In this article I am writing about how to understand fear, how fear really presents, and I give you practical tips on how to successfully manage this. These strategies will enhance your grief recovery process.
The impact of sudden Change.
When you lose your husband the share terror of the loss and the feelings of abandonment will bring feelings or dread and fear into your life. However, you can manage how long you are going to let it occupy space in your mind and life.
The immediate change in a woman’s circumstances – no longer having a personal confident, friend and protector leaves you exposed and confused.
The analogy of the withdrawn Umbrella.
I remember a widow explaining this as being in the rain and having a big umbrella to shield yourself.
Then sudden the umbrella is removed and you are left to be wet and drenched in the rain. You become exposed to all the elements of the weather when the umbrella is removed. That is what it can feel like when your husband suddenly dies.
So faced naturally with this you become afraid and basically want to run and hide. You avoid and do not feel strong to face the immediate storm in which you are faced.
Fear can present in us as a positive or negative force. When it is positive it manifests as being in awe of or respect of someone or something, this prevents you from doing the abominable but rather doing what is of integrity at the right given moment, privately or in the open.
While negative fear is what makes you freeze, holds you back and prevents you from moving to do the things we know we are capable of doing. Our success or call to win is always at the other side of fear or what we are trying to achieve.
You ask how this relates to your loss. Fear is a force that easily accesses your mind and physical space if you are not aware and very careful. When you lose your husband everyone and yourself remind you that you are now on your own.
This can make you very afraid as it dawns on you daily that you are facing life now as an individual, no more the twain. Questions of self-doubt start to emerge like how can you navigate this road by yourself – spiritually, financially, emotionally, socially etc.
The villain whispers lies.
Your mind will attempt to interpret your worry into thoughts – mostly of self-doubt. But such thoughts have to be understood as lies. There is a villain that enters your thought processes, especially when vulnerable. This attempts to feed your mind with all sorts of negatives. As an individual you have to reverse all negative thoughts into positive ones. E.g. You cannot live or survive without John, you turn this into a positive, by saying I will make it without John, I have to survive without John, I am not hopeless, as long as I am alive, I am full of Hope.
3 tips on managing your fears.
Use positive affirmations to reverse negative thoughts. To make your positive affirmations more powerful and spirit filled, as a Christian I researched Biblical scripture on Fear – words that affirmed in my spirit that I do not have to be afraid.
‘Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God’ Isaiah 41:10
‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and of a sound mind’ 2 Timothy 1:7
You repeat these words to yourself daily, write them on cards and place them on your refrigerator, in your wallet or wherever you can read them or places in your home or work where you tend to get gripped by fear.
Christian Meditation is a form of Prayer in which a structured attempt is made to become aware of and reflect upon the revelations of your creator. The Latin word is meditari, with a range of meanings such as reflect, to study and to practice.
In simple terms when you train your mind to think and relearn positive thoughts and images it responds naturally. Try to do this daily as long as needed and you will start to feel, believe and live it.
Practice turning negative thoughts or doubts into daily and written affirmations.
For further reading on this get my eBook on Proven confessions for a Positive Mindset – https://payhip.com/b/Ndc6A
Sleep acts as a sort of “flushing out” system for the brain, clearing out harmful waste proteins that build up between its cells – a process that may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases”
In terms of how much sleep you need – the rough tool of thumb is to get five sleep cycles of 90 minutes each, which translates to 7.5 hours of sleep. Baba Shiv, Professor of marketing, Stanford Graduate school of Business.
Have a winding down period before you go to bed. This could take the form of stopping all telephone conversation before you sleep.
Or many run a bath before sleep or read something calming or listen to music. As Arianna Huffington wrote in the Sleep revolution –
“When we walk through the door of our bedroom, it should be a symbolic moment that marks leaving the day, with all of its problems and unfinished business, behind us.”
Get rid of your phone from the bedroom at certain times each night.
According to George Brainard, a circadian rhythm researcher and neurologist at Saint Thomas University in Philadelphia, staring at a blue-light-emitting device before bed serves as an alert stimulus that will frustrate your body’s ability to go to sleep later.
The temperature of your bedroom also impacts the quality of your sleep. The National sleep foundation recommends 65 degrees and says sleep is disrupted when the temperature rises above seventy-five or falls below fifty four degrees.
3. The Power of staying connected.
Stay connected to good people who encourage and strengthen your self-worth and dreams.
Making positive connections should reinforce at least five positives in your life:
1. To encourage and strengthen your self-belief.
2. To motivate you to see that your present situation can be surmountable.
3. To make you accountable and enhance your positive decision making.
4. To be honest and not just tell you what you want to hear. But offer suggestions or other perspectives on how to perceive challenges or concerns.
5. To stir you to personal growth and development!
For further information and resources listen to Widow Recovery Secrets Podcast.
Fear can surface at various stages of our life’s, more so when dealing with the loss of a spouse. The widow recovery secret is to identify what the emotion is and then apply applicable strategies!
How you respond to fear is what matters most!
As Brene Brown sums up:
“Wholehearted living is about engaging in lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, no matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging”
- Daring Greatly: How Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and lead. By Brene Brown.
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