Mar. 6, 2020

The Only Thing to Fear is Fear Itself

Last Sunday, I gave the Alternate Sunday Service at the Unity Center in West Linn on this topic; it seems relevant given all the recent headlines.  There is a fluid situation that is creating a fair amount of fear among the masses.  All you have to do is turn on the news to trigger your Fight or Flight response.  So many feel helpless in these circumstances, especially in the Northwest, that it makes living day-to-day difficult. 

First off, awareness is key.  There is value in being aware of what is going on in the world around you.  This is imperative.  It is equally important to know there is a fine line between awareness and obsession.  When we veer into the lane of obsession, our fears get triggered, and life becomes difficult to navigate.

Okay, let's all take a deep breath.  Funny how we have to remember to do that sometimes.  Breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, exhale for 4 counts.  Doesn't that feel better? :)

Understand that stress is a byproduct of fear.  If your fear is around getting sick, then being stressed is not conducive to your health.  Understand this and ask yourself how you can mitigate your fear in this moment.

In the moment of being triggered, it is important to soothe yourself.  Take a deep breathe, take a walk in nature, calmly speak to yourself in a loving tone, telling yourself you are safe and protected.  Drink some chamomile tea, take a bath, listen to soothing music, take a nap.  Recognize the need to move yourself out of a state of fear.  Reiki is a wonderful way to elevate your energy and dissolve fear around any situation.

From a calmer state, let's look at the facts.  There are things happening in your world you cannot control, so what can YOU do to control your world?  

1). Understand fear produces stress.  What does stress do?:

  • Stress is the cause of 90% of all illness.
  • Stress constricts the blood vessels in our prefrontal cortex, causing clouded thinking.  Stress actually makes us less intelligent.
  • Stress reduces cell turnover, causing us to age faster.
  • Stress compromises our immunity.  If we're stressed that we might get sick, it may increase our chances of getting sick.  

2). See this as an opportunity to improve hygiene.  It is a good thing to wash your hands regularly anyway, so now's your chance to improve on this aspect of your life.  

3). See this as an opportunity to become self-aware.  You have the freedom to be aware of what you're doing (i.e. touching your face, eyes, mouth, etc.).  Self-awareness is important, as we are often on auto-pilot.  View this as a wonderful excuse to increase self-awareness.

4). Understand that your thoughts affect your biological processes:

  • When you have a thought, it sends a signal down a neural pathway in your brain, triggering a gene expression, which triggers a synthesis of proteins in your cells, which produces an electrical and magnetical field around your body, which can be seen with MRI and EEG machines.

If you live in fear, believing you will get sick, that stinking thinking might beget that experience.  Be aware of this.  You get to choose your thoughts.  Therefore, you have more control over your biology than you realize.  Do not assume you will get sick.  Assume you are in perfect health, while doing practical things such as washing your hands often, and mitigating your stress.   

If you are reading, watching or listening to something that causes a knot of fear in your stomach, recognize that fear is affecting your immunity, and turn off the tv.  Doing what you can to turn away from fear, while not being ignorant to reality, will be the key to staying healthy.  You have more power in this situation than you think.  

Follow your intuition and choose thoughts that create a calming sensation, instead of allowing yourself to be pulled down by the undertow of fear.  Stay strong in the face of fear (F-False E-Evidence A-Appearing R-Real).  We are beautiful, magnificent beings designed to conquer challenge.  Honor your strength and know there is no threat in this world you cannot overcome. 

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