We are born with only two fears, the fear of falling, and the fear of loud noises. These are there to protect our survival. If we have other fears, we have acquired them though our repeated dominant thoughts, the use of our imagination and through learned behaviour and response.
What is Fear?
Fear is a chain reaction in the brain that starts with a stressful stimulus which then produces the fight-or-flight response. The stimulus could be a spider, or anything else, which is a trigger for the brain to release chemicals, cortisol and adrenalin etc which cause our bodies to prepare to fight or flee. The oxygen in our brains travels very fast down to the heart and lungs area, and makes us breathe faster, blood and oxygen gets pumped into our muscles, arms and legs, giving us the strength to get away and survive.
When we think the same kind of thoughts, we engage our imagination, we produce the same kind of response in our bodies and minds, and we reinforce the fear. It’s a cycle that can’t be broken unless we change something first.
Observe any child, if they hurt themselves, see a spider, etc. They will always look to the nearest adult to see how they respond first, before they respond. This is how we learn how to act, behave and survive in the big world we find ourselves in. Most of us want to fit in and belong, so we mirror the behaviours and reactions of those closest to us. In a way we form a subconscious agreement with these people, that this is the way to react and respond when this stimulus or situation happens. This doesn’t just apply to fears, it also applies to relationships etc. We can find ourselves as adults still playing the same old scripts that we agreed to when we were children, and it becomes our automatic response to things.
So to change this we use a series of steps;
- Decide how you want to respond to future stimulus, decide how do you want to react, feel, etc.
- Use the Anxiety Breathing Technique (Part 8) on a daily basis to form a new habit in the body to prevent the stress response from triggering physiological changes. So that once your mind is calm the body becomes calm, and you can think more clearly.
- Then engage your thoughts and imagination, by acting out the responses that you do want, in your mind first. By thinking the kind of thoughts about what you want, you then get to feel the feelings that you want to experience. Practice playing positive mind movies (Part 2) which will enable you to create the desired result. Switching over to this new mind movie, whenever your thoughts prompt you to play the fearful disaster movie instead. You have a choice which movie to play, you just need to become aware of it and choose wisely.
- The best time to do this, is last thing at night before you drift into sleep, and first thing when you awaken. Your mind is at a very high natural hypnotic state of awareness at these times. It will also work if you take naps during the day, do it before and after them.
Part 15 – Living With Intention
Paula is an Author / Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Artist / Photographer, in Blessington Co. Wicklow. www.i-want-a-better-life.ie / firstname.lastname@example.org / Phone 086 0848398 All her articles to date are on her blog email@example.com