Anxiety is not the same as fear - Deepstash

Anxiety is not the same as fear

Anxiety (as opposed to fear) is always caused by uncertainty - the uncertainty of ultimately, by the forecasts we make, but in which we have little to no confidence.

Forecasts with high confidence free you to respond, adjust, feel sadness, accept, prepare, or to do whatever is needed. Accordingly, anxiety is reduced by improving your prediction capacity, thus increasing your certainty.

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MORE IDEAS FROM Rethinking Fear

We’ll be in a better position when we'll be able to approach potential dangers with a calm mind, very vigilant to our internal signals but not anticipating every possible bad thing that could happen.

We don’t need to live in fear to stay safe. A better approach is to be aware of the risks we face, accept that some are unknown or unpredictable, and do all we can to be prepared for any serious or imminent dangers.

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Seneca

“We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.”

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Being afraid won't keep us safe

We misunderstand the value of fear when we think that being constantly hypervigilant will keep us safe.

Being afraid all the time doesn’t keep danger away from us. Instead, we need to learn to recognize key signals that could predict risk, in order to actually feel calmer and safer.

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When we walk around terrified all the time, we can’t pick out the signal from the noise.

If you’re constantly scared, you can’t correctly notice when there is something genuine to fear
. True fear is a momentary signal, not an ongoing state.

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RELATED IDEA

We have become observationally lazy

Observation is as important now as it was a thousand years ago. However, we have to do it more quickly and efficiently because we may run into fifty strangers in a day where our ancestors saw only a few.

We often see people distracted while driving (applying makeup, making phone calls, texting) and getting into traffic accidents. When we fail to observe, it leads to avoidable circumstances. It can increase the chances of being victimized. Someone may say, "I had a feeling, in the beginning, that something wasn't right."

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If we respond to every fear-inducing situation like we’re in mortal danger, we’re going to end up missing out on valuable opportunities to live fully, enjoy growth and new experiences. Ask yourself: “Am I avoiding pain, or seeking growth?

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Decide if you should face your fear
  • Consider the pros and cons of not facing your fear. 
  • Write those down. 
  • Identify the pros and cons of tackling your fears head-on. 
  • Write down what you might achieve or how your life might be different.

The best way to conquer a fear is to face your fears head-on in a healthy manner that helps you move past the fear rather than in a way that traumatizes you.

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