The psychological aspect of fear is not related to any tangible, immediate danger. This type of fear manifests itself as worry, anxiety, nervousness, tension, dread and phobias. Psychological fear is about something that might happen and is not related to what’s going on at the present moment.
A person sets themselves up for stress and suffering by habitually falling prey to the fabrications of the mind, the ego. The ego’s near constant machinations are a sign of its relentless power. It is a formidable entity with the capacity to control our lives and a tendency to be overprotective.
Creating a Deeper Sense of Self
When we remember that an emotion is the body’s reaction to our mind, it gives us pause to imagine how much stress we endure by listening to the repeated messages, mostly false, from our mind of being under threat.
In holistic healing, all negative emotions are traced back to fear. Fear creates stress in the body and triggers the release of the stress hormone, cortisol. Chronic stress and elevated cortisol levels increase the risk of depression, mental illness and a lower life expectancy. Research also shows that elevated cortisol levels interfere with learning and memory. They lower the immune system and bone density, cause weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease and more.
The ego desires to be front and centre. It would like us to believe that we are our egos. Many fall for this trap, which can affect our emotional and physical health. Learning to control our fear, and be free from it helps us to disengage from the ego and create a deeper, happier sense of self. Here are some tips on how to achieve this:
Breathe. Anxiety and fear affect our breathing. It becomes shallow and less oxygen flows to the brain, decreasing our ability to think clearly. Learn techniques for breathing more fully from the abdomen.
Exercise. Our body needs to move to stay healthy and exercise, even gentle exercise, is an excellent way of reducing cortisol levels.
Eat Well. Along with a healthy diet, avoiding sugar and caffeine helps calm the nerves.
Look at the Brighter Picture. There will always be challenges in life, but we can choose how to deal with these challenges. Fear and worry are the least effective ways and can lead to depression.
Seek Help. Falling into worry mode is a form of procrastination that can exacerbate problems. Talk to a friend or counsellor for help.
Take a Time Out. Schedule time in your day for quiet/sacred time.
Eckhart Tolle reminds us that the present moment is all we truly have and suggests we make now the primary focus of our life. Focus on the now and keep fear at bay.
Karen Gay, A-Roaming Bodyworker, is a holistic health practitioner practicing in Hanoi. For information on the types of services provided, visit a-roamingbodyworker.com