March 1, 2018 Felicia Durling

Healthy Fear vs. Unhealthy Fear

Fitnessreloaded.com characterizes the difference between healthy fear and unhealthy fear in two simple lists. The author writes that healthy fear is stimulated by real threatening danger and then disappears when that danger is no longer present. Being faced with what could be a matter of life or death, healthy fear encourages or requires us to take action. Taking action out of healthy fear rarely results in any feelings of shame. Good reason stands to have been fearful, and the fear-based action had clear motives: to get out of the way of danger.

Unhealthy fear, on the other hand, according to the author, is stimulated by perceived or imagined danger- which usually isn’t dangerous at all. While healthy fear recedes after it serves its purpose, unhealthy fear tends to carry on because there is no real end goal. Since there is no clear directive from unhealthy fear, rather than inspiring us to take action it causes paralysis. Neither defending ourselves nor confronting the fear can lead to shameful feelings. Lastly, since there is no real definition of the fear, there aren’t any clear motives for taking action on it. Unhealthy fear is illogical, oftentimes irrational, and mostly without use.

Through recovery, we learn to face our fears- both healthy and unhealthy. We feel equipped to do so because of our trust and faith in God, or the Higher Power of our understanding. It is impossible to be in faith and fear at the same time. If we replace our unhealthy fears with unending faith, we will be amazed by how quickly our fears will fade.

Jeremiah 29:11 assures us that God has our best interest at heart. When we doubt that, we are instantaneously in fear. Most of our unhealthy fear comes from an ultimate source of mistrust in God. It’s the impending what if. What if God forsakes me? What if God has forgotten about me? What if God just doesn’t love me? What if I am broken, different, deficient, or not worth the miracle of God’s love and mercy? Shaken to the core of our faithful foundation there is nowhere to go but fear.

Psalm 27 illuminates this contradiction, “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” Then, Romans 8:31 highlights the indisputable truth: If God is for us who could possibly be against us?

Are you in fear of admitting your struggle with drugs and alcohol? We have faith in your ability to recover. Put your faith in us and let us guide you toward lifelong recovery. The Center for Life Change in Temecula, California offers an intensive outpatient program rooted in evidence-based treatment methods and the healing power of spiritual transformation. For more information, call us today 951-775-4000.

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