Given my own battles with an anxious mind, I could not resist today’s “Daily Prompt: Fight or Flight”. Much is written in medical literature and layman’s self-help books about how the “flight or flight” response served us well in the cave man era. Fortunately most of us no longer have to worry about being eaten alive by any sort of large mammal. Unfortunately, now the biggest stalking predator we have to face is our own mind.
Serendipitously, today a friend posted the following on Facebook: “FEAR = Forget Everything and Run or FEAR= Face Everything and Rise. The choice is yours.”
Although I appreciate the thought, the use of the word “everything” in those acronyms is not at all practical. It is not always the best choice to run, nor is it always the best choice to fight. Life is not usually that black and white. And the grey matter between our ears complicates it even more!
When fear is generated internally, in ones’ own mind, therein lies the problem. Dealing with an external fear, the choice is usually easy if one wants to survive. But what of all those anxious, fearful, ruminative thoughts? Nothing much more scary than that.
In my experience, the more you try to avoid or take flight from those thoughts the worse off you will be. If you fight them, you create even more stress. What seems to work best is neither fight nor flight, but to just “ride the wave”, let the thoughts come, acknowledge them for what they are, and ride the wave to calmer waters. Realize all they are is just strange thoughts in a tired mind.
As I write about fight or flight issues, I cannot help but think of my blog title. I want to write with wanton abandon, but I also have the fear that if I do so I may be flirting with disaster. Okay maybe not disaster, perhaps just some embarrassment. So far, I am glad I “felt the fear and did it anyway”. I am hanging on and riding the wave!