FEAR AND JOY PRACTICE EXERCISES

Fear and Joy Practice Exercises

The following are a few fun practice exercises utilizing the Joy to Fear Ratios.  Practice, Practice, Practice is the key to cementing the concepts into your mind. 

If you have a practice exercise that you have used that might help others, please let Quorvita  know.   The address is in the About Us link.

Easy Fear and Joy Practice Exercises

Practice Exercise Number 1

Marvin, a 38-year old married mailman with no children, is afraid of public speaking (strongest fear – lowest frequency), climate change (average fear – above average frequency) and dogs (average intensity – highest frequency). 

He enjoys walking (most pleasurable joy – highest occurrence), playing the saxophone (average joy – average frequency) and dancing (above average pleasure – below average frequency).

What are Marvin’s rough and adjusted Joy to Fear ratios?

What do you recommend?

Marvin’s rough Joy to Fear ratio is calculated as follows:

Joys

  • Spouse = 1
  • Walking = 1
  • Playing Saxophone = 1
  • Dancing = 1
    • Total = 4

Fears

  • Public Speaking = 1
  • Climate Change = 1
  • Dogs = 1
    • Total = 3

Rough Joy to Fear Ratio = 4/3 or 1.3.  This is far below the ideal ratio above  3.

Calculation of Marvin’s Adjusted Joy to Fear ratio:

Joys

  • Spouse = 1
  • Walking = (1.5 X 2) = 3
  • Playing Saxophone = (1 X 1 ) = 1
  • Dancing = (1.2 X 0.75) = 0.9
    • Total = 5.9

Fears

  • Public Speaking = (2 X 0.5) = 1
  • Climate Change = (1 X 1.2) = 1.2
  • Dogs = (1 X 1.5) = 1.5
    • Total = 3.7
Adjusted Joy to Fear Ratio = 5.9/3.7 or 1.6.  This is far below the ideal ratio of greater than 3. 
Recommendations.  The first step is to work on Marvin’s number one fear – Dogs.  The easiest way is to buy or adopt a puppy.  A puppy constitutes a treatment as well as an added Joy.   Two birds with one stone kind of thing. This single action could improve the adjusted joy/fear ratio to 3.1 in one giant leap.  
Taking on the fear of Climate Change is the next step.   The news and social media are constantly blaming all of our woes on climate change.  Again the solution is sitting in front of you.  Turn off the television or put down the cell phone and ignore the doom and gloom stories. It will immediately reduce the frequency of thinking about climate change. With time it will also reduce the fear intensity.
These two steps have the potential of increasing the joy/fear ratio to 3.45. 

Practice Exercise Number 2

Susan is a 25-year old unmarried legal secretary with a 4-year old daughter.   She is afraid of commitment (average fear –  average frequency), becoming over weight (average fear – below average frequency) and she hides her smile because of a couple of crooked front teeth (strongest intensity – highest frequency). 

She enjoys reading (most pleasurable joy – average frequency), listening to operas (average joy – lowest frequency), cooking (average joy – above average frequency) and dancing (above average pleasure – below average frequency).

What are Susan’s rough and adjusted Joy to Fear ratios?

What do you recommend she do if anything?

Susan’s rough Joy to Fear ratio calculation is:

Joys

  • Child = 1
  • Reading = 1
  • Opera = 1
  • Cooking = 1
  • Dancing = 1
    • Total =5

Fears

  • Committment =  1
  • Fear of gaining weight = 1
  • Embarrassment from Crooked Teeth  = 1
    • Total = 3

The Rough Joy to Fear Ratio = 5/3 or 1.66.  This is below the ideal ratio of greater than 3.

Calculation of Adjusted ratio.

Joys

  • Child = 1
  • Reading = (2 X 1) = 2
  • Opera = (1 X 0.5 ) = 0.5
  • Cooking = (1 X 1.2) = 1.2
  • Dancing = (1 X 0.75) = 0.75
  • Total = 5.45

Fears

  • Commitment = (1 X 1 ) = 1
  • Weight Issues = (1 X 0.75)  = 0.75, and
  • Embarrassment Crooked Teeth = ( 2 X 1.5) = 3
  • Total = 4.75
Susan’s Adjusted Joy to Fear ratio is (5.45 /4.75) or 1.1.
 
