How to Get Out of Fear’s Trap

Fear Image Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards

“How to Get Out of Fear’s Trap” by Joan Y. Edwards

Fear is an emotional response to danger. It doesn’t matter if it’s real or imagined fear. The fear response can be the same. I want you to know how to get out of fear’s trap.

Fear is like a big strong powerful balloon. The more you feed it, the stronger it gets. It gets bigger and bigger. Your imagination envisions things now or in the future as having more power than they deserve. It pulls you inside this balloon.  It traps you. You have to go where it leads you. Fear is not reason-based. It is a mixture of rumor, hype, a small amount of truth, and a huge amount of emotion. Knowledge deflates fear.

Bjorn Secher a great motivator and business man wrote Your Appointment with Success: The Way to Get Rich, In it he said, “Fear and worry stem from ignorance,”
Something you believe about a situation may not be true. It’s possible that the end result isn’t going to be as bad as you believe. It’s possible that you could die any day of your life. God calls us at inopportune times. Why is this particular situation scaring you? Instead of dying, you may survive. Plan to survive.


Accept that both things are possible. Then decide what you want to happen and take steps to make it happen. Believe that you are going to be safe.

Focus on your being able to live.

Focus on living.

How do you get out of this trap of fear and worry? The very best way to get out of a trap of fear and worry is to obtain as much information about what you fear as possible. Check it out. Investigate.

What are you afraid of? Name it.

What have others done?

What do the experts say?

What are your choices?

Look for ways to live.

Choose the best steps for you.

Focus on living.

Keep calm. When you are calm, your brain receives all the blood supply it needs. When your emotions are out of whack, your brain gets blood, but works on figuring out how to fight or how to make a flight from the situation. Your brain might not  receive the oxygen it needs for thinking clearly. FRIGHT puts your body in fight or flight mode which means that all the blood supply to the part of the brain that handles your muscles. It’s not used in the cells of the brain that thinks through things in a calm manner.

You say to me, WHAT?THAT CAN’T BE TRUE.

I witness it in myself. When I panic, I don’t think straight. Think about you. When you get angry with someone, are you able to think calmly and rationally? I don’t think so.

Anger is one form of fear. You are afraid someone might do something they did again. You want to control the situation. You might be afraid someone’s actions means they don’t love you. The trouble is your emotions are in charge when you are angry or afraid. No rational thinking in a calm manner.

That’s why in case of a fire, you train yourself to stay calm. Business leaders, airline stewardesses, and teachers train you to stay calm and follow the plan that you’ve practiced…the fire drill, or the safety things the stewardess tells you at the beginning of your flight. Teachers ask children to make a safety plan for home to decide what path they will take out of their homes in case of fire. Prepare for safety.

One of the saddest stories I heard was about a fire in the Iroquois Theater in Chicago in 1903. The builder boasted that it was a fireproof building. However, hundreds of people died because the doors had iron gates and people couldn’t get out. The curtains burned. Safety stuff promised had not been installed at the time of the opening. Even when there were flames, the actors didn’t tell people to go. It was a disaster:

Or the Titanic where the builder said the ship couldn’t be sunk and they didn’t even have life boats for all the passengers:

Or consider that your mind can play tricks on you. A man locked inside a refrigerator car thinks he is going to freeze to death and dies even when the refrigerator car is actually at least 60 degrees, the refrigeration system was not turned on:

Compare this to the calmness of the crew and passengers on the airplane which is dubbed The Miracle on the Hudson:

Or the woman who talks down a gunman and talks him into giving himself up to police: Was she afraid? Yes. However, she stayed calm:

Finding ways to calm your fears is healthy and will help you live a long life.

  1. Steve Pavilanis (You Tube Video) How can I Calm Myself Down When You Panic from fear in 10 seconds? A Life Less Anxious
  2. Steve Pavilanis: (first 55 pages free of A Life Less Anxious:
  3. Three Effective Anxiety Breathing Exercises:
  4. Exercise can calm anxiety from fear:

Find out what happens to your body when you are afraid:

  1. Anxiety “Panic Disorder:”
  2. Julia Layton. How Stuff “How Fear Works:”

Enjoy living! Good luck in getting yourself out of the grips of fear. Please let me know what has worked to help you get out of fear’s trap?

