Addicted to Fear?
“Addicted to fear? Who, me?” That may be what you’re thinking. After all, who wants to believe that they are addicted to something like fear? Fear can be very sneaky, and although most people don’t realize it, they have this addiction.
When you are subjected to something that causes you to react with fear, your body responds by increasing adrenaline output. Normally the fear would dissipate in a short time and the adrenaline output would resume to normal levels. However when you live in constant fear (such as stress, anxiety, anger, tension, dread) your adrenaline output remains high. After a while this becomes the norm for your body and causes addictive behaviors to keep the adrenaline levels at a high level.
This is when you find yourself addicted to stimuli that increase your fear and stress. The stimulus doesn’t have to be an actual physical reality. It can be an old fear dredged up by your subconscious, a memory of something that was frightful, or an imagined fear of something that may or may not be a real danger at the present time.
How do you know if you’re addicted to fear? If you answer “yes” to these questions you probably are fear addicted.
1. Feel a need to watch TV news at least once a day?
2. Choose action and adventure movies over comedy and romance movies?
3. Work in a stressful job or one that you hate?
4. Live from paycheck to paycheck?
5. Have a stress-related illness or disease, such as high blood pressure, chronic digestive upsets, or headaches?
6. Find yourself thinking and talking about drama and negative events the majority of the time?
7. Have friends who are mostly high maintenance, such as drama queens and needy people?
So what do you do to stop your body from directing you to fearful things in order to feed its fear/adrenaline addiction?
Here are a few tips:
- Withdrawal: STOP WATCHING TV NEWS! You do NOT need to know all the horrible things that are going on in the entire world. Especially those things you can do nothing about. Also, stop listening to news on the radio and reading newspapers and internet news media. These are the #1 sources of fear today.
2. Substitution: Watch happy, funny, heart-warming movies on TV or DVD. Read humorous and inspirational books. Listen to soothing music.
3. Flip switch: Shift your thoughts and inner visions to things that you love or find beautiful, comforting, uplifting, or soothing.
4. Big Picture/Little Picture: This is a technique that I’ve found to be extremely effective. Envision whatever is causing you fear. Now envision it shrinking, getting smaller and smaller until it disappears. Next, with your inner vision see something that causes you to feel comfort, ease, relaxation, or happiness. Make it bigger and bigger until it completely fills your inner vision.
5. Breathe: When you feel fear in any form, your breathing becomes shallow and sets in motion all the chemical and electromagnetic fear responses of your body. Consciously take a slow breath and send the air deep into your belly, filling your lungs from the bottom upward. You should be able to see your stomach distend as you do this breath. If your shoulders rise when you breathe, you’re shallow breathing. Release the breath slowly. Repeat as needed. (Special note to women: wearing a bra keeps you from breathing deeply so you may have to work a bit harder at this one or take off your bra.)
6. Soak out the toxins: Add Epsom salts to warm or comfortably hot bath water to pull chemical toxins, such as the fear hormone cortisol, out of your body. Add a few drops of an essential oil such as lavender to help you relax. Read an inspirational or humorous book or listen to relaxing music while you soak.
7. Get a hug: I know, I know. We’re supposed to stay 6′ from everyone. But there has to be someone in your life who you feel safe hugging. We need human touch to live.
8. Go outside: Get in touch with nature. Go barefoot on the grass in your yard or the sand at the beach. Touch a tree. Stick your hands in the dirt. Turn your face up to the sun. If it’s raining, turn your face up to the rain. (It’s a delicious feeling!)
9. Practice some form of meditation: If you don’t know how, learn. You don’t have to take a class. There are CDs and DVDs available that teach meditation as well as those that will guide you through meditational visualizations. If sitting still isn’t for you, try Qi Qong or Tai Chi, both of which are a type of moving meditation.
10. __________________. You know what you can do to relieve your fear and stress. Just do it.
Author: Kathy Wilson
Kathy Wilson is a spiritual teacher and mentor, Reiki Master, Advanced PSYCH-K Practitioner, Certified Professional Life Coach, co-creator of The Interdimensional 12 Strand DNA Activation, and author of Omnidimensional Oracles and An Inner Journey: Living Your Life Purpose. To learn more, visit her website: www.Warrior-Priestess.com