The Experience of Fear

By Rucsandra Mitrea


Our society has been very effective in teaching us to live in fear: fear of war, of depression, of terrorism, of not having the right job, of being too fat to be considered beautiful or to weak to become successful, of illnesses and viruses and epidemics. This is only a handful of reasons we had for living in fear and I am sure that each one of us can extend the list by quite a few items. We have been living in various gradients of fear all our lives without even being aware of it.

You might ask yourself why this is relevant. What does this have to do with our physical bodies or our well being and health?

The answer lies within our very own cells. Through the definite way that our bodies respond to fear, they are trying to teach us that it is time to change the relationship we have with ourselves, with our families and with the entire world.

In the previous articles I explained the importance of paying attention to what our bodies are telling us (The Body Scan) and the powerful way in which we can use this knowledge  in order to transform our lives (Thought or Feeling?).

Every cell in the body recognizes what we feel and immediately translates our feelings into physical responses. If this is a concept harder to relate to, just think of something that you are afraid of and see how your body responds. If you are afraid of an illness than allow that fear to surface for a moment. If you are afraid of loosing your job or ending an important relationship just feel that fear. Now scan your body quickly. Are your shoulders raised and tense, are you frowning? Is there a knot in your stomach or is the pain in your lower back increasing? Is your mouth dry? How much tension are you feeling? Maybe your body will have a subtle way to respond to the fear you feel or maybe its signals will be very strong.

It is of great importance to become aware of those moments when we experience fear in order to stop the pattern of thinking. We must breathe and shift our awareness towards thoughts that will create better feelings. As we feel ourselves relax into a higher vibration of thought, our cells will change their vibration too.

The relevance of this little experiment lies in the extraordinary awareness it brings to the connection between what we feel and our physical responses.

The tension that you might feel in your shoulders and neck for example is only the tip of the iceberg. What you might not be aware of is that not only your shoulders and neck are tight and hold tension, but all the structures of your body respond in the exact same way. At a deeper level there is the actual body of the iceberg: each cell experiences your fear and it will start functioning in a heightened state of distress.

Considering that every cell