Are You Listening to FEAR?
There is a lot of global and local fear circulating right now.
All you have to do is open your phone and your cortisol levels most likely immediately get activated.
The reality is, we experience fear all the time. Without the addition of the coronavirus or tornado. There is so much fear we experience. Fear of death, fear of divorce, fear of losing our jobs, fear of losing money, fear of our children’s well being, fear of aging, fear of being alone, fear of our body falling apart, fear of getting cancer, fear of abuse…the list goes on and on. It can really wreak havoc on our lives and deplete our energy.
So let’s talk about fear:
Fear’s job is to keep us out of danger and activate the reptilian brain or survival brain so we can protect ourselves. Our brain says: “STAY SAFE. STAY ALIVE!”
So, I don’t want to minimize fear. It’s real. But it’s super important to understand the difference between healthy fear, and debilitating fear. Because when are in the fight, flight, freeze, disassociate states our bodies aren’t able to rest, restore, repair or heal. So I don’t want any of you to get stuck there!
let’s take a closer look at the experience of fear:
Sensation might feel like: jittery nerves, nausea, tightness in our throat, soreness or pressure in the heart, being lightheaded, exhausted.
Looks like: consistent rumination of worst case scenarios, scrolling through social media and news articles, being caught in reactivity (no planning, no pausing, no presence), hyper vigilance, thinking shameful thoughts, thinking self harming thoughts, thinking self protecting thoughts…
What is so interesting about the fear response is that when this happens our brain is getting a really strong dopamine hit every time we look at an image, read an article, talk about it with friends and strangers – it’s actually reinforcing that into our nervous systems. So the actual affect of fear might only last for a few seconds, as we look at social media, watch the news, hyper focus on the thing causing the fear, or replaying the memory of other fears, playing out worse case scenarios we get caught in a fear loop which can last much much longer. It’s like this fear is working overtime and is stuck with the foot on the gas pedal even though we are safe. It keeps our body rigid. It keeps our minds in obsession. Our shoulders become permanently tight. Our digestion slows and we have digestive issues. We have a hard time opening up to giving and receiving love. We make temporary decisions. And we play out this kind of frantic or low energy cycle with everything in our lives. Leaving us fatigued, simultaneously reaching for coffee and then wine just to get through the day.
Here are 2 facts about fear:
#1: Fear is paralyzing. Literally fears job is to say STOP. It knocks us out. It keeps us in our minds, and takes us away from life. It literally does no good for the larger story of humanity. It keeps us playing small.
#2: It weakens our immune system. It physically tacks us. When fear triggers our cortisol levels to spike, the adrenals (which produces the hormone of cortisol) get taxed, which can further tax the thymus gland which is responsible for telling our white blood cells (our fighter cells) to keep healthy and kill off viruses, bacteria etc.
So now…here is where we have to access our HIGHER MIND and shift ourselves out of the spiral of fear. This is very important and honestly hard. Because our brain wants to be caught in the fear loop. It “feels good” to our chemistry even though it feels bad emotionally. It’s like a high even though it’s negative. But we cannot let our environment dictate our emotions. The most amazing thing about the human mind is that we can train in. We can direct it. We can shift the focus. We can access a higher mind than the chemistry in our bodies, and shift our internal landscape. We can change our thoughts and reroute our brain’s response and turn off our survival brain and come back to a place of balance and harmony. This is a CONSCIOUS choice. So this is where I am pausing to invite you to come back. Come back. Come back. Make the decision right now to pull yourself out of the trance and come back to life.
5 tools to snap out of the trance of fear:
Control the narrative – What is real? Where you are you putting your focus? You are not a victim to what you consume. And you are not a victim to unproductive thoughts. You have to choose the story you’re going to live into. Is life happening TO you or FOR you? You get to decide how you interpret what is happening in your life. Personally and globally. DO NOT BUY INTO THE FEAR. Change the story, change the narrative. What would be a more empowering way to see what’s happening in your life? If life were FOR you, how could you see that? If you could choose faith and not fear, what would that sound like? Stop adding to the hysteria, stop collectively ruminating on the fear, CONTROL YOUR NARRATIVE.
Use somatic coping skills – These are those embodiment practices of self care that help regulate you emotionally. When we are in fear it is important to get back into your physical body. The goal here is to offer your body a way to feel safe and process your emotions. This would include: using a weighted blanket, swaddling your body in a blanket or sweater, swinging or rocking in a hammock or chair, taking a hot bath or holding a hot mug of tea or water, massage your own skin to come back to the body, or long deep breathing.
Align with the vibration of LOVE or other ELEVATED emotions– Gratitude shifts us out of fear. WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR? My guided meditation on “How to Self Soothe During Difficult Times” is a great opportunity to pause and reset your vibration to love! You can find that here. Remember that elevated emotions are just as easy to access as fear.
Dialogue with fear – It’s time to have a conversation with fear and journal it out. When we bury it, try to deny it or ignore it – that’s when it becomes a trance. When we can bring it out into the light, then we can have compassion for it and console it. You can actually write a letter to your fear. Hear it. Listen to it. Give it a voice. So you can better understand why it’s here and what it’s thinking it’s helping protect you front. And then gently remind fear of the truth.
Get into service – The quickest way to shift you out of guilt, fear, depression or anxiety to be in the service of others. This takes the focus off of self rumination and onto others. It literally will snap you out of it. Doing this puts everything in perspective. Being able to be in service to others will quickly get you out of your funk!
Remember that fear and panic are contagious. But so are joy, love, gratitude, generosity, and hope. We have power over fear. We are not a victim to fear. We have the ability to shift out of it.
Be gentle, be kind to yourself as fear reveals itself to you, and remind yourself who is driving the bus.
It may feel real, but it’s not true.
Sending you all deep love this week.
Each month will be a deep dive into a topic that supports you on your journey to living more fully alive.
March’s topic will be on FEAR.
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THE KIT INCLUDES:
Rewrite Your Relationship To Fear Journal Prompts PDF
Ground Your Body Guided Meditation
Essential Oil Blends for Combatting Fear PDF
Mary’s Personal Mantra for Clearing Out Fearful Energy PDF
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