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Never Give Up
Focus on Living
Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards

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12 thoughts on “How to Get Out of Fear’s Trap”

  1. Joan, I didn’t know you were a psychologist. This is exactly where I try to lead my clients.
    Did you know, over 50% of people can expect to qualify for a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder and/or depression during their lifetimes? This shows it’s the crazy culture at fault. Posts like yours are just the thing to lead people to sanity.

    1. Dear Dr. Bob,
      Thanks for writing. As a teacher I studied psychology. In order to survive I have studied positive forces to keep me and others to never give up on living. Thank you for the compliment. Wow! I’m glad that my advice is the same as yours. Great minds wander in the same plane.
      I didn’t realize that 50% of people might expect to qualify for an anxiety disorder and/or depression during their lifetimes. If that is so, then all the more reason for you and me and others to keep reaching out to show as many ways as we can to help people get beyond their current beliefs and misunderstandihgs that hold them in fear’s trap.
      . May God continue to bless you for all you do to counsel others into a healthier mind and body.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

  2. Joan,
    Thanks for tackling a tough topic.
    My faith has helped carry me through when I’m fearful. Placing my fears in God’s hands is the key for me.
    Sometimes, people don’t understand why we need to seek knowlege. For example, when a loved one is on life support, family may ask about critical choices that might have to be made. Hospital staff may respond, “Let’s think positively.” The family needs knowledge to help them cope with the “what ifs.” Then,they may need assistance processing the information so they can think positively.

    1. Dear Linda Andersen,
      Thanks for writing. I am so glad that your faith has carried you through the fearful times in your life. You are right, sometimes when people are on life support they don’t want to share the knowledge with you that would help you accept the good and the bad news and focus on believing for the positive.
      Fear of the unknown has secret chains that only investigation, knowledge, acceptance, and focus on the outcome you want can break.these bonds.
      I know that God is proud of the way you and your husband have faced adversity and focused on your belief in God that He will see you through it. That he will provide you with an abundance of everything you need to survive.
      Celebrate your love and compassion for people.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

  3. Joan, thanks for bringing this issue to light. I agree that knowledge and self awareness is the key, and I also agree with you, Linda, about the key component of faith. Taking a pro-active route to both the acquisition of knowledge and commitment to your faith can’t fail to bring on better mental health.

    1. Dear Linda Phillips,
      Thank you for writing. You are welcome for my bringing this to light. It is comforting to know that you agree with me and Linda Andersen. Wisdom must come to all who are named, Linda. The name Linda means “Beautiful.” This is definitely true of you and Linda Andersen.
      I am glad that you think that knowledge, self-awareness, and faith are three of the main keys that pop the balloon of fear that traps you..
      Celebrate you.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

    1. Dear Maureen,
      Thanks for taking the time to write. You are correct. We all have experienced fear. Some fear is healthy and keeps us from running across an interstate highway. But deep prolonged fear is not fun.
      Thanks for sharing beautiful insights and pictures on your blog They help make the world a good place to be.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

    1. Dear Dr. Bob,
      Thanks for putting a link to my post in your newsletter. How thoughtful of you!
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

  4. Joan, Thank you for such an uplifting blog post. I love the line from a prayer by St. Frances de Sales–Patron saint of writers, by the way 🙂 It is similar to the footprints in the sand, “He will lead you safely through all trials; and when you can’t stand it, God will bury you in His arms.”

    1. Dear Kathleen,
      Thank you for writing. I’m glad that this was an uplifting post for you. I love the line you shared from St. Francis de Sales. It does remind me of the footprints in the sand poem. Sometimes in life we try to control too much and are so frustrated that we are tempted to give up, that’s when God comes to help us out if we ask him, isn’t it?
      Celebrate you and your compassion for people
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

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