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3 months ago · · 0 comments

September 2018

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The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

– Franklin D. Roosevelt, from his first Inaugural Speech (1933)

Dear Friends,

Most of us have heard this famous quote. What meaning does it hold for you? One interpretation might be, “If I focus on the fear, everything just gets scarier, but if I focus on my courage, I can probably handle it all.” I think I take Roosevelt’s statement a little more literally.

We all know that fear is a natural feeling and it certainly has its purpose! Doesn’t it signal us that something is going on that we need to pay attention to? Sometimes feelings of fear are for our safety, and sometimes for our emotional well being. Perhaps you may need to leave a situation or set a healthy boundary. Feeling fear usually means that we need to take action. Yet, so many times, we don’t take any action. We just continue to feel fearful, and eventually, it acquires a new name…anxiety!

Our body functions perfectly to take care of us and keep us safe. When we experience fear, our adrenal glands are stimulated. This is a natural process, often indicating there is danger present. Our stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline kick in, causing a flight or fight response.

However, here is the scary part – fear of fear itself. Often we don’t fight or run away, we just sit and ruminate. Our heart rate goes up, and our breath quickens. Our body is getting prepared to do something that, we are not necessarily going to do. This can cause a series of problems for your body, one of which is adrenal fatigue syndrome.

In as early as 1998, The Congressional Caucus on Stress Prevention determined that 90% of disease is caused or complicated by stress. Many clients come to Wisdom & Recovery with symptoms of stress and anxiety.

When they talk about situations in their lives, presently or from childhood, I can see how their bodies have suffered from this chronic stress. Very few clients come to me with stress issues without also having some type of physical dis-ease as well. The two seem to go hand in hand.

When we feel anxious, one of the first suggestions by experts is stress management. Examples are physical exercise, breathing exercises, massage, hypnotherapy and/or mindfulness. Mindfulness is being aware of your thinking and redirecting it away from thoughts of impending doom or danger. At Wisdom & Recovery we teach clients not to see themselves as victims of life, but instead how to utilize 20 Concepts to deal with life’s difficulties.

The only fear we have is indeed fear itself, especially when it has manifested to the point of anxiety. So take a moment now, take a deep breath and drop your shoulders. You have just reduced the level of stress hormones in your body. Since we now know how healthy it is to reduce these hormones when we can, let’s do it again!

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