How fear can cripple your body, mind, and spirit
As the spine-chilling images of a new horror film flicker across the screen, your heart races as you try to anticipate the impending scare. Knowing the ‘killer’ will pop out at any second but not wanting to miss a thing you peek out from behind your fingertips. You breathe heavily as your muscles tense. Suddenly you jump spilling popcorn everywhere as the directors planned the scare perfectly.
This event when watching horror movies is often followed by laughter and a sense of relief as your body calms with an understanding that the fear has passed.
Your body reacts the way that it does during a horror flick due to our brains being unable to differentiate between a real threat or an imagined one. Therefore, it kicks in our sympathetic nervous system which releases adrenaline, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol to prepare your system for fight-or-flight.
Your heart rate increases as blood is circulated faster to your muscles and lungs in preparation for fast movement. Your eyesight, hearing, and sense of perception become more acute, and you are prepared to fight or flee the impending doom.
Once the danger has passed your parasympathetic system engages and you experience decreased respiration and heart rate, and increased digestion as you enter a state of calm and relaxation.
But what if the fear never stopped?
Effects of Long-term Exposure to Fear
Over the last year on every TV channel, radio program, government announcement, social media page, and news broadcast we have been bombarded with pandemic information. Numbers of infections, deaths, and isolation have left many with a sense of impending doom as no matter where you turned, you could not escape the discussion.
This has caused a new symptom to evolve in our population currently called post-pandemic social anxiety brought on mainly by fear. As stated above, when your brain perceives fear it triggers fight-or-flight, but your brain cannot differentiate the difference between actual danger and perceived danger so even if a threat is not happening to you at this exact moment…your brain can react as though it is.
This can leave you in a debilitative state unable to interact with society in your usual way. You may feel isolated, anxious, depressed, and/or immobilized by your fear.
Remaining in this state has detrimental effects on your body, mind, and spirit and can causes dis-ease in the form of the following:
- cardiovascular damage
- gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome
- accelerated aging and even premature death
- impairs the formation of long-term memories and causes damage to certain parts of the brain, such as the hippocampus
- intense emotions and impulsive reactions
- fatigue, clinical depression, and PTSD
- weakened immune system
- anxiety, depression, and general dis-ease
How to Move from Fear to Optimal Health
Fear can be caused by an actual threat, a perceived threat, or even by memory or past event. At times, you may not even realize what is causing your fear as it could be related to an incident or trauma that you no longer recall in your conscious mind, but your body stored the memory of said trauma within its tissue and within your subconscious hereby continuing to react to it.
Your journey to optimal health is a personal one that begins with listening to your body from a loving state of calmness so that you can move from fear to love. When approaching a situation from a fearful mindset, you are unable to view the entire picture as your brain is programmed to focus solely and the fear and react accordingly.
However, by approaching situations from a state of love, you will be residing in a place of calmness that will allow you to view the big picture, think more clearly, and remain in the parasympathetic mode.
This is not an overnight solution to fear as each person’s healing journey is their own and a timeline cannot be placed on it. However, while on your journey to optimal health you will find yourself reacting to situations from a state of love instead of crippling fear as you learn to listen to your body lovingly.
It Begins with You
For over three decades, my unique methodology has guided people on a path to physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness, reminding them of their life’s choices and agency. The path to optimal health means discovering what really needs healing, rewriting the stories that don’t serve us, honoring our body, and reclaiming our path back to joy. As you discover how to listen to your body and begin the first steps on your journey to optimal health, you will find that you can begin to react to fearful or stressful situations from a calmer state of body and mind, instead of fear.
I invite you to discover your health archetype through the quiz link below. Your Health Archetype gives you insight into your unconscious operating mode which elaborates on how you view and react to the world around you and how that information affects and relates to your health.
There is no obligation when completing the quiz and becoming self-aware of your unconscious operating mode represented by your archetype is a vital step in addressing the stress levels in your body that are running in the background.
Discovering your Health Archetype is the first step in understanding certain tendencies you have, and your way of dealing with and seeing life.
You can move from dis-ease to optimal health, and it begins with you!
“How you live your life is how you heal.
The body knows how to heal.
Our job is to learn how to live.”
Dr. Manon Bolliger, ND