The entire world has been gripped with fear over the Covid 19 risks. Because of the perpetual bombardment of news regarding the same, it is virtually impossible to escape the negative and debilitative effects of fear as it relates to human physiology. Without question, chronic fear is destructive. We must realize that as a concrete statement. With that said, to begin our discussion, we will begin with a self-directed question, “Do I perpetually speak about, read about, and dwell upon fear?” Obviously, we should most definitely work very hard to avoid a YES answer.
First, let’s define fear. Generally, it is used as a noun and defined as follows:
“A distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.”
Fear leads to biological changes induced by adrenaline surges in the bloodstream. Adrenaline is preparing the body for a fight or a flight. If, by chance, movement of blood from the cortex is too fast, one can even find himself or herself going faint, dumb, or just plain freezing in place. When fear occurs in our life, respiration, blood pressure, perspiration, and heart rate all increase. Our body is ready for an all-out attack or a run for our life.
Biological changes can result from real or perceived threats. Real threats are when someone is actually attacking you or you are in a true physical fight. Perceived threats are either imagined, made up, or rationally assumed. Whether perceived or real, fear, and the biological reactions explained, do occur. The majority of our negative issues result from perceived or imagined fear stemming on us not having control over outcomes. Think about it like this – can I really avoid the coronavirus? Can I avoid viruses at all? Should I live my life worrying about getting sick or not?
Please understand – to live life in chronic fear is to not live life.
Many times fear can be explained as the acronym:
False Evidence Appearing Real
Whether real or not, when fear strikes us, it is very real to us. The aforementioned biological responses prove that.
If these responses are not dealt with in their proper form (actually getting in a fight or running for our lives), our health can be affected in cataclysmic ways.
Again, it is our belief that much of the fear today is strictly in the realm of imagination. It stems from past hurts, trauma, disappointments, and uncertainty. If we do not deal with fear in the proper way, as described, fear’s bodily responses become the norm.
Fear can be perpetually self-generated with the internal repeat of questions such as: What if I can’t make enough money? What if this diet plan doesn’t work? What if I get cancer? What if I don’t make it? What if I can’t? What if they don’t like me?
You will notice in each of these questions the two words, “what if.” With these questions we can certainly see the answer is clearly unknown. However, when we allow these questions to be repeatedly asked verbally or internally, the emotion of fear will show its ugly head in our lives with a chronically elevated bodily response. The emotions, questions, traumas, and dramas of fear become permanently ingrained in the computer-like database of our inner brain. They can be easily accessed by idle thoughts, imaginations, words of another, pictures, or things we see. It is time for our perceptions to change. Part 2 of this series will reveal keys to true change….and concurrent peace.
By Doctors Mark and Michele Sherwood
Mark is a doctor in nutrition and Michele is a medical doctor. They are authors of a number of best-selling health and wellness books and lead The Functional Medical Institute, a wellness-based medical practice in Tulsa, OK.