Conquering Fear, Anxiety, and Worry
Excerpts from the writings of Paramahansa Yogananda
Meet everybody and every circumstance on the battlefield of life with the courage of a hero and the smile of a conqueror.
You are a child of God. What have you to fear?
Fear of failure or sickness is cultivated by turning over such thoughts in the conscious mind until they become rooted in the subconscious and finally in the superconscious. Then the superconsciously and subconsciously rooted fear begins to germinate and fill the conscious mind with fear plants that are not so easy to destroy as the original thought would have been, and these eventually bear their poisonous, death-dealing fruits....
Uproot them from within by forceful concentration upon courage, and by shifting your consciousness to the absolute peace of God within.
Whatever it is that you fear, take your mind away from it and leave it to God. Have faith in Him. Much suffering is due simply to worry. Why suffer now when the malady has not yet come? Since most of our ills come through fear, if you give up fear you will be free at once. The healing will be instant. Every night, before you sleep, affirm: “The Heavenly Father is with me; I am protected.” Mentally surround yourself with Spirit....You will feel His wonderful protection.
When the consciousness is kept on God, you will have no fears; every obstacle will then be overcome by courage and faith.
Fear comes from the heart. If ever you feel overcome by dread of some illness or accident, you should inhale and exhale deeply, slowly, and rhythmically several times, relaxing with each exhalation. This helps the circulation to become normal. If your heart is truly quiet you cannot feel fear at all.
Technique for relaxing the body
Tense with will: By command of will, direct the life energy (through the process of tension) to flood the body or any body part. Feel the energy vibrating there, energizing and revitalizing. Relax and feel: Relax the tension, and feel the soothing tingle of new life and vitality in the recharged area. Feel that you are not the body; you are that life which sustains the body. Feel the peace, the freedom, the increased awareness that comes with the calmness produced by the practice of this technique.
Many people come to me to talk about their worries. I urge them to sit quietly, meditate, and pray; and after feeling calmness within, to think of the alternate ways by which the problem can be solved or eliminated. When the mind is calm in God, when the faith is strong in God, they find a solution to their problem. Merely ignoring problems won’t solve them, but neither will worrying about them. Meditate until you become calm; then put your mind on your problem and pray deeply for God’s help. Concentrate on the problem and you will find a solution without going through the terrible strain of worry....
Remember, greater than a million reasonings of the mind is to sit and meditate upon God until you feel calmness within. Then say to the Lord, “I can’t solve my problem alone, even if I thought a zillion different thoughts; but I can solve it by placing it in Your hands, asking first for Your guidance, and then following through by thinking out the various angles for a possible solution.” God does help those who help themselves. When your mind is calm and filled with faith after praying to God in meditation, you are able to see various answers to your problems; and because your mind is calm, you are capable of picking out the best solution. Follow that solution, and you will meet with success. This is applying the science of religion in your daily life.
No matter how busy we are, we should not forget now and then to free our minds completely from worries and all duties....Try to remain for one minute at a time without thinking negatively, fixing the mind on the peace within, especially if worried. Then try to remain for several minutes with a quiet mind. Following that, think of some happy incident; dwell on it and visualize it; mentally go through some pleasant experience over and over again until you have forgotten your worries entirely.
Realization that all power to think, speak, feel, and act comes from God, and that He is ever with us, inspiring and guiding us, brings an instant freedom from nervousness. Flashes of divine joy will come with this realization; sometimes a deep illumination will pervade one’s being, banishing the very concept of fear. Like an ocean, the power of God sweeps in, surging through the heart in a cleansing flood, removing all obstructions of delusive doubt, nervousness, and fear. The delusion of matter, the consciousness of being only a mortal body, is overcome by contacting the sweet serenity of Spirit, attainable by daily meditation. Then you know that the body is a little bubble of energy in His cosmic sea.
Make a supreme effort to get to God. I am speaking practical truth to you, practical sense; and giving you a philosophy that will take away all of your consciousness of hurt. Be afraid of nothing....Meditate deeply and faithfully, and one day you will wake up in ecstasy with God and see how foolish it is that people think they are suffering. You and I and they are all pure Spirit.
“I relax and cast aside all mental burdens, allowing God to express through me His perfect love, peace, and wisdom.”
“O Omnipresent Protector! when clouds of war send rains of gas and fire, be Thou my bomb shelter.
“In life and death, in disease, famine, pestilence, or poverty may I ever cling to Thee. Help me to realize I am immortal Spirit, untouched by the changes of childhood, youth, age, and world upheavals.”
- Living Fearlessly by Paramahansa Yogananda
- “Probing the Core of Nervousness,” Journey to Self-realization by Paramahansa Yogananda
- Inner Peace: How to Be Calmly Active And Actively Calm by Paramahansa Yogananda
- “The View of the Wise Toward Life’s Experiences,” Only Love by Sri Daya Mata
- “Take Your Troubles to God,” Only Love by Sri Daya Mata
- “Eliminating the Static of Fear From the Mind Radio,” Man’s Eternal Quest by Paramahansa Yogananda
- “Nervousness: Cause and Cure,” Man’s Eternal Quest by Paramahansa Yogananda