Whenever I feel under threat adrenaline kicks in. I either fight, run away or sometimes freeze. Adrenaline is a natural survival mechanism but if too many things trigger it then it can become stuck on active.
That can lead to all sorts of physical, mental and emotional problems. Problems that I and everyone else have to deal with by stepping back from the threat. Stepping back isn’t so easy though. Our mind sees a threat in things that the adrenaline response wasn’t designed for. We have imagined fears conditioned by our culture, beliefs and psychological states. Adrenaline was the boost we needed to avoid the charging rhinoceros. In the absence of rhinos we have put cancer and other illnesses, potential accidents, job security, being liked or approved of and many more. Above all there is also war, violence and aggression – or the fear of them.
I know I have had periods in my life where I’ve been in a permanent adrenaline rush. Some people actively seek out that sensation by engaging in activities that are foolhardy or dangerous. It’s what video and computer games rely on. Being in that state long term doesn’t suit my body at all. The plan was for me to get only short burst of this hormone in the event that my life was about to end. Keeping it in full flow over long periods of time is damaging.
So what can I do about my fears? How do I stop the rush of adrenaline?
As someone who works with energy for self healing I know that I need to get a grip so to speak. Instead of letting a large wave of fear energy wash over me I need to become aware of the drops of fear. Understanding what I fear will give me a choice. I can keep reacting to that fear when it pops up. Or I can dismiss it as not remotely likely. Sometimes I have to accept that the fear is a realistic one and decide how I want to manage it. Practicing keeping calm is one way. Using a technique like mindful meditation can keep me enough in the moment to stop me responding to a future fear. Or I can, as Susan Jeffers suggested, feel the fear and do it anyway.
I can also understand that fear is a learned behaviour. My daughter at age 2 and 3 was fearless. Complete unconcerned about danger. So much so that I, as her Mum, could probably have had several heart attacks over her antics. Then she developed a fear of spiders because she saw someone react very badly to a spider. She got scared by the fear energy the adult gave out. Her world became uncertain as she didn’t have the cognitive ability to think through what had happened. I watched this first fear emerge in her until it became really strong. Having learned one fear she rapidly took on others. Some were my fears for her. Some were from the reactions she saw in others.
Taking on board More fears triggers ever more blasts of adrenaline. I know that I reached a stage where I was jumping at shadows.
All sorts of imaginary stuff could get me into a sweat. No matter how rational and logical I thought I was. Fear crawled into my life time after time. It got so I was frightened of feeling fearful. Even with all my techniques there finally came a point when I knew I had to stop the impact of this hormone. I had to withdraw from fear. My body needed me to. So how to do it? I started by reminding myself that I was the one in control. Then I found some supportive people who let me talk out my fears while they listened. I used my Reiki self-healing as soon as I got my first attunement.
I also used my intuitive connection to my Guides. They gave me a sense that I wasn’t alone in dealing with my fears. And finally I started to explore all of those conditions that were creating the fear. I acknowledged them one by one. Then chose not to let them rule my life and so I released them. I stopped paying them any attention. It’s interesting to discover I had the willpower to do that. My fears shrank and some disappeared altogether. The adrenaline stopped pumping. It sort of ran out. Faded away. Disappeared like my fears.
I’m not fearless but I have few things I fear. I’m almost back to that childlike state where fear is the reaction of someone else. There is always room for more work in finding a balance between survival and recognising that the end of life must happen.
Day 269 of my blogging challenge.