Refuse To Live in Fear

I came across this article in Word for Today and it made me think about the way I handle fear.
“Advice columnist Ann Landers received about ten thousand letters every month. When asked to name the most common problem in her readers’ lives, she said, ‘Fear! People are afraid of losing their health, their wealth, and their loved ones.
People are afraid of life itself.’ If you allow it to, fear will control you. ‘Fear involves torment’, and until the power of fear is broken, it will keep tormenting you. When fear rules your life, you cannot enjoy anything you do. And you certainly can’t enjoy God’s blessings.
Dr Caroline Leaf says that fear triggers ‘more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses and activates more than thirty different hormones and neurotransmitters.’
It’s at the root of all our stress. When fear causes a chronic stress reaction in us, it actually ‘marinates’ our body in chemicals that can be harmful in large amounts. This, of course, is terribly unhealthy and threatening to our physical well-being.
The fear of not being accepted by others can make you develop a phoney personality, stifling your true self and hiding who you really are.
The fear of failure will prevent you from trying new things or stretching yourself to do more than you feel comfortable doing. The fear of the future can cause you not to enjoy your life today.”
Fear has consequences
Fear can have various effects on our bodies, both short-term and long-term. When we experience fear, our body’s natural response is to activate the “fight-or-flight” stress response, also known as the sympathetic nervous system response.
This response prepares the body to deal with perceived threats by releasing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. While this response can be helpful in certain situations, prolonged or excessive fear can lead to negative consequences. Here are some potential effects of fear on the body:

  1. Increased heart rate and blood pressure: Fear triggers the release of adrenaline, which can cause a rapid heartbeat and an increase in blood pressure. Over time, chronic fear can put a strain on the cardiovascular system and contribute to heart problems.
  • Digestive issues: Fear can disrupt the normal functioning of the digestive system. It can lead to symptoms such as stomach aches, indigestion, diarrhoea, or constipation. Long-term fear may contribute to more serious conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or ulcers.
  • Muscle tension and pain: Fear can cause muscle tension and tightness, particularly in the neck, shoulders, and back. Prolonged muscle tension can result in chronic pain and discomfort.
  • Respiratory problems: Fear can affect breathing patterns, leading to rapid, shallow breathing or even hyperventilation. This can cause shortness of breath, dizziness, or feelings of suffocation.
  • Sleep disturbances: Fear and anxiety can interfere with sleep patterns, leading to difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Lack of quality sleep can further exacerbate stress and negatively impact overall health.
  • Mental health issues: Persistent fear and anxiety can contribute to the development or exacerbation of mental health conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Cognitive impairment: Intense fear can impair cognitive function, making it difficult to think clearly, concentrate, or make rational decisions. This can interfere with daily activities and overall mental performance.
  • Increased risk of chronic conditions: Prolonged fear and chronic stress have been linked to an increased risk of developing or worsening certain chronic health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders.
  • Skin problems: Fear and chronic stress can exacerbate existing skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, or acne. Additionally, stress hormones can affect the skin’s natural barrier function and contribute to dryness, itchiness, or increased sensitivity.
  1. Impact on the nervous system: Fear and chronic stress can impact the central nervous system, leading to symptoms such as headaches, migraines, or increased susceptibility to pain.
  1. Accelerated ageing: Chronic fear and stress can accelerate the ageing process at a cellular level. It can affect the length of telomeres, which are protective caps on the ends of chromosomes, potentially contributing to premature ageing.
  1. Impaired immune response: Fear and chronic stress can dampen the immune system’s ability to respond effectively to pathogens and inflammation, increasing the risk of infections, allergies, and inflammatory conditions.

Implementing stress management techniques, seeking support from mental health professionals, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help mitigate the negative impact of fear on the body.
There are ways to combat fear
Some of the techniques I use to reduce fear in my life are mindfulness and gratitude. Remember – what you think about and dwell on is what you feel. So, when you focus on negative things you feel fear and experience stress.
You only experience stress and fear when you dwell on past hurts or mistakes you have made, or you think about all the things which can go wrong in the future. As you do this you trigger fear and stress, and this causes huge damage to your mind and body. It is essential that you reduce fear which is the main cause of stress in our lives.
It’s all in the mind
You only experience stress when you think about the past or the future. When you are in the moment you don’t experience fear or stress, and this is where Mindfulness comes in. Many times a day I will simply observe something around me and just look at it non-judgmentally.
Remember that the conscious mind can only think of one thing at a time so when you are focused on something in front of you it is impossible to think about anything else. Also, what you think is what you feel so when you observe something like a bird in the garden you will experience positive feelings for that brief period of time.
Pockets of Peace
Use this observation technique or deep breathing to give you ‘Pockets of Peace’ during your stressful day. These will reduce the stress you are experiencing.
Another great technique is to focus on what you are grateful for in your life. As you do this you will start to feel better because what you focus on is what you feel.
Every time you find yourself thinking about something which is making you fearful, switch your thinking to what you are grateful for, and you will start to feel better, then take action and do something else making sure you don’t return to that thought which was making you fearful.
Thoughts for the week 

  1. This week try applying these techniques to your daily routine.
  2. Several times a day stop and just look at something and observe it.
  3. Several times a day stop what you are doing and breathe deeply for 30 seconds then get back to work.
  4. Whenever you find yourself in a fearful state, think about everything that you are grateful for in your life and watch how your feelings change. Then do something to make sure you don’t drift back to that thought. 

Well, that’s it for this week, have a wonderful weekend and keep believing.
Warm regards


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