Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Fear is Physical

How attune are you to your body?  Are you conscious of the slight changes in your physical nature?  Ever been standing out in the cold and you begin to shiver?  If you take a deep breath and relax the body the shivering will stop…at least for a bit.  The point is that under stress or challenge the body tightens up, almost to the point of self-strangulation.  If you consciously feel that tight how do you think your blood vessels and internal organs are responding.

It’s convenient and easy to believe that fear is strictly an emotional response to a scary situation.  When you isolate fear as an emotional situation you then believe that the solution is also emotional.  This often sends those facing a chronic or life-threatening illness to psychotherapists and behavior modification specialists in hopes of changing your thought patterns.  Leaving out the physical component means you’re leaving out a part of the equation and that will result in disappointing results from your provider.  Understanding that the mind and the body are connected will put your far ahead of the curve.

Fear is physical.  It constricts the body cutting off needed oxygen to the body.  It reduces the blood supply by constricting the blood vessels.  Many will experience pain during times of extreme fear; can you think of anything more fearful than your mortality?  The body creates its own domino effect and once the dominoes are set in motion the body falls prey to its actions.  It’s crucial that you be able to recognize fear and counteract it’s effects with a practice that allows you to release the fear from the body.

There are many activities that will allow you to release your fear.  Many body centered activities will give you the physical strength and clarity of mind to release the fear from the physical body; practices like yoga, qi gong, or dance.  Exercise is one of the easiest ways to get the body to relax and release.  You have lots of alternatives to give your body the benefit of dismissing fear.  When fear is expunged from the body you give it the freedom it needs to heal itself.  You provide the body with the space and energy it needs to activate your immune system giving you every opportunity to move closer to health and healing.