Fear Reaches for a Blanket

"..what happens as adults when we get stuck in fear, and we do not have a safety blanket?"

My kids are a little older now, but I recall each of them having a blanket that made them feel safe. Because the fear response is one of the first parts of our brain to develop (the amygdala), reaching for a safety mechanism is innate in us all. 

But what happens as adults when we get stuck in fear, and we do not have a safety blanket? We often try to cover ourselves with words, actions, unhealthy decisions, or develop behaviors detrimental to our lives. 

Fear does that, you see. Fear reaches for a blanket. The problem? The blanket cannot do for us as an adult what it did for us as a kid. In fact, the blanket is now unhealthy.

So what do we do in the face of real fear without a means to cover ourselves? 

Here are a few techniques that might help you when fear makes itself known: 

    1. Ground yourself. Go outside, feel the grass between your toes, sit on the ground, and feel the grass with your fingers. 
    2. Breathe. I know this may sound elementary. But breathing helps calm the mind when fear or anxiety is raging. Here is a link to help you with grounding and breathing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoQVgJx_QN4  (You can also click here to watch Refuge Therapist, Hannah Owens, walk you through some deep breathing)
    3. Tell someone safe. Not everyone can handle information. If you have no one with whom you feel safe, consider a therapist at The Refuge Center. We help to navigate fear every single day and help people put away their blankets. Give us a call at 615-591-5262.

Blog written by Master’s Level Intern, Matt Wade

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