I See a Policeman and i Get Scared

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What happened?

The police beat people at rallies, they come with searches and put people on the floor with faces down, they torture them in the offices as it is shown on American or Russian TV-show. There are more than one or two reasons to be afraid of police officers. Therefore, the topic is relevant: how to cope with such fear, what to do if you feel a strong fear when you see a police officer, even if you are not doing anything illegal.

There is no point in taking away from fear at all, it is just that fear can be both useful and harmful. The first will help you to be on your guard in case of danger, and the second, excessive and baseless, will only hinder. This excessive fear is called dysfunctional one. It should be converted into a useful and healthy anxiety (functional).

Functional fear: in duration and intensity, it corresponds to a real danger, helps you to gather yourself, you reason rationally, and your thoughts correspond to the facts. This type of fear protects you.

Dysfunctional fear is accompanied by a belief in irrational thoughts that are far from reality.

If fear is dysfunctional, what should we do with it?

In general, it can help to simply watch your emotions and thoughts as if from the outside with the help of mindfulness practices. To do this, you need to try to observe the fear without evaluation: how your heart beats, your breathing quickens, and negative thoughts appear. Often this is enough for the fear to be passed or decreased. Perhaps, after regular practice, it will occur much less in situations where there is no serious reason for it.

What if it doesn't help?

Then you can try to turn a meaningless fear into a healthy one.

There are three aspects of dysfunctional anxiety in thinking. On the one hand, it is an exaggeration of the probability of the worst outcome (cognitive distortion), and on the other it is the rejection of it («It should not be with me!»), the perception of it as disastrous («It is terrible!»), the unbearable («I can't stand it, I can't bear it!»). The third point is the merging with these thoughts.

Accordingly, there are three strategies for managing anxiety. The first is to check thoughts about the probability and severity of the event. The second is challenging the irrational idea that a bad outcome is an absolute disaster, unacceptable and intolerable. And the third strategy is an observation of anxiety, bodily sensations, and thoughts «from the outside», that is, the practice of mindfulness.

You can learn to think about it more calmly and not so much dramatic. Then, depending on the situation, you will either be calm, or you will experience a healthy anxiety that will help you and not hinder.

What else can I do?

  • Take reasonable methods to control the situation (study your rights, find a lawyer, and so on).
  •  Use applied relaxation, which is based on tension and relaxation of the muscles.
  •  Be physically active.
  •  Limit the use of caffeine.
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I See a Policeman and I Get Scared. (2022, Aug 31). Retrieved July 20, 2024 , from

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