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Dissipate Your Fear

September 28th, 2017

Fear knows no age limit. When we are fearful the fear fills our thoughts. It affects us physically as well as emotionally.

On a recent flight to Asia I was sitting next to a middle-aged man who was gripping the arm rests so tightly that every vein in his hands were bulging as we taxied on the runway. When I asked him if it was his first flight he replied, “Oh no. I just panic at takeoff. Then the flight will be fine.”

Since takeoff is my favorite moment, I shared with him what I love about takeoff. I explained my joy of looking down the full runway as the plane turns onto it, knowing that it is the pathway to where I am going. He joined me in looking out the window at just the right moment to see what I meant. The runway is a never-ending path to the sky. Then we concentrated on the sheer joy of being pressed back into our seats as the engines thrust the plane forward and together we counted the seconds until we were airborne. By then my flight mate’s hands were relaxed and he was speaking with me easily.

Part of dominating fear is to focus your thoughts elsewhere. You cannot be preoccupied with your fear and at the same time focus your thoughts on something else. It is simply not possible. Try it next time that you have an irrational fear. Talk to yourself about something else, something interesting and positive, or strike up a conversation with someone. Your fear will lessen and even disappear.

Bonnie Fatio

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