How well do you cope with fear and what does fear mean to you?
We forget about pain but do we forget about fear? Fear is tucked away in our subconscious and only raises its ugly head when triggered for example: A fear of snakes is not prevalent all the time, only when we see one fear is totally activated.
When fear is activated so is our fight and flight response which is a natural response. Unfortunately in fight and flight response our digestive system and many of our normal day to day responses simply shut down. Living in a state of continual fear and anxiety can have detrimental effects on our health.
Many of us do not realise that we are living in a state of fear and anxiety without even knowing it because it has become our norm.
Fear can effect us in many ways. Lately we have been delving into the fear relating around childbirth pending Baby Nuferm’s arrival later on this year. Whilst childbirth may not apply directly to you the concepts of fear discussed in this blog can be relatable to any stage of life and any situation where fear may find you.
What Hannah has learnt during her pregnancy journey as she prepares to move into her final months of pregnancy is that fear can affect birth. Dr Grantly Dick-Read states that:
Fear creates tension in the birthing mothers body as with fear comes the flight or fight response – DR. Grantly Dick-Read
Flight or fight response
During a stage of fight or flight (and this can be from any form of fear, not just childbirth) Blood is directed to the ‘defense’ systems and away from other systems that are not considered apart of this defense. This means blood is directed away from your Uterus as well as other systems being put on hold like the digestive system too! Essentially these systems are put on hold as your body prepares to ‘fight or flight’.
WHAT BRINGS US TO FEAR?
Is fear what we taught ourself to believe about a certain scenario? Is it the anxiety of our negative self talk? Whatever it may be it is important to reflect on any situation, person or thing that may bring you constant fear and understand what perception (if any) may be linked to that fear. Our mind can be our greatest tool but also our worst enemy at times. Learning to change any negative thought patterns that contribute to any ongoing fear can do wonders in overcoming or changing your perception of fear.
Changing our mindset to move away from fear
You may not be able to change the response of fear as it is an essential response for our own protection.
Being able to reduce the intensity of fear reduces the potential of a host of health conditions. Being able to confront a fearful situation: weather that be childbirth, a new job or simply everything that 2020 has thrown at us so far will reduce our fight and flight response which in turn reduces the chance of a condition or disease we don’t need to have.
Simple tools like relaxation and positive thought patterns can be a great tool to reprogram the mind. Such as: understanding that the fear of snakes is simply a natural protective response, that when you actually see a snake knowing that it will only attack you if you annoy or attack it. Now you can see the snake with the understanding it is not going to jump up or bite you if you simply allow it to go away. So a simple reprogramming and understanding what activates the fear can assist in reducing the panic when one is sighted.
Through Hannah’s birthing course, self hypnosis is taught to change our mindset and perception of birth. You have probably all heard at least one birthing horror story or you may even have the mental image of a screaming lady on a hospital bed from a movie you have watched but what is this perception actually doing to us? This painful, long perception of childbirth has conditioned us in the modern world to expect this and that pain and fear is just a part of the process.
Whilst you cannot necessarily remove pain, you can change the outcome of expectation. By moving away from negative birthing expectations we can re train our mind that our body was designed for birthing and to trust your body, trust the process and talk about birth in a positive language.
Essentially you need to talk the talk and walk the walk! The mind is such a powerful tool and by feeding it with positive thoughts, perceptions and expectations we can condition our mind to direct our focus towards the outcome we want.
THE POWER OF POSITIVE WORDS
You maybe new to the world of affirmations but if you are familiar with using positive affirmations you will know how powerful they are! Positive affirmations are a great tool as they assist to release your mind from negativity, worry, fear and anxiety and when repeated over and over these positive words can begin to take charge of your mindset and impact your pattern of thinking in a positive manner.
A side benefit of the above is the noticeable improvement of ones health. Why? because not being in a state of fight and flight allows our digestive and other systems to function properly.