On BioScience and Life and Such

Fear OFF-switch cont.

In FDH-OFF project on January 24, 2023 at 10:32 am

Update 3 on the Fear-Disgust-Hate project

Update 1 established that reading can, activate aspects of the fear-response.

Update 2 looked into possible ways of treating fear based on non-pharmaceutical therapy methods, and listed a first draft of standard-short-text responses.

Next: expand list of standard-short-text responses based on methods for everyday use outside of the therapy room.

There are a number of recommendations on countering fear, especially panic-attacks, from public health and patient centered sites.

I have used some of these sites used as templates for standard-short-text responses (examples on each side of the professionality scale are Scottish NSH and “Romper“).

These sites commonly recommend that when experiencing fear you should “identify/specify your fear”, “take a time out – breathe look around – relax” and then “reassess your fear in a more useful manner”. Not that different from the cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness techniques mentioned in Update 2.

Based on techniques mentioned in these sites, I can improve on the first draft of Fear OFF-switches:

Second draft of Fear OFF-switches:

  1. It is ok to feel this way, but it’s impossible to think clearly when you’re flooded with fear or anxiety. Take a deep breath or two, before continuing your discussion on this topic.
  2. You’re allowed to feel anxious, even if you don’t know the reason why, in reaction to [this subject]. The first thing to do is take time out so you can physically calm down. Look out a window, notice the color and texture in the world around you, and take those sensations in. Then consider your thoughts on [the subject] again.
  3. You sound worried. You’re not alone. Why not distract yourself from the worry for 15 minutes by walking around the block, making a cup of tea or having a bath. Then re-asses your statements.
  4. I noticed that you generalized [the subject] into [this]. Your fear is not silly, but is it possible to re-frame this generalization into [something more accurate]
  5. You put a lot of emphasis on [this minor detail]. It’s okay to feel this way, but is [this detail] really that important or could you imagine that other parts of the discussion may have more significance.
  6. Are you ok ? Is it possible that you are assuming the worst and that this is unlikely to happen
  7. It’s okay to feel scared. We all do. Is it possible for you to re-frame [given negative argument] into [a positive spin on argument].
  8. What’s wrong? It sometimes helps to challenge fearful thoughts. Ask yourself if you have ever heard of this happening to someone. Ask yourself what you would say to a friend who had a similar fear.
  9. Is there anything I can do to help you right now?

Hopefully these standard-short-texts will continue to evolve into standard templates for comments that can be used anywhere in a discussion-thread, on any web-site or social media platform.

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