Recommendation.  It is apparent that Susan must first work on her embarrassment problem.  It has the the most obvious solution –fix the crooked teeth.  This problem is so overwhelming that it is critical that she find a way to pay for it.  That would reduce the embarrassment problem from 3 to 0.  This in turn would  and improve the joy/fear ratio to 3.1.  This one step is all she has to do to accomplish the goal of over 3.  
 

Reducing the fear of gaining weight will further improve the ratio.  The good news is that fixing her teeth will have a significant positive impact on all of her other self esteem related fears. 

The section on Fear and Joy pairing suggests that Susan should take up jogging every morning.  This might require her to take her daughter along in a jogging stroller.  This will likely increase the pleasure and Joy in doing an activity together. One-on-one time in the fresh air for a working mother might be priceless.

By adding a jogging joy (+1) and reducing the intensity of worrying about her weight to the lowest value (0.5) could change the joy to fear ratio to 4.3, i.e. (6.45/1.5). 

This is a potential home run.

Slightly More Difficult Fear and Joy Practice Exercises

Practice Exercise Number 3

John is a 38-year old married man with three children.  He is a computer engineer and enjoys putting Jigsaw puzzles together, going to the Theater, watching his children play soccer, and reading his Horoscope once a week.  He has been doing Jigsaw puzzles and reading his Horoscope more than normal. 

He hasn’t gone to the Theater for several years even though it is his most pleasurable activity.  He loves nature, and usually heads for a camp site three times a year.  He only went twice in the last 12 months.  He is afraid of flying but his job forces himself to do it four times a year.  This year was no different.  

His worst fear is public speaking, and he spoke more this year than ever before.  He has an average fear of meeting strangers at parties and seeks out those he knows to avoid talking to strangers.  Going to parties were about average in number last year.

Although baptized he has not attended church services for the last 2 years. 

His job requires him to return home at different hours and because of that the family does not regularly eat dinner together. 

What are John’s rough and adjusted Joy to Fear ratios?

What should John do to bring more happiness into his life?

John’s rough Joy to Fear ratio calculation is:

Joys

  • Spouse = 1
  • Children = 3
  • Jigsaw Puzzles = 1
  • Watch Soccer = 1
  • Horoscope = 1
  • Church = 0
  • Theater = 0
  • Camping = 1
    • Total =8

Fears

  • Flying =  1
  • Public Speaking = 1
  • Meeting Strangers = 1
    • Total = 3

John’s rough Joy to Fear ratio is (8/3) = 2.6. 

Calculation of Adjusted ratio is:

Joys

  • Spouse = 1
  • Children = 3
  • Jigsaw Puzzles = (1 X 1.2 ) = 1.2
  • Watching Soccer = (1 X 1 ) = 1
  • Horoscope = (1 X 1.2 ) = 1.2
  • Camping = (1 X 0.75) = 0.75
    • Total =8.15

Fears

  • Flying =  (1 X 1 ) = 1
  • Public Speaking = (2 X 1.5) =3
  • Meeting Strangers = 1
    • Total = 5

John’s adjusted Joy to Fear ratio is (8.15/5 ) = 1.63. 

His adjusted ratio is considerably lower than the rough ratio illustrating the advantage of the adjusted ratio. 

If you counted the theater as a Joy, that would be an over-count.  He has not been to the theater for several years.  Likewise he has not been to church in the last 2 years. 

Recommendation.  The first thing that John should do is reduce the public speaking fear level.  This is a major problem since his fear score on that one issue dominates the others. 

It would be helpful if John joined a Dale Carnegie course or similar training course to reduce his public speaking stresses.  Or he might try riding on a roller coaster several times before each big speech.  

If he cured his Public Speaking fear, that would increase his adjusted score to a whopping 4.1, which is way above the level needed.  But totally eliminating that fear would not be realistic. 

If he reduced the number of times he had to speak to a normal level and reduced his fear stress level to average, then the adjusted ratio would be 2.7.  That would be great, but a score of 3 or above is recommended.

If John returned to going to the Theater on his normal schedule, that would increase his Score to 3.  But if he returned to going to church it would increase his ratio to 3.4. 

A couple things become apparent from doing this exercise.  

Fear has more of a negative effect on happiness than Joy, so it is important to quickly treat your fears.  Studies have shown that the earlier one treats their fears the easier it is to fix.

But, adding a new Joy is easier to do, more enjoyable, and will bring happiness to you and others around you.

This means do both – treat the fear and add a joy, preferably a paired Joy.

Practice Exercise Number 4

Eddie is a 29-year old  married man with two children ages 5 and 6 .  He is a local truck driver in Utah.  He attends church once a week and really enjoys teaching Sunday school.   He compliments his wife every morning and his 6-year old daughter every day.  His 5-year old son is a bit of a problem and it causes Eddie to rarely compliments him.   He loves to barbecue and is exceptional in cooking ribs with his own invented sauces.  Unfortunately he lives in the snow country and cannot barbecue in the winter.

Eddie dislikes heights and gets nervous climbing into his truck every day.  He does not share his vulnerabilities with anyone.  Fortunately it rarely comes up. 

His greatest fear is that he will die from cancer.  He thinks about it all the time.   Both parents passed away in their 50’s because of cancer.  

What are Eddie’s rough and adjusted Joy to Fear ratios?

What should he do to bring more happiness into his life?

Eddie’s rough Joy to Fear ratio is calculated as follows:

Joys

  • Spouse = 1
  •  Children = 2
  • Compliments = 0
  • Cooking = 1
  • Religion = 1
  • Teaches Sunday School = 1
    • Total = 6

Fears

  • Heights = 1
  • Intimacy = 1
  • Cancer = 1
    • Total = 3

Rough Joy to Fear Ratio = (6/3) = 2.

This places him in the needs improvement zone.  There is no credit for compliments because he rarely gave compliments to his son.  This could be a strain between the children as well as a cause for the son’s behavior issues. 

Eddie’s adjusted Joy to Fear ratio is calculated as follows:

Joys

  • Spouse = 1
  • Children = 2
  • Cooking = (2 X 0.5 ) = 1
  • Religion = (1 X 1 ) = 1
  • Teaches Sunday School = (1.5 X 1) = 2
    • Total = 7

Fears

  • Heights = (1 X 1.5) = 1.5
  • Intimacy = (1 X 0.5) = 0.5
  • Cancer = (2 X 1.5) = 3
    • Total = 5

Eddies Adjusted Joy to Fear Ratio = (7/5) or 1.4.

Recommendations.  The first thing that Eddie should do is reduce the level of fear of Cancer.  This is a major problem since his fear score on this issue was his highest.  This is not a common fear for men his age, and should consider professional help.  He needs to reduce the frequency he thinks about it as well as the stress level associated with it.  Review the section on fear of death for methods and techniques. 

It is likely that his parents contracted cancer for reasons that do not apply to Eddie.  For example, they may have been exposed to environmental toxins, perhaps they smoked, and there may be a strong possibility that their cancer was not inheritable.  Most cancers are not inheritable.  

If he reduced the frequently and intensity of the cancer fear to normal, his adjusted joy to Fear ratio would go up to 2.3.  This represents is a major improvement.

If Eddie began barbecuing in the Winter, then this would increase the Joy to Fear ratio to  2.6.  Not much, but it is headed in the right direction.  If he visited a National Park (a paired Joy) each year, it could increase his ratio to  3 while helping reduce his cancer fear.   If he added jogging (another paired Joy) it would increase the ratio to 3.3.

That means doing these simple steps has the potential of increasing his ratio from 1.4 to 3.3 or an improvement in his happiness by 135%. 

Practice Exercise Number 5

Laura is an attractive 35-year old  woman with two boys ages 12 and 13.  The children are extremely smart and both get straight A’s in school. 

She was married for 10 years when her husband was killed in an auto accident.  She is currently working as a waitress at a local restaurant   Her income barely supports her house payments and living expenses. 

She has met a wealthy man with a playboy reputation who wants to marry her.  But she does not love him and she believes, based on his past, that he will not be loyal to her.  She is thinking about saying yes because it would be one way that her boys will be able to go to college.  But it bothers her that she would be using him for financial support.

Her biggest fear is that she cannot adequately support her kids which she thinks about every day.  She is also afraid of roaches in her apartment and has her kids to spray an insecticide where ever the bugs appear. 

Her greatest Joy is singing in her church Choir, which she does every week.    She praises her children every day. 

What ae Laura’s rough and adjusted Joy to Fear ratios?

What should Laura do to bring more happiness into her life?

Laura’s rough Joy to Fear ratio is calculated as follows:

Joys

  • Children =2
  • Compliment = 1
  • Singing Choir =1
  • Religion = 1
    • Total =5

Fears

  • Fear of failure-Cannot Support Self and Children = 1
  • Fears guilty for Not being in Love = 1
  • Fears guilty for using boyfriend = 1
  • Bugs =1
    • Total = 4

Rough Joy to Fear Ratio = (5/4) or 1.25.

This places her in a major need for improvement category.  

Laura’s adjusted Joy to Fear ratio is shown below:

Joys

  • Children =2
  • Compliment = (1.5 X 1.2) = 1.8
  • Singing Choir = (2 X 1.2) = 2.4
  • Religion = (1 X 1 ) = 1
    • Total =7.2

Fears

  • Fear of failure-Cannot Support Self and Children = (2 X 1.5) = 3
  • Fears guilty for using boyfriend = (1.5 X 1.2) = 1.8
  • Fears guilty for Not being in Love = (1 X 1.2) = 1.2
  • Bugs =1
    • Total = 7

Adjusted Joy to Fear Ratio = (7.2/7) or 1.

Recommendations.  Laura’s greatest fear is not being able to support her children. This must be addressed.  There are several ways to treat this problem.  She can work harder to make more money.   But this carries the burden of not being able to enjoy her children or her life, such as giving up her singing.  She can marry a successful person.   These are giant issues that requires time and help from family, friends, church, and perhaps professionals if she can get insurance to pick up the costs. 

The next fear is feeling guilty for potentially using her playboy boyfriend to support her children.  Reducing this fear might be easier than you think.  Marrying someone because that would provide financial support is a factor in essentially all marriages.  It is a valid reason and should not cause one to feel they are being manipulative.  

Not being in love is a concern in most arranged marriages.  Arranged marriages in the US have a divorce rate of 4% as compared to 50% for non-arranged marriages.  In India where arranged marriages constitute 90 % of all marriages the divorce rate is only 1%.  This suggests that marrying because of love at the beginning may not be a good indicator of a successful marriage. 

However, knowing that you do not love someone and using the marriage only for financial support, must be addressed.  This complex problem might have a simple (but not easy) solution.

It can be addressed by being honest with the would-be spouse.  Tell him how you feel and why you are marring him.  This should remove most of the guilt feelings.  The would-be groom with a playboy reputation has probably never encountered such honesty.   Honesty is appreciated by everyone, even playboys.

Next you should tell him that you are fearful that he will not be faithful.  Perhaps negotiate an agreement that if he is not faithful that he will pay for your children’s education. 

Being brutally honest and having a potential education arrangement for the two boys could remove these fears and improve the joy to fear ratio to above 3. 

The bug issue can be helped by adding a gardening hobby (a paired Joy for this Fear).

Even More Difficult Fear and Joy Practice Exercises

Practice Exercise Number 6

Simon is a 25-year old actor who has stared in several movies and three commercials.  He is a handsome man with an athletic build.  He does not get along with his parents or his siblings and has not talked to any of them for years.  However he has asked them to forgive him for not keeping in touch.

He has been dating Jill, an 18 year old model who is deeply religious.  She recently informed him that she was pregnant.  He criticized her for not taking birth control pills and advised her to get an abortion.  He told her that he had too much on his plate with this career to get involved. 

His greatest fear is that his acting career will end and he will lose his fan base.  It haunts him and he thinks about it all the time.  His only escape from this fear is to take drugs.  He is afraid of flying, which he has to do for his job more than normal.  He is also afraid of tight spaces.   With the news about the pregnancy he is very afraid it will get into the tabloids and ruin his chances in an upcoming audition.   

His greatest pleasure is acting.  Unfortunately, he has not been in a movie as much as normal.  His second greatest pleasure is socializing with his fans and he does it more often than usual.  He is witty and funny.   He tells all of them that they are the greatest.  He is pleased with his physical health and goes to the Gym almost every day. 

What are Simon’s rough and adjusted Joy to Fear ratios?

What should Simon do to bring more happiness into his life?

Simon’s rough Joy to Fear ratio is calculated as follows:

Joys

  • Loves his Job = 1
  • Enjoys his Physical Health = 1
  • Compliments Fans = 0
  • Asked Family &  Siblings for Forgiveness = 0
    • Total = 2

Fears

  • Job Insecurity = 1
  • Tabloid will harm him re pregnancy news = 1
  • Fear of Flying = 1
  • Fear of Tight Spaces= 1
  • Fear of Drug Dependence = 1
    • Total = 5

Rough Joy to Fear Ratio = (2/5) or 0.4.

This places him in a critical need for improvement category.  

Simon’s adjusted Joy to Fear ratio is shown below:

  • Loves his Job = (2 X 1.5) = 3
  • Enjoys his Physical Health = (1.2 X 1.2) = 1.4
  • Apologize  = 0
    • Total = 4.4

Fears

  • Job Insecurity = (2 X 1.5) = 3
  • Tabloid will harm him re pregnancy news = (1.2 X 1) = 1.2
  • Fear of Flying = 1
  • Fear of Tight Spaces= 1
  • Fear of Drug Dependence = (1.2 X 1.2) = 1.4
    • Total = 7.6

Adjusted Joy to Fear Ratio = (4.4/7.6) or 0.58.

Recommendations.   If your first thoughts were that Simon was a douchebag, you have missed the point of this exercise.   It is apparent that Simon is likely suffering inside.   Many actors, if not most, suffer from depression.  As such, professional help is strongly recommended. 

Simon’s greatest fear is losing his acting career.  This is also connected to the fear of the Tabloid discovering the pregnancy, and the fear of drug addition.  They are all different but connected. 

First, he must increase his happiness level that is unrelated to the acting career.  The strongest solution is family, i.e. get married and have children.  If he loves Jill for who she is and if Jill loves him for who he is, they need to seriously consider marriage.   One way to determine if a marriage is a good match is to ask and get permission from Jill’s parents.  And then ask and get permission from Simon’s parents.  If they say no, Simon and Jill should seriously consider pausing the marriage plans.

Second, Simon must kick the drug habit.  This means a real and lengthy rehabilitation. 

Third, Simon should try to reconcile with his parents and siblings.   Reconciliation means more than words.   Reconciliation adds honesty and value to the mix.  Words are good, but honesty is better.   Giving up something that has intrinsic value would add credibility.  For example, submitting to drug rehab would be an example of something of with intrinsic value.

If Simon is able to do all these things it could increase his joy to fear ratio to (6.4/3) = 2.1.  That is a jump of 262%. 

Simon does not get credit for the apology to the parents and siblings since there was no apology.  Simon does not get credit for compliments given to his fan club, since the compliments were not heart felt.   Simon did not receive credit for any forgiveness since the person who forgives must the person who was wronged. 

The next thing Simon should do is to honestly compliment individuals and observe the effects.  In order to do this the compliment should be fact specific.  Simon is in a unique position.  Those people who admire Simon will be particularly benefited by a true compliment.  This could increase the Joy to Fear ratio of 2.5. 
 
Next, Simon should volunteer to help others.  And he should do it without notifying the media so as to receive publicity.  He may chose to help struggling actors, particularly those actors who may stray into drugs.  This could increase the ratio to 2.8. 
Reducing the frequency of his flying and the frequency of getting in tight spaces would jointly put him over the top with a ratio of 3.1.
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