It’s an interesting time, to say the least.
The world around us is coming to an abrupt halt. Professional sports seasons are being canceled, schools are shutting down left and right, travel is being banned to other countries, some countries and states are even on lockdown.
As for me, this is all relatively new. Never in my young 26 years of existence have I experienced something like this. It almost feels as if I am living in a zombie apocalypse movie waiting to see how the ending is going to play out.
But I keep asking myself something: “Should I be worried about all of this?”
Fear is an emotion that we all experience. Sometimes fear can help us as it prevents us from putting ourselves in harm’s way, and other times it can hurt us as it prevents us from continuing to make the most out of the life that we are living.
I can’t help but wonder if I should feel a certain way. Should I be worried, or is all of the fear that the world is enduring right now just us overreacting.
What I am about to say may frustrate some people, but hear me out. Here is how I manage fear to get through tough times.
Why I Refuse to Change My Lifestyle
I used to be the kind of person who would always play it safe. Very rarely would I ever do something that required me to push out of my comfort zone, and very rarely did I challenge the fears that I was experiencing.
Life became boring and I became miserable.
I knew that there was so much more to life than what I was experiencing, but I couldn’t find that life behind all of my fears. After a while, I became depressed. It wasn’t fear alone that led to my depression, but instead, it was everything else that is associated with fear.
Because I had allowed my fears to prevent me from living my life for many years I had very little confidence in my abilities, I had lost a lot of strong relationships, and I went from being somewhat outgoing to being slightly socially awkward.
For the last two years or so, I have fought as hard as I can to regain control of my life. I have forced myself to break outside of my comfort zone as much as I possibly can, I have worked to repair old relationships, and I have even found the strength inside of me to create new ones.
As a whole, the life that I am living today is far better than any life I could have ever envisioned myself living just a few short years ago. A large part of that is because I have learned to push past my fears and make the most out of the opportunities that I have in front of me.
Am I perfect? Hell no! There are many days where I find myself struggling with my fears. But as someone who has lived a life controlled by fear and who has worked hard to once again find the true meaning of life, I refuse to revert back to the days where fear consumed me.
My Thinking Behind Fear
By now, I am sure you know what I am referring to when I talk about fear. The world right now is experiencing a pandemic – something that it has not experienced for quite some time.
I walked into a grocery store yesterday for the first time since the news had broken out about the pandemic and noticed that toilet paper was scarce, canned foods had been cleared from the shelves, and didn’t see one case of water anywhere around.
As for me, I grabbed my pint of ice cream and walked out.
I can’t believe I am about to say this, but the truth is, I have come to terms with my life. I used to be miserable and so focused on trying to be somebody who others wanted me to be that I forgot to live my life. And while I still have goals that I want to achieve and don’t want to die by any means, if my time comes, I am happy with where I am at in life and the life that I have lived.
You might think this is an ignorant approach, and maybe it is. But what’s the point of living life if we are going to live it in fear? What’s the point of living life if we can’t explore, if we can’t express ourselves, and if we can’t make the most out of each day knowing that it might be out last?
Nobody knows when this pandemic is going to run its course. Maybe it never will. So in knowing that, is it really worth it to save living life for another day knowing that another day is all but certain?
Time To Break The Cycle
This doesn’t mean that we should all go around coughing on each other or trying to get each other sick or be careless about our health. It simply means that we should continue to live life as there are so many uncertainties right now in the world that we live in.
How many pandemics have come and gone in the past? Yes, there have been deaths with all of them. At this time, the pandemic that we are experiencing has taken 4,700 lives. 4,700 too many? Yes. But according to the American Lung Association, secondhand smoking “causes approximately 7,330 deaths from lung cancer and 33,950 deaths from heart disease each year.” These are non-smokers who are being affected by the choices of others. So if we continue to live life walking through and inhaling the smoke of others without putting our lives on pause, why would we do so now?
It’s time that we break the cycle and stop allowing our fears to consume every aspect of our lives. Yes, there are times where fear is beneficial, but how beneficial is it if it consumes the one and only life that we are blessed to live?
How I Manage Fear to Get Through Tough Times
Some might find this ignorant, and to that, I apologize you feel that way. But I have lived enough of my life in fear already. I don’t want fear to consume any more of my life than it already has, which is why I am not going to let so many uncertainties stop me from making the most out of my life.
Surely there are things that I can’t do now with all of the closings and cancellations that there has been, but I also refuse to lock myself away in hopes that a cure is found any time soon. For me, I am going to go about my day as much as I can, and you should as well.
The more we allow fear to consume us, the more of our lives it takes. While I know it is a scary time for many, there are also many additional ways to be preventative outside of quarantining yourself. Wash your hands, eat healthy foods, drink a lot of water, exercise frequently. These are all things that we should be doing on a daily basis regardless, but things we only focus on when we are experiencing a pandemic.
I know that not everybody is going to agree with me, and that is totally fine. We are all different and we all have different beliefs. My only hope is that you don’t regret not making the most out of the life that you have in front of you because you are fearful of uncertainties that exist.
That’s just my take.