What is Fear? Fear is our emotional or physical response to a threat, either real or imagined. Sometimes fear is palpable and obvious, other times it is beneath the surface and hard to pinpoint or even notice. For example, often when there is a lot of anger we think that anger is what is affecting us, but often there is fear underneath this and it is the fear that needs to be addressed to clear the anger.
Fear is corrosive for our bodies. Fear relates to the Kidneys in Chinese Medicine. Fear activates the adrenal glands that sit atop of the kidneys, and these glands release hormones and neurotransmitters that help us respond accordingly, getting ready to either run or fight to save ourselves, triggering our fight or flight reflex. This response is deep, primal and ancient and there for a very good reason. Fear reduces all bodily activities that are not required for this response, digestion is affected, our gastrointestinal system is put into a state of limbo so that all resources can be directed to our muscles, heart and lungs, ready to take immediate action.
So much of our immune response lies within the gut, a whopping 70-80% of immune cells are located in the gut. We need our guts to be working in optimal order to be able to fully activate our immune response. We need to be able to switch off this constant fear state, and move from fight or flight, back into rest and digest mode.
There was a time in my life when I was living in a very fearful state, my life and those of others was at risk, and I had to manage my response very carefully in order to stay safe. While I was able to this it didn’t reduce the threat. One day my father said the following words to me, “you can’t live in fear forever”. And I realised I needed to become brave and I began to imagine a life that one day would be very different from the one I had. And every day I took a step in that direction. And then one day I arrived.
Every day we have a choice, to stay trapped, dis-abled and living in fear, or to take back our power and choose a better life.
Do what you can to make every day better for yourself, turn off negative media, surround yourself with positive people, watch positive, funny movies, talk to people who make you laugh and give you great ideas and inspire you. Do you what you need to do to feel safe. Your life is yours to live, and your choices are your own, respect the choices of others, we are all working with our own set of beliefs, values and experiences. It is good that we are all different. If we can find harmony with each other and with nature then we will be able to live safely, wisely and symbiotically without the need for constant Fear.
Inhale, Exhale. You’ve got this.
This week as been Mental Health Awareness week in NZ. And so I want to end this week by sharing my experience of how Talking Works.
Like many people I have experienced trauma, some minor, and some severe. While I was able to carry on with life, raising children, studying, relationships, work and such, I was constantly tripping myself up. Triggers would set me off and I would start to fall apart, and consequently would hurt people I love. At times life seemed overwhelmingly hard, like there was no way out of the difficulty and like life would be one never ending seesaw between being able to function at a high level, and then falling back into trauma, fear, grief and all things related. It was like carrying a heavy burden that kept me chained to the past.
I had tried counselling once or twice, but I didn’t find the right fit, and thought it was no use in trying again. One day a beloved friend gave me the number of a trained psychologist who was easy to talk to, had years of knowledge and experience and knew her craft. It took a few years but slowly we unpacked the bag, lightened the load and reduced the charge of the memories that kept me trapped in the past. And today I can walk forward, leaving my baggage at the door and give thanks for the past but look forward to the future. Talking literally changed my life.
It is possible to get free counselling, four funded sessions may be available to you, just talk to your doctor. For trauma of a sensitive nature you can talk to an ACC registered Psychologist, Psychotherapist or Counsellor and they can apply for ACC which may pay for your sessions. And don’t be put off if you don’t find the right fit for you the first time, there will be someone out there who can help.
How heavy is your load? Are you tired of carrying the baggage? Do you find yourself constantly retriggered? Do you feel at the end of what you can handle?
You don’t have to go through life with a burden on your back. Please reach out, talk to someone, talking truly does work.
To get more details phone- Susan Matheson, Registered Psychotherapist, 0276052427 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This is my challenge to you this spring. Do you accept?
If you don’t like greed, be generous.
If you don’t like judgement, be understanding.
If you don’t like fear, be brave.
If you don’t like inequality, embrace all.
If you don’t like cruelty, be compassionate.
If you don’t like bullying, be kind.
If you don’t like ignorance, become knowledgeable.
If you don’t like stupidity, be wise.
If you don’t like tyranny, be independent.
If you don’t like hate, be love.
Be the antidote. Fighting fire with fire only makes more fire.
Spring is the perfect time to begin to create the world that you want to live in. Step out of your box, start to imagine what is possible, and sow the seeds for a positive future. There is a time for everything, and the time for change and growth is now.