Letter to the Editor

5 strategies to ward off a bad case of fear and dread

Monday, March 23, 2020

As sequestration becomes more and more the norm in these confusing times, it would be easy for many of our folks to fall victim to fear, anxiety and "dreaditation" (you know, you dread something so much it becomes a reality). Fortunately, there are at least five strategies to ward off a bad case of fear and dread. Allow me to explain.

Along the lines of the tried and true axiom for getting to sleep ("when you're worried, and you can't sleep, just count your blessings instead of sheep, and you'll fall asleep counting your blessings"), try these on for size: 1) Admit that you are afraid, and open up to someone you trust. Fear shared is fear reduced. Try it! 2) Focus on the bigger truth (there's usually a lot more going right in one's life than the current stressor). Choose to dwell on the positives list them, if it helps. 3) Don't allow fear to paralyze you. To counteract this paralyzing effect, ask yourself what you would advise a friend to do if they complained of being afraid a great deal of the time. 4) Be more mindful of negative influences such as television, social media and gambling. Do more of what gives (or used to give you) pure joy and/or peace. 5) By all means give it to God. Trust him, for he said he would always be with us. A couple of Scripture verses are very powerful in this regard: John 14: 27 and 1 Peter 5: 7.

Then there was Franklin Delano Roosevelt (in his first inaugural address) who encouraged all of America with these words: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Powerful indeed!

Bill Kersting, Spencer