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With wisdom, creativity, and artistry, Susan Piver brings a Buddhist lens to the spiritual map of the enneagram. The results are vibrant and nourishing; a banquet of insights that help us transmute our difficult emotions into pure expressions of our basic goodness.

–Tara Brach, Author of Radical Acceptance and Trusting the Gold

3 things that help with fear

September 12, 2007   |   2 Comments

Typically the suggestions to fight fear are based on confrontation. But this doesn’t always work, especially for women. Actually, men too.

Here are three alternatives to “fight or flight” that you may not have thought of.

1. Hang out with your friends.
It’s no accident that you feel better after a long chat with your best friend. Connecting with others is a road to fearlessness for women. Recent research by Dr. Laura Klein at UCLA is showing that the traditional defense mechanisms—fight or flight—don’t always apply to women. The UCLA study suggests that when a woman experiences stress, signals in the brain urge her to reach out to those she loves. “In fact,” says Dr. Klein, “it seems that when the hormone oxytocin is released as part of the stress responses in a woman, it buffers the ‘fight or flight’ response and encourages her to tend children and gather with other women instead. When she actually engages in this tending or befriending, studies suggest that more oxytocin is released, which further counters stress and produces a calming effect.”

2. Freak Out.
Ever wonder why you feel better after a good cry? It’s because pretending you’re not afraid doesn’t work. It’s when you acknowledge your true feelings that real courage starts. It may sound strange, but you can actually set aside time for getting upset. When you feel yourself about to be overwhelmed by your emotions, set your alarm for 10 minutes and during that time, drop all the stories you’re telling yourself about your fear (it’s my fault…their fault…life is over…I’ll never be happy again…) and instead let the tears flow or the anger rage. When the alarm goes off, stop.
3. Help someone else who has the same problem.
When you get upset over a broken relationship or a lost promotion, you probably have a friend who is experiencing the same thing. Call her to see how she’s doing and, without going into your own problems, really open up and listen to hers. You’ll be amazed at how helping her with her problems solves yours.

Hanging out with girlfriends, crying a lot, and helping others: 3 solutions to fear that I can really get with.

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2 Comments

  • Posted by:  michele

    “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” C.S. Lewis

  • Posted by:  susan

    this is awesome. so true.

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THE BUDDHIST ENNEAGRAM:
NINE PATHS TO WARRIORSHIP

“With wisdom, creativity and artistry, Susan Piver brings a Buddhist lens to the spiritual map of the Enneagram. The results are vibrant and nourishing; a banquet of insights that help us transmute our difficult emotions into pure expressions of our basic goodness.”

 – Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance