How to Handle Fear


Hello! My question is concerning fears. For a while now I have been having panic attacks, and fear has made me a different person than I used to be. I used to think that I could do anything, but now is the opposite. Fear is not letting me move forward in life and take new chances. I always think that I will fail in whatever I do. What is the best way to overcome fear So that I can move on with my life and not be afraid of welcoming new opportunities?

Thank you and blessings!

—Faith, Canada


Dear Faith,

Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita makes this immortal promise: “Even a little practice of this (meditation and right attitude) will free one from dire fears and colossal sufferings.”

I, too, used think of myself as fearless. As the years rolled by I realized that, though not especially plagued by fears, everyone is challenged (aka stressed) by life’s many seeming obstacles and opportunities.

Swami Kriyananda would sometimes give this counsel: Take your worst fear and imagine the worst possible outcome, including death itself. Do this as a kind of creative visualization. See if in your mental exercise you can face the worst case. If you can calmly do so interanlly you may well find that in reality you can handle just about anything.

Will I fail? Will people laugh? Criticize me? Will get injured? All of these things, well, what’s the worst that can happen? Others have faced such tests, why can’t I? Of course you will fail. The most successfuly people in the world and in history fail about half the time! It all has to add up to zero. But that’s no excuse for not trying our best to fulfill the law of creation: the manifestation of the joy of God.

The more we learn to live by God’s power and grace, the more we surrender both success and failure, fear and jubilation to the divine will. “Thy will, Lord; not mine.” Then give it our very best and, as is often said, “leave the rest (to God).”

Meditation, both as the result of the science of meditation (in various breathing and other exercises) and as a result of the attitude of meditation (self-offering into the Divine Presence), will go a long way towards lifting from your shoulders the fears of everyday existence.

Swami Kriyananda had an expression we like to use, SAY ‘YES’ TO LIFE! Every morning when you arise, jump out of bed and say YES! And when you lie down to sleep, softly surrender the day’s activities in the God’s loving presence, whispering YES!

Be like a warrior, a soldier for good and right: face the day’s tasks with calmness, boldness and a willing, happy attitude. Put on the armor of calmness; carry the sword of smiles, shooting everyone you meet with the buckshot of joy! Yes, as a soldier you will be struck down by your enemies of fear; just get up again and keep marching on!

Faith: it is with FAITH that we stride into daily action in the manner described. And faith is born of upliftment into superconsciousness, esp of course, in meditation. A state beyond all thoughts and fears, beyond all restlessness of body and mind. Strive to experience the SILENCE which is your nearest and dearest and into which will come the bliss of God that reassures you that you are “in possession of the kingdom of heaven.” You need only to “improve your knowing.”


Nayaswami Hriman