Fearlessness - Courage, risks and rewards
When I was first given this opportunity to hold the eagle (on a desert safari in Dubai), it was very exciting, however, a little scary too! When it first sat on my arm, it spent time ‘checking me out’ and I guess, I was doing the same! As soon as I relaxed, it did too and it turned out to be a wonderful experience.
What is fear?
Fear is an ancient unpleasant emotion that humans have acquired through the long history of evolution. Although, sometimes it’s inappropriate as well as unavoidable, fear is an integral part of the human experience.
When people get scared of something or someone, some physiological changes take place in the body as well. The breathing rate increases, levels of glucose in the blood goes up and levels of calcium and white blood cells also shoot up. Our functioning of the digestive system goes down, while survival functions, such as eyesight and blood flow to our muscles, increase significantly, in order to help us make a sprint - if the situation arises.
How fear can hurt us
If we are under constant grip of unnecessary fear or anxiety, it can affect both our physical and mental health quite significantly and thereby hinder our day-to-day life.
Constant fear weakens our immune system and makes us vulnerable to cardiovascular and gastrointestinal problems and may also lead to decreased levels of fertility. Our nerves stay overstressed all the time, which then makes us highly irritable that consequently leads to insomnia and weight loss. Fear can also impact our long-term memory by permanently damaging the hippocampus of our brain. Once our brain gets affected by unjustifiable fear, its power to regulate emotions gets hampered in a big way which then leads to making wrong decisions or thinking about a situation in the most impractical and illogical way.
People’s response to fear
A simple thing that we all do, almost involuntarily when we face an impending storm!
As human beings, our abilities are substantially limited for resisting the storm but at the same time, we have limitless ways to keep our dear ones safe from any ravaging storm. And we have all done that either knowingly or subconsciously.
If we put too much thought into the storm and how tormenting it will be, we will bog ourselves down with something that is well beyond our mortal control. Instead, if we can focus on how we can keep ourselves safe from its wrath, rather than having unnecessary anxiety and panic our brain will focus on the solutions that are well within our control.
Now, if we look at the analogy of storms from the perspective of life - round-the-clock tension about something that is not under our control creates the sense of fear that is completely worthless. Instead, if we try and focus on the reasons why that fear is troubling us so much or what we are losing because of it and what exactly needs to be done to eradicate this unjustifiable feeling, our brain will start looking at the solution rather than the daunting problem.
The more we focus on the problems, the more intimidating they become. The more we focus on the solution, the more ways to solve that problem will emerge in front of us. To put it even more simply, it always depends on how we look at a particular situation.
The first step to controlling your fear
Some simple breathing exercises like controlled inhaling and exhaling or doing some simple yoga can work miracles on your journey away from the demons of fear. Exercising to eliminate your anxiety and fear is no rocket science. When you exercise, your mind and body synchronize with the energy of the universe and you feel liberated from within and your outside world seems calm and peaceful.
Coming soon - an email with information on a self-paced course on: Courage, Risks and Rewards - Being Faithful to Fearlessness
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