Focusing Tip #783 – “What do I do with overwhelming dread and fear?”

Focusing Tip #783 – “What do I do with overwhelming dread and fear?”
January 25, 2022 Ann Weiser Cornell
What do I do with overwhelming dread and fear

Focusing Tip #783 – “What do I do with overwhelming dread and fear?”

What can you do when you’ve been hit with some scary news? Read on…


Deb writes:

Last week’s Tip on physical health was so timely. I found out today I need to get a breast biopsy.

I am a Covid-fatigued second grade teacher who has a senior in high school. I do not have time for this! I was maintaining until this biopsy came up. I am struggling with being able to even function and the procedure isn’t even until next Wednesday. Lack of sleep is not helping.

I am sitting with my hand over my heart sensing what I am feeling… but this fear is overriding it. What do I do with this overwhelming dread and fear?

Dear Deb:

Wow, I am so sorry this has happened for you. So hard to be stressed in so many ways and then one more scary thing on top of it all.

This is a very important time to be kind and gentle to yourself. To resource yourself. To nurture yourself with something that deepens your sense of being supported and cared for. I don’t know what that would be for you. A warm bubble bath is the cliché. For me, it’s Regency romance novels and cuddling a teddy bear! Whatever it is for you is what counts.

When you’re feeling a bit stronger and more resourced, take time to simply feel your body. I know from my own experience that dread and fear can be quite unpleasant to feel. But paradoxically, sensing that unpleasant body feeling with awareness can lead to relief... after a while.

What is it like? Maybe it’s gripping in the stomach. Maybe it’s almost like nausea. However it is, you can feel it and acknowledge it.

You might also acknowledge how big it is. Say to it, “I really get how strong and intense you are.” Again, this can bring a surprising relief. Do try it.

The dread and fear are very big but YOU can be bigger. Just keep your hand on your heart and keep on speaking kindly to the “something in you” that is afraid.

Say: “I know. This is hard. I really know this is scary. I hear you. I know.” Just like you would speak to a scared child.

You’ll probably have to do it over and over before you feel a difference.

But do check in your body if it helps. After a while, it will.

 


 

Additional Resources

Listening to Your Body Through Health Challenges

When You Dread the Unknown (Opens in a new browser tab)

Focusing Tip #339: “It’s hard to do Focusing with my scary parts.” (Opens in a new browser tab)

 

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