A Balanced Approach to Wellness!

Posts tagged ‘fear’

Dreaded fears, a poem

No Sleep

Lurking in shadows
Lie worry and suspicion.
Double versions of
Dreaded fear.

Behind each ache.
Behind each pain.
Suspicion of illness,
Worry of death.

Dreaded fear and
Over-fretting focus.
Upstaging health,
Unsupporting well-being.

Focus on terrible
Is focus askew.
Waiting for disaster
Is waiting awry.

Constant worry
Is wasted effort.
Overshadowing suspicion
Is wasted time.

Lurking in shadows
Lie worry and suspicion.
Double versions of
Dreaded fear.

This poem is from the book Growth, which can be purchased through this link: http://a.co/fpl41JV.

Cover-Growth

What’s up with “fight or flight”?

Distracting colors

Are “fight or flight” our main responses to fear and stress? That’s what everyone says, but is that so? I’ve asked Spirit, because I want to know. Here’s what Spirit informs me:

People have built-in mechanisms that evaluate danger. (We can call them signals and pulls.) These mechanisms help us evaluate situations and feel how to respond. Our responses depend on many things: age, health status, physical impediments, mental breadth, hunger or thirst, breath capacity, emotional attachments, emotional memories, abdominal state, vision, fears, and awakeness. Besides these uniquely personal statuses, we are influenced by our family, neighbors, responsibilities, and desires.

When a situation requires a response, our bodies (intangible and tangible) must process a response that suits our personal statuses and our outer circle. If the outer circle (family, neighbors, etc.) has strong influence, then our response will be geared towards others. If our response is completely our own, then the personal statuses will force us to devise a response to suit our current situation. If we choose a response that doesn’t suit (for example, choosing to hide when we are too exhausted to move), our signals or pulls will usually join to give us the ability to pursue the chosen response.

Here are typical responses to fear and stress: hiding, lowering to the ground, pulling inwards to be physically compact, freezing in place, falling asleep, entering a shock state, denial, emotional displays (crying, sobbing, begging, anger), and confusion. And possibly, fight. And possibly, flight.  Fight and flight are two responses among many so that to speak only of fight or flight is an incorrect characterization of human response.

Each of the responses has a different effect on the body, some effects being more destructive than others. Stress that is handled through freezing in place or denial has differing effects than fight or angry actions. Stress that is denied can be more destructive than stress that is released through tears. Fear that is handled by hiding can be permanently installed in the body, while fear that is handled through entering a shock state can be forgotten. Each response yields a different effect on the body depending on the personal statuses and the forces of the outer circle.

Characterizing the effects of fear and stress as fight or flight is too broad. Each person is an individual response being, and no two people are alike.

To continue or not

Continue living

When faced with disasters, whether or not they actually affect people, some are unsure how to function. Continue living as before? Stop regular activities and focus on the disaster?

The confusion that surrounds clear thinking during these times is typical, but moving beyond the confusion is important. Real and possible disasters cause people to function tentatively, but tentative functioning is off-wards. Tentative functioning moves towards impaired decision making and time spent incorrectly. From Oneself—Living:

“In life, there are many things to fear! Accidents can happen, animals can attack, people can go crazy. Things can fall or break or burn or tear. Bridges can collapse, boats can capsize, cars can collide. Germs spread, viruses multiply, bacteria proliferate, fungi grow. Schedules change, priorities shift, deadlines get pushed forward. Friends need help, coworkers need support, pets need tending. Mirrors break, windows break, dishes break. Food (which is normally nutritious and good for consumption) causes choking, water (which is usually life-sustaining) carries water-borne diseases. War, pestilence, famine, and death. Many things to fear, many things to cause anxiety, many things to trigger unhappiness.

Being fearful is a result of experiencing, or anticipation of experiencing, events that cause pain or difficulty. Being fearful is a result of internal and external pressure. Being fearful is unique to each individual….”

What to do

  1. Breathe deeply, consider the positive aspects of life, and continue.
  2. Eat nutritious foods so that your mind is nourished properly, and continue.
  3. Sing, play an instrument, paint, move (dance, run, etc.), build something, and let yourself be focused on your creative endeavors.

Continue doing what?

Continue to function, make music, create, move, and connect. Continue to feel. Continue to bond with family and others and continue to care for the future.

If you can participate in disaster relief or prevention, then participate. Participate in living. Participate in participation!

Aging is manageable when breathing is free, post #6

 

Sequoia

Many people live long, but their lives are plagued by ill health and/or ill mental health. What can we do to live more “not ill” and to live less worriedly about difficult aging? The last five blog posts have explained the importance of breathing for quality health.

Being in nature naturally opens our bodies to healing breathing when two conditions are met: 1) we want to be there and 2) we consciously connect with the flora surrounding us.

Two conditions neutralize the healthful aspects of being in nature: 1) we focus on other stimuli such as headphone-delivered music or words and 2) we consciously ignoring the flora that surround us.

Two conditions cause detrimental consequences when we are in nature: 1) fear and 2) worry.

Here is a personal example of the various conditions. Two years ago (before I was knowingly connected to Spiritual Presence), I went to Sequoia National Park with my husband and children. The weather was hot (August), but we were dressed appropriately and had plenty of water with us.  As we entered the park, I was overwhelmed by the beauty and the majesty of the trees, and I was keen to start our hike. Off to a good start for healing breathing.

We went to the visitor’s center to buy a map and learn whatever the park workers had to tell us. The excitement to get walking was building. As we were buying the map, the worker who was helping us warned us about the presence of bears in the park. I, who grew up fearful, immediately became fearful. I tried to pretend that I was not, but inside I felt frightened. On the hike, my family wanted to stray from the populated paths and walk in the more interesting areas. At first I agreed, but the fear nagged at me. I did enjoy the magnificent trees and I did feel SO grateful to be there, but the fear kept encroaching on my happiness. After we met up with other hikers who had spotted a bear in the distance, I urged my family to go back to a less secluded path. I kept my fear to myself because they were having such a wonderful time, but it remained my constant companion until we were back on the way with the masses. From that point on, I relaxed and enjoyed the wonderful green world around me.

My fearful existence during that hike did not contribute to my good health. The fear was too strong for the circumstances. The others in my family experienced the healing breathing that accompanies connection to nature.

Being in nature should be nourishing, not the opposite. Nature is here as our healing space, if only we can see that. We receive much, much more than we realize when we connect to all that nature has to offer. (I wish I had known that at Sequoia before I let myself give way to old fears. These days, I am more accepting of the uncertainty that comes with walking in the woods.)

 

That’s it for now. We’ll continue to explore breathing in one more post.

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