By Gaye Levy
Contributing Writer for Wake Up World
Every afternoon as I sit down with an extra large cup of espresso, I ponder something to write about next. In that last three years, I have written over 570 articles. A lot the articles have been about prepping and self sufficiency but a large number have also been about more touchy-feely topics as I talk about life and getting by during hard times.
Today is one of those days, as I muse about coping skills as they relate to the fear of ‘the worst’. I don’t know about you, but as hard as I try to stay above it all, there are days when the burden of truth and knowledge is all too much and a teeny tiny bit of fear sets in.
What Do You Fear?
Let’s be honest with ourselves. Fear is something that every human and most animals will experience at some time or another. It is that feeling of anxiety we get when the outcome of something threatens our well-being and safety.
There is a reason that the cliché “Be Prepared, Not Scared” is so popular. Fear, or being scared, is a natural response to an unknown predator, real or imagined, tangible or not. The good news is that fear can promote survival instincts and thus help with our prepping and truth-seeking, as we move beyond fear to long term survival. And isn’t that the goal, after all?
In the 21st century world, there is a lot of fear. It comes in many (dis)guises; fear of a natural disaster, fear of economic collapse, of terrorism, of government surveillance, chemtrail contamination, unemployment, illness and old age… Without question, these are uncertain times, as more and more of the power elite anoint themselves with benefits while the rest of us worry about making ends meet.
So how does one cope? How does one get by from one day to the next when challenged by uncertainties and concern for the personal welfare of one’s self and one’s family?
I have some ideas about that, and wish to offer my own tips for staying sane in a world where there are more questions than answers.
Ten Tips for Conquering Fear in Uncertain Times
1. Knowledge is king
If something scares you, do your research and learn as much as you can so that you can understand the whys and wherefores. Be curious and embrace your new found knowledge.
Here is a simple example: I used to have a fear of flying in airplanes. In order to conquer that fear, I studied the aerodynamics of planes so that, in simple terms, I realized that even in turbulent conditions, the aircraft could fly.
2. Appreciate the moment
Many fears are based on things that you have no control over. That is not likely to change unless you are connected in some way to a supreme being. So, instead of fretting about things you can not control, appreciate and embrace those things you can. Appreciate the moment and your ability to exercise free will. And whatever you do, don’t look back and browbeat yourself over the past. What is done is done. Move on and live in the moment.
3. Live with a passion
Even those on a limited budget can find something they love to do whether it is gardening, reading, hiking, watching movies or something else. Whatever your passion, pursue it with gusto and embrace your passion whenever fear strikes you to the bone. Hobbies can be a wonderful panacea for setting fear aside and taking your mind off the woes of the world.
4. Communicate with nature
These are tough times for our planet and yet there is still a wondrous beauty in every sunset, in every lake and stream, and in glorious, snow-capped mountains. Get out there and enjoy the birds singing, the rippling waves, and the smell of fresh air. You will feel a lot better for the experience.
5. Surround yourself with love
Coping with day to day drama is a lot easier if you have someone share your concerns and fears. Everyone needs to be hugged and to give a hug in return. Do not discount the miracle of a light touch when it comes to reducing stress.
6. Get a pet
The great thing about pets, and especially dogs and cats, is that they love you unconditionally. They sense your frustration and your fear and will cuddle up to you at just the right moment. They will lick the tears from your face when you are sad and will and provide you with companionship when there is no one around.
7. Count your blessings
When times are bad and you think they are going to get worse, count your blessings. Yes, at the time you may think those blessings are few, but if you can come up with five or six – or heck – even one – wrap yourself in it and make that blessing your focus. Take your blessings and use them as a springboard for optimism going forward.
8. Exercise and maintain good health
A strong and healthy body goes a long way toward making you feel positive about life, even in the face of dissension and chaos. The best way to maintain good health is to eat well, exercise and maintain a healthy weight for your height and build. Get yourself a pair of athletic shoes or hiking boots and get walking. Your self-image will improve as you get fit and a great self-image will make facing uncertainties a lot easier.
9. Enjoy the journey
The uncertainties we face in the 21st century can be frightening and in many respects (right or wrong) we as individuals can feel impotent and powerless to affect change. Instead of succumbing to fear, turn the frightening event or circumstance into an adventure, a purpose. Become educated (see tip #1) then figure out a way to do something – anything – to proactively overcome your anxiety, and contribute to a solution. Taking even a modicum of control will alleviate fear. And for heavens sake, as you take control, enjoy the journey!
10. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst
You knew this was coming, right?
Hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Hope is the belief that circumstances in the future will be better. Recognize that there will be times when hope may seem impossible. When that happens, consciously work on your personal mindset, for without hope – without that belief – there will be no future.
The corollary is to be prepared. Prepare your home and prepared your family. Assume that you will stay put – or Bug In – if the worst happen, but have a Bug-Out-Bag ready for each member of your family just in case you have to evacuate and leave the familiar surroundings of your home.
Store some extra food and water. Gather all of your important documents and make copies or put them on a flash drive for safekeeping. Have an emergency radio and some basic supplies such as a good knife, flash-lights, fire starter and extra clothing.
The Final Word
By being prepared, you take control over an uncertain future. You will be as ready as humanly possible and if the stuff hits the fan, you will be secure in the knowledge that you have done the very best that you can to survive.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Further articles by Gaye Levy:
- Using Nature’s Remedies for Health and Wellness
- 20 All Purpose Remedies Using Essential Oils
- The Powerful Healing Qualities of Rosemary Essential Oil
- 15 Alternative Uses for Honey
- Vermiculture: How To Build A Worm Bin the Cheap and Easy Way
- Spices for the Survival Pantry
- 21 Home Remedies for a Toothache Emergency
- The Miracle of Tea Tree Oil: 80 Amazing Uses for Survival
- 26 Five-Minute Prepping Projects
- 10 Simple Steps Toward Self-Sufficiency
- Creating a Healing Garden: 9 Healing Herbs You Can Grow Yourself
About the author:
Gaye Levy, also known as the Survival Woman, grew up and attended school in the Greater Seattle area. After spending many years as an executive in the software industry, she started a specialized accounting practice offering contract CFO work to emerging high tech and service industries. She has now abandoned city life and has moved to a serenely beautiful rural area on an island in NW Washington State.
Gaye lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable and self-reliant lifestyle through her website at BackdoorSurvival.com. At Backdoor Survival, she speaks her mind and delivers her message of prepping with optimism and grace, regardless of the uncertain times and mayhem swirling around us. You can find Gaye through her website Backdoor Survival.com, on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Gaye’s Facebook page, which is updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or link to a free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon. In addition, when you sign up to receive Gaye’s email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of her e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.