Words you use can make a big difference in how you feel, and this is especially true for emotions like fear and anxiety.
Language is really important to me, and my interest in words likely stems back to playful exchanges with my father throughout childhood and adolescence. He was quick with words, and the two of us would engage in “pun fights” during my youth.
Words you use can make a big difference in how you feel, and this is especially true as it relates to fear and anxiety.
What you say, matters.
Though people often use the words “fear” and “anxiety” to describe what they are experiencing, I believe both words are overused and misused. In most instances, when people talk about fear or say they are “fearful,” the more appropriate word would be “anxious.” Fear and anxiety are different.
The words you choose can influence how you feel, your decisions and actions. Stating you are fearful invites a fearful response in your body, and thinking that leans in the direction as well.
Understand that your response to fear is something that is innate; if there is a genuine danger or threat present, then you’re going to experience built-in feelings and reactions that are hard-wired into you.
Often, however, people experience fear, or the fight-or-flight reaction at an inappropriate time; even when there is no real clear or present danger. In this case, the person’s response to fear is maladaptive.
You can think of this maladaptive response as having the right reaction at the wrong time. In other words, bridges do collapse, but the chances are good that the bridge you are driving on is not actually going to break while you are on it. Similarly, it can put a person on edge to fly on an airplane, though flight accidents are rare relative to the number of flights taken daily.
As you go about your day, notice the language you use to describe what you are going through, and consider how you can use that language to feel more capable and remain calmer in the given situation. What you say and what you feel matters.
This weeks questions:
When dealing with fear, what kind of language do you use? Is it creating a positive atmosphere for growth, and if not, how can you change what you say so that it is?
I’d love for you to respond on my facebook group if you feel comfortable!!
Join my group on Facebook LOVE MY LIFE and let me know. Feel free to share my series with your friends or colleagues as well!
To A Life You Love,
Dr. Joan Rosenberg