Kelly Spencer - Happy Healthy YOU
(A wellness column by Kelly Spencer: writer, life coach, yoga & meditation teacher, holistic healer and a mindful life enthusiast!)
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune.
It can cripple, it can rob and it can lie. It can warp the reality of situations with false dialogue in the mind. “IT”, is fear and it can steal the present moment, right out from under you and “IT” can encourage you to abandon your dreams.
F.E.A.R. – False Evidence Appearing Real.
I recently saw the sign “FEAR is a liar” on a website and smiled. Having been in a place in my life where I used to allow fear to rob me of rational thought and happy present moments, I knew the power of this quote.
The key to the above statement is “I allowed.” I have heard people blame their catastrophic thinking and worrisome ways on other people, other situations, it’s their “hard-drive” or they simply cannot help themselves. I am here to say you can change. I have done it and so can you, with practice.
One of my favorite metaphors about worry compares it to sitting in a rocking chair: Worry gives you something to do but gets you nowhere! In fact, I think it is takes you two steps back. Fear and worry are one of the oldest and strongest debilitating emotions in human history. It can cause lack of movement, create dramatic untrue scenarios and rob the joy and health of the now.
Fear, worry and stress are not just a mind-killer and a peace stealer but they have very damaging effects on the body, linked to high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, heart problems, asthma, allergies, headaches, strokes, impotence, skin disorders, dizziness, muscular tension, immune system imbalances and much more.
So what can do to worry and fear less?
Here are a few tips that I use:
1. Ask yourself: Is it real or imagined fear? Most times, it’s imagined but we tell ourselves its real. For example if we are waiting for someone that is late and it’s snowing out, we worry that something bad has happened. The snow is real but the imagined “bad” is not. So tell yourself, it’s not real and there is no point worrying about it. If that doesn’t work, try to imagine a happier circumstance such as they are late because they have stopped at a coffee shop and are enjoying a chat with a chance encounter with an old friend.
Did you know that our feelings are created by our thoughts? Did you also know that it is a choice to have a positive or negative thought? The more you practice positive thoughts and outcomes, the easier it is. So fake it until you make it.
2. Exercise more: It is proven that regular exercise produces chemicals that brighten your mood. As well exercise allows a healthy outlet for stress release. Physical activity makes the mind clearer so you can see through any lies that fear has created.
3. Have a coffee/tea date with your fears. Sometimes just writing things out or talking to a friend can assist you to see where the anxiety is stemming from, where it started, why you feel a certain way and what you can do about it. Explore and face your fear and then release them.
4. Stay hydrated. Dehydration is linked to altered moods including depression. Not only is ample water required and healthy for our physical body, it improves our mental health state.
5. Relax. Find ways to relax: time in nature, hot bubble bath, cup of tea by a fireplace, a massage, energy healing, cuddle with a loved one or animal, go to a movie that is funny or inspiring, do anything that helps your body and mind become more relaxed and feel the worry melt away.
6. Yoga, Breath work and Mediation: This is one of the most powerful for me. These practices encourage and assist the connection of mind, body and heart, in present moment awareness. Often fear, worry, stress are related to thoughts from the past or the future. Therefore present moment awareness is a powerful practice to increase clarity and focus on the now.
7. Positive Outlets: Surround yourself with positive and inspiring experiences. I personally don’t watch certain TV programs as the content is fear promoting leaving me feeling heavy and worrisome after. Same with people I surround myself with and activities I engage in. As you seek happy, inspiring and loving experiences, you will find positivity a more natural choice.
Mark Twain quote: “I am an old man and I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”
Life is too short to worry and fear the imagined-dragons, the probably-not-going-to-happen or the-already-happened-and-can’t-do-anything-about-it situations. So live in the present moment with a positive attitude, focus on what is real and good and be aware of fear and its role in your life: Your body and mind will be grateful.
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