You already know how fear can paralyze you personally and professionally, rob you of your joy, and keep you from going after your dreams. But did you know it can also make you sick? Whenever your mind feels fear, it triggers the “fight-or-flight” stress response in your body, which disables your body’s natural self-repair mechanisms and makes you more susceptible to illness. But never fear (no pun intended). Here are a few tips for living a healthier, happier life by overcoming fear.
- Understand that fear is primal. It originates from the lizard brain of your amygdala and exists as an adaptive mechanism meant to save your life. But in modern society, fear is a warning signal gone haywire. Most of what you fear – losing a loved one, money, or a relationship, for example – isn’t actually threatening your life, though it may be threatening your sense of security. You may not be able to ditch the emotion of fear, but you can make the choice not to let it run the show anymore.
- Assess your fears to determine whether they’re helpful or harmful. If you’re afraid of crashing on the rocks when you consider jumping off a cliff, your fear is probably valid. But if you’re afraid to write the book you dream of writing because you’re afraid of failure, fear is only getting the way. Sometimes fear shows up as a valuable intuition, but often, it’s just an agent of self-sabotage. Learning to tell the difference can make all the difference.
- Recognize that fear often masquerades as protection. Consider how many times you make decisions because of the “just in case.” Remember that “just in case” is fear masquerading as self-preservation. But it’s still fear, and it’s still harmful to your health. Read More→