this all sound incredibly simple and I admit that fear and anxiety are very serious issues and should not be trivialised. I know that we cannot always control our thought processes, but what we can do is strive to be better. By that I mean that we can learn techniques which enable us to think in a clearer, more streamlined way to help declutter our minds and live a happier life. I cannot promise you that this will be an easy process, but I can promise that with a good level of application the rewards will be worth it. Reward yourself and look after your mind, it is the most powerful tool you have at your disposal, tailor it to your needs and make it function in a manner which pleases you. To achieve this, I suggest that you begin to engage in the practice of mindfulness; this can be done in a number of ways such as through mediation, guided through apps like Headspace or even bouts of exercise to ‘clear the mind’. Trust me on this one, looking after your body and mind will be more fulfilling than any material good that money can buy, and the best thing? You have all the tools at your disposal, free of charge!

I challenge you also to Let Go. Let Go of something, be it a luxury material good or a worrying thought (fear) for a set time limit, be it a day or even an hour. I bet you that if you fully Let Go of something, for example a mobile phone for just one hour of your day, you will not be rushing back to it. Let Go for a healthier, happier mindset and let us grow on this mission towards happiness together. In a society where we are told that bigger is better and most is more, do less, think less so that you can LIVE more.

Current German and History Student a the University of Leeds seeking to embark on a career in journalism upon graduating in Summer 2022.

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