How to let go of anxiety – How irrational anxiety, fears, and worries lose their power
Irrational anxiety, fears, and worries can make us feel powerless and desperate. They keep us up at night and often prevent us from rolling up our sleeves and pursuing our goals with confidence. But how can we let go of anxiety, and what has a near-death experience to do with it?
It’s only a routine surgery.
After this brief procedure, the patient wakes up from the anesthesia, and everything is fine.
But something goes wrong. The patients heart suddenly stops beating.
While the doctors are fighting for her life, the patient experiences something unusual: she feels like leaving her body and suddenly finding herself in another world. A near-death experience.
Fortunately, the doctors reanimated her, and the woman recovers well from her surgery.
But one thing changed. Something in her life is entirely different:
Since her near-death experience, the woman reports suddenly feeling much more free in her everyday life. She now sees many fears, worries, and anxieties from a new perspective. Most of them simply disappeared.
Anxiety And Fears Lose Their Power
But how is this possible?
During her surgery, the woman was confronted with her greatest fear: The fear of death.
The experience showed her that her worst fear ultimately did not come true. She faced death and didn’t feel the experience was as bad as she had imagined. It was the opposite. She had a feeling of warmth, contentment, and freedom.
She lost her biggest fear and that alone allowed her to gain a whole new perspective on all her other anxieties, fears, and worries.
Many feelings that previously influenced her life negatively or even dominated her day suddenly lost their power. Of course, she is not entirely free of fears, which can never be the goal.
Some of our fears and worries are important as they serve as a warning signal when we are exposed to a real threat.
The anxiety and fears we are focusing on here are irrational ones that only take place in our heads. They make us imagine catastrophic scenarios that are often unlikely to happen and never proven to be true.
The Origin of Irrational Anxiety
Each fear or anxiety originates in a particular scenario we are afraid of. The fear usually loses its power when the situation occurs, and the expected worst-case scenario does not come true.
For example, we shy away from speaking in front of a large audience because we fear being ridiculed by it. Or we had a traumatic experience in a particular location and fear a repetition when we go there again.
We catastrophize situations by assuming the worst-case scenario and therefore avoid certain actions. However, there is usually a greater chance that everything will be okay, and our fear was unsubstantiated.
The fear and anxiety of public speaking often evaporate as soon as we speak in front of an audience a few times and make the positive experience that no one laughs at us, but we receive applause instead.
Letting Go Of Anxiety, Fears, And Worries
Obviously not all of us have a near-death experience like the woman in our story.
However, even without this experience, one can become aware of their anxiety and worries and successfully let go of them. Cognitive behavioral therapy has proven to be a very effective solution.
Worries and fears can negatively influence our lives without noticing them, even if we do not suffer from a specific anxiety disorder. The more we try to ignore, escape or neglect such feelings, the stronger they become.
The state of anxiety or fear leaves us powerless and often helpless. It keeps us up at night and often prevents us from confidently rolling up our sleeves and pursuing our goals.
Becoming aware and conquering our fears is a tremendously valuable process. By recognizing and resolving irrational anxiety, we often simultaneously overcome limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns.
The last few years have shown anxiety and fear play a significant role in our society.
Fortunately, it is possible to gain a new perspective on one’s fears and to let go of irrational anxiety even without having a near-death experience.
We can make it happen using tried and tested methods of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which are incredibly effective in treating anxiety disorders, fears, and worries.