Overcoming the Fear of Death

Fear of death is one of the most common fears and it can be overcome.

Learn how to free yourself from death anxiety and live your life in peace.

The fear of death underlies almost all fears phobias and anxieties. You can discover this for yourself...

For example, perhaps you are afraid of losing your job. Try playing a game we could call “and then what”. Each time we ask "and then what" the next fear will surface. This helps us face our fears and realize what is underneath them.

The game goes like this:

Suppose you do lose your job, ask yourself... And then what?
You can’t find another job...And then what?
You lose your home...And then what?
You move in with your relatives...And then what?
They kick you out...And then what?
You are homeless...And then what?
No one talks to you...And then what?
You are hungry...And then what?
You get sick...And then what?
You die.

The fear of dying turned out to be what was really driving all of those
other fears.

The stunning implication of this exercise is - when we overcome the fear of death we can live life truly free of fear.

Tips to Heal Death Anxiety

Face Your Fear - Do Research - Get the Facts
We tend to be afraid of the unknown. We tend to hide from whatever we are afraid of - like the fear of death.

Instead face your fear and get the facts.

You might do volunteer work with Compassion in Action at
http://www.thetwilightbrigade.com or similar organizations. In the process you will become more familiar with death and its potential healing, beauty and peace. You will discover that death is not an ending but a sacred transition. This will also help you to face your fear, and walk through it.

Read about near death experiences.
In his book Saved By The Light Dannion Brinkley tells the story of his near death experiences. He makes it clear that our lives are not really ended when our physical bodies cease to function. This understanding can help demystify death and bring more acceptance and peace.

Look at the Facts - and Accept the Inevitable
The statistics are very clear – we all go - maybe some in 5 minutes, or 30 years or 50 years but all of our bodies will die. 200 years from now the world will be a very different place in some ways and none of us will be here. Accepting the inevitable relieves stress and is very healing.

Practice Forgiveness and Make Amends
Forgive yourself your mistakes. Forgive others their mistakes. Realize we are all doing the best we can.

Much of the fear of dying comes from a fear of judgment and hell. We feel guilty about many things. We can not change the mistakes we made in the past. But we can often make amends, ask forgiveness, repay debts and compensate those we harmed. These actions help heal our sense of guilt and also our death anxiety.

Pray to God
We really are not in control over when our bodies will die. Even though I am a strong advocate of healthy lifestyle choices these healthy habits do not guarantee longevity. (They can however, dramatically improve the quality of our lives and our level of happiness, up to the very end.)

But when it comes to life and death, that is beyond human power. It is really best to turn those questions over to God in prayer. When I find myself experiencing fear, I ask God to remove the fear, so that I may serve him better while I am alive.

Do Selfless Service, Good Deeds, Acts of Kindness,
Help Others

This is known as building the karmic bank account. Commit yourself to being kind and helpful to others. You will discover that this practice, done consistently will bring comfort to yourself as well as others.

Learn to See Death Differently -
Do a Fear of Death Meditation

Visualize death as a kind, gentle and loving event... a sacred transition.

Imagine someone going through this sacred transition.

“See” them as being gently released from their body and welcomed by the loving soothing presence of God.

Imagine and feel this sacred transition as a deeply healing experience for them.
(A variation of this mediation is suggested by Dr. Hawkins in his book Healing and Recovery.)

Recognize that Everything is All Right – Right Now
Fear is an uncomfortable emotion we project on to the future.
Dr. David Hawkins does a wonderful demonstration of this principle by pretending to be a man on the way to the guillotine.

He stand on the platform and asks– is everything OK right now?
He walks closer – is everything OK right now?
He walks closer – is everything OK right now?
He puts his head on the chopping block –
Is everything OK right now?
The blade comes down –
Is everything OK right now?

The honest answer in each moment is almost always yes.
When we stay grounded in the present, there is no fear.

Benefits of Healing the Fear of Death

  • Greater Freedom
    When fear rules us it is much easier for others to manipulate us. This can lead to doing things we later regret.
  • Greater Peace
    When we accept the inevitable it leads to acceptance and peace.
  • More Energy and Success
    Fear can tie up our life energy in unpleasant and unproductive patterns.
  • Better Health
    Chronic fear affects our immune systems, our hormone systems, our neurotransmitters in detrimental ways. It is very stressful.
Take these steps for overcoming the fear of death and you can experience greater peace, health and happiness in your life.

Explore more Types of Fear and How to Conquer Fear,

or to read an overview of many natural stress relief tips, click to Gentle Stress Relief home page

Sources:

Brinkley, Dannion. 1994. Saved By The Light. New York, N.Y.: HarperPaperbacks

Brinkley, Dannion. 1995. At Peace In The Light. New York, N.Y.: HarperPaperbacks

Hawkins, David R. M.D., Ph.D. 2009. Healing and Recovery. West Sedona Arizona: Veritas Publishing

Hawkins, David R., M.D., Ph.D. 2006. Transcending The Levels Of Consciousness. W. Sedona, AZ: Veritas Publishing