COVID19 The difference between fear and anxiety

Fear is an instinctual response to danger (real or imagined). When the danger is real like with COVID19, fear mobilizes our resources to protect us from harm. And this is a good thing. We wash our hands, wear masks and create a social distance between us and others. When fear is associated with insecurity, however, then we wind up protecting ourselves, not necessarily from actual danger, but from fear itself (the “what-ifs”). When this happens, fear morphs into anxiety.

How do you tell the difference? Fear that has been cannibalized by insecurity is primarily a projection of the what-ifs. “What if I get sick,” “What if I lose my job.” Although seemingly reasonable, “what-if” fear deals with an uncertain future. Since the future doesn’t exist, these fears should be thought of as projections of our insecurity.

So, what’s the answer.

The answer is staying present, dealing with today’s challenges, and taking a risk to live more courageously. Becoming more courageous doesn’t mean you have to become fearless–the courageous person doesn’t eliminate fear, he/she manages it.

#anxiety #depression #fear

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