How to convert fear to control during the coronavirus

By March 27, 2020 No Comments
Woman Journaling

Strengthening your recovery regardless how life shows up

The world is in a massive state of uncertainty, which has led to much fear and anxiety. Coronavirus (Covid-19) information is everywhere: the news, social media and in conversations with family, friends and even strangers at the local grocery store. While all this is understandable, our job in recovery is the awareness that how we respond (or react) will impact our state of mind. How fortunate are we, in recovery, that we now know this!

Responding with Fear (False Evidence Appearing Real) can be dangerous. If we’re not aware, it can easily drain our energy faster than bathwater going down the drain. If fear continues, it can lead us into a sense of hopelessness, sending us on a road that can have serious consequences on our recovery. In a fear state, it’s common to focus on the issues we have no control over, rather than on the issues of which we do have control. Let’s look at this further.

  • What are your thoughts and time focused on now?
  • When you focus on what you can control, do you notice your world expanding and with a positive mindset?
  • When you focus on what you cannot control, do you notice your world shrinking and with a negative mindset?

Simply, we cannot control the actions of others that may or may not lead to contracting Coronavirus; but we do have complete control of what we do. You cannot change what’s happening outside your door, but you can change and control what happens inside.

Here are a few tips and strategies to help you overcome fear and a negative mindset, coming out stronger, which further anchors your recovery.

Set Your Intention

Imagine the outcome as you would like it to be. This is known as setting your intention. By focusing on what you would LIKE to happen, you’ve taken the first step of walking away from fear.

Change and Control What YOU Can

Serenity Prayer

*God refers to God of your understanding.

Say the Serenity prayer and really listen to it. First, the words, “grant me the serenity” means “help me maintain a peaceful clear mind.” With serenity, everything flows more smoothly. From this vantage point, accept what you cannot change. For ex: You cannot change that the world is struggling with the coronavirus; you can change your daily routines to protect yourself. Then, have the courage to change what you can. Courage is exactly what we have in recovery!

So, you can change your perspective from fear to control. You can change what you do to support and thrive in your recovery (i.e., the Self-Love Daily Practice, more on this below). You can change what you eat, drink and your sleep pattern, so you are well rested and thinking clearly. Finally, you can choose to be grateful for the home you have, the family and friends that support you, the recovery path you’re on, and knowing that you are not alone.

Write in Your Gratitude Journal

There is power in writing something down. It helps you slow down to take inventory of how truly blessed you are. When it’s written, it becomes a great resource to remind you of the progress and growth in your life. Tons of research on this simple powerful act of daily writing on gratitude has recently flooded the literature.

Activate Your Vagus Nerve

Your vagus nerve is the main nerve of your autonomic nervous system, the part responsible for control of bodily functions not consciously directed, such as breathing, heartbeat and digestive processes. When you activate it, you tap the connection between the mind and body, and it’s linked to positive emotions and social connectivity.

In our Self-Love Daily Practice with Guided Meditation, you’ll find tools and strategies to help activate your vagus nerve, and, as the title implies, it should be done daily. Even doing one (1) thing every day to stimulate your vagus nerve will calm the body down. If you don’t have the Self-Love Daily Practice, subscribe to the Humble Warrior Women newsletter and you will receive a download link.

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There are other tools, strategies and tips Humble Warrior Women provides, which you can learn about on our website, or by attending one of our FREE Webinars. The next webinar, How to Avoid Self-Sabotage in Early Recovery: 12 Game-Changing Strategies, is scheduled for April 2, 2020 at 7PM EST. To learn more about it and register, click below.


These shared strategies and tools are not just for the Coronavirus pandemic. They are excellent for all stressful situations because life can be full of surprises, and many circumstances can trigger all types of emotions, thoughts, and yes, patterns of addictive behavior. By putting these life strategies into practice daily, you will actively strengthen your response to one that supports what’s in your control, helps you navigate from a calm state, improves mental clarity and emotional stability, and overall places you in the best position to hold onto your power to ensure relapse doesn’t occur.

Stay strong Humble Warrior Women!
Jill Rathburg