Understanding Fear

I was going through the presentation that I was supposed to present to my colleagues that morning. I was not ready. Something inside me was shaking. My palms were sweating; my heart beat was going high as every minute passed. I could not concentrate on what I was reading. It was not a very comfortable feeling. I knew it was fear – the fear of facing so many people and making a fool of myself.

I realized that I needed to practice something which I had recently learnt. So, I sat with my eyes closed, observed my breath, and meditated for a few minutes. Meditation made me calm and I felt stronger within.

Fear is nothing but love upside down. Think about it: what are you scared of? Something that you don’t like or something unknown to you, isn’t it? For instance, if you are scared of not being able to finish your work on time, it’s because you probably do not like being scolded by your boss, or if you are scared of playing a badminton match, it’s probably because you are unsure of who is going to win.

So is there something that can convert this fear back to love? Meditation can dissolve the seeds of fear. Let’s see how.

Dissolving the Seeds of Fear

#1: Get rid of your past baggage

Have you noticed how something that happened in the past sometimes bothers you in the present? If you are scared of dogs, it’s probably because you, or someone you know, has not had a pleasant experience in the past. To avoid going through a similar experience, you don’t go near a dog.

Isn’t it amazing to see children not afraid of anything? This is because they have no impressions. But as we grow up, we gather a stock of good and bad experiences that become impressions. Some of these impressions turn into fear or phobia, such as fear of darkness or fear of heights. Meditation removes these impressions and makes you free from within.

“I had the phobia of walking in the dark; I would feel someone would attack me from behind. Taking a friend’s advice, I started practicing meditation regularly. It’s been almost two years now that I have kept up with my practice and darkness does not scare me anymore,” shares Roopal Rana.

#2: Face the anxiety with strength

Suppose you have an interview in a few days. Have you seen how you fear it even before going for it? You feel anxious and your mind gets stuck in a whirlpool of uncontrolled thoughts. “What is going to happen? What will they ask me? Am I going to clear it?” This constant bombardment of thoughts makes you fearful.

Meditation makes you calm and gives you the inner strength to face any situation. It instills in you the faith that whatever happens will happen for the best, even if that ‘whatever’ is unknown to you. So what if you don’t clear this interview? You know that a better opportunity awaits you in the near future.

Meditation helps you drop the anxiety about the unknown future and brings your mind to the present moment – the only time where action is possible (can you act in the future?) With a relaxed mind, you are able to carry out the required action.

Meditation was a savior during my MBA exams. Earlier, I would always fear forgetting all that I studied. But after I learnt to meditate, my MBA exams went very smooth and the fear of failure magically vanished,” shares Sahib Singh.

One of the causes of anxiety is lack of prana (life force energy). Meditation increases the prana level in the body and the anxiety automatically drops.

#3: Drop the ‘ME’!

When we go to parties or social functions, we sometimes tend to make an effort to impress others. We are often scared of how others may judge us. This is because our ‘ego’ intervenes.

On the contrary, when you are hanging out with a bunch of friends, you are very comfortable and natural. Being natural is an antidote to ego and regular practice of meditation brings you back to your nature. It makes you natural.

“I was the only vegetarian in my social circle and would worry about being socially accepted. To impress my friends, I would lie to them about eating non-vegetarian food. With regular meditation, I gained the courage to tell them the truth and today I’m proud to be a vegetarian,” shares Kaamna Arora.

Quick meditation tips to stay fear-free

  •  When you are feeling scared or anxious, a few minutes of meditation comes in handy the most.
  •  Try the Hmm process – the instant antidote to fear.
  •  Keep reminding yourself that everything happens for the best.
  •  Keep up with your practice. Meditating daily for 20 minutes will help you get over your phobias eventually.
  •  Morning is the ideal time to meditate, though you may do it any other time of the day, on a light or empty stomach.
  •  To have a deeper meditation experience, choose a quiet corner.

The other side of fear

If you have a little fear - relax! Like salt in the food, a little bit of fear is essential for you to be righteous.

Imagine what would happen if people had no fear at all? Students had absolutely no fear of failure - would they study? If you had no fear of falling sick, would you take care of your health? So be wise and acknowledge the usefulness of having a little fear in you.

Inspired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's wisdom talks

By Divya Sachdev, based on inputs by Chinky Sen, a Sahaj Samadhi Meditation Expert

Founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,The Art of Living is an educational and humanitarian movement engaged in stress-management and service initiatives. Mehr