Fear is running rampant in our country and our world. Every person who refuses to buy into the terror puts out a different energy. We’ll never overcome what we’re faced with if we can’t get the fear out of the way.

1.    Stop watching television – the news anyway. I’m not saying to put your head in the sand, just to get your news once a day from a good paper. (Heaven knows, we need to be supporting newspapers these days. Without them, the era of serious, edited and vetted journalism could come to an end. Now, that’s something to be afraid of.)

2.    Stop talking about how awful it is and how much worse it will get. It may be awful, but what will happen tomorrow or next year or five years from now, we don’t know. We can help, though, by expecting things tomorrow and year from now and five years from now to be a whole lot better, and basing our actions (and our conversations) on those expectations.

3.    Have some fun every day. People tell jokes at funerals and then they eat pie. This tells me that humans have to have fun, no matter how bleak things appear. It keeps us functional.

4.    Hang out with happy people.

5.    Act as if you’re fearless, even if you’re not. You’ll get used to acting that way and before you know it, you’ll realize you aren’t nearly as afraid as you thought you were.

6.    Pray a lot. How about, “without ceasing”? And throw some gratitude prayers in there, too.

7.    Do some good in the world – actively, noticeably. Sending a check is good; volunteering at a soup kitchen is better.

8.    Take care of your health. Your brain is part of your body and if you’re not taking care of yourself your thinking will deteriorate.

9.    Get enough sleep. If you’re too afraid to sleep, breathe in and out, saying “All is well” on the inhalation, and “God is in charge” on the exhalation. And help yourself by getting off caffeine, at least after 10 a.m. I used to know a psychiatrist who called coffee “paranoia punch” because he believed it contributed so much to increasing people’s fear levels.

10.     Get out of the drama of it all. Fear can be addictive since doom and gloom and Armageddon are, after all, more interesting than a ho-hum life. So, delete the ho-hum! Go dancing, learn a language, adopt a dog, teach a class, take a class, get out of your comfort zone and jazz things up. It might be a little scary, but that’s tingly-scary—it’s good, and proves you’ve alive. That other kind of scared, the mired-in-fear stuff, can make you wish you were dead.

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