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How Fear and Anxiety Are Connected

The Link Between Fear and Anxiety

For the purposes of this article, we will assume that you believe that it is possible to be bothered by something emotionally and not be aware of what is bothering you. We can experience any emotion, positive or negative, and not ever really notice that it is going on; feeling hurt, sad, angry, guilty, confused, and of course, anxiety.

For example, as a child, I often went with my parents to visit friends. I never actually enjoyed the visits want and I felt relieved when we left. As an adult, I was able to meditate on that experience and I realized that my father's friend looked like one of the bad men I saw in a movie when I was younger.

I wasn't aware of the anxiety it caused me to go to their house. As a child I was afraid of him, but I certainly wasn't going to admit that; not to myself or anyone else.

Now we might say that I was suffering from a form of social anxiety because my parents couldn't understand why I didn't want to go there. I didn't understand it. The anxiety was at a level of awareness and I was unable to recognize it so I just used the only strategy that I knew how to use; avoidance.

What is good about the fear?

Interestingly, we usually just use the word, "fear" when we are aware of the danger. We usually use the word, "anxiety" when the awareness level of what may be threatening is below our conscious level. In the above example, the irrational fear was trying to protect me from a potentially harmful person or situation. Obviously, I couldn't admit that I was afraid and therefore I wasn't forced to change the habit that was protecting me.

As an example, if I believe that a habit I have is going to bring me harm eventually, and I continue to practice the habit, won't I have anxiety? Yes. I may not be fully aware of it, but I will have it, at least to the degree that I believe that what I'm doing is going to bring me harm.

What can be done to lessen these hidden fears and control anxiety?

There are many different types of anxiety therapy, including life coaches that focus on anxiety, which can have a tremendously positive impact on you mental well being.