Q&A: What's the best way for me to deal with my fear

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I’ve identified that I have some past and current stressors that bring up fears. I realize now that FEAR has been affecting me for my entire life. What’s the best way for me to deal with this?

Answer by Peter Zafirides, MD

An image of Practitioner Peter Zafirides
Practitioner Peter Zafirides

Who's Who page / Profile Page / The Invisible Gorilla and TMS / The Monkey Trap / Psychophysiologic Disorders Association (PPDA) Board Member / Website

This is another wonderful question. First off, fear is something that affects all of us. We are all in the same boat together as it relates to fear. How much we can take and how we deal with fear is where we may differ. For some individuals though, fear and other emotions will manifest themselves through physical symptoms, including pain.

Remember, in TMS, the feelings that lead to physical pain and other feelings of discomfort are more likely to be unconscious and out of our awareness. But, you bring up a very good point. Sometimes fear is the only emotional feeling we have signaling a deeper, unconscious emotional struggle.

It is very easy to say, and I mean no disrespect when I do, but the only way over that fear is through it. Give yourself permission to have those feelings of anxiety and fear. But don't let them prevent you from moving forward with TMS treatment. Often times, what people really fear is the uncertainty of their emotional response. They fear they will lose control, irrespective of if they actually would lose control.. For example, an individual may be fairy afraid to drive on the highway for fear of a panic attack. The only way to eliminate that fear is, at some point, they need to get on the highway. What likely happens is that the anxiety is very uncomfortable for the first few minutes, but it is not disabling, and certainly not to the point where someone "loses control". The important part is, that the anxiety will peak and then begin to decline. Until one experiences that and can put their arms around exactly what the anxiety will be like, we fear the worst. And when we are uncertain of the outcome, fear is a common emotion that results. So as it relates to you, give yourself permission to experience the fear. In all likelihood the anxiety that may come from starting the TMS work will be less than what you are fearing right now. Hopefully it will be much less.. But that is the purpose of the anxiety, to prevent you from taking that chance and getting started.

Keep in mind, you are in total control. As it relates to this program, it is the minds intention to provoke either a physical or emotional symptom because it fears losing control of its response to unwanted emotions. In reality, there is no threat here. Through the TMS work, you are trying to do something good for yourself. You are trying to do something very healthy - and very healing - for your self. Allow yourself the compassion and forgiveness so that you can move forward in the program.

If the pain, physical or emotional, is too much once you have started then you decide if you can continue. But give yourself permission to at least begin the work of TMS.

You can absolutely do this!!

Never doubt how truly powerful you are...

Peter Zafirides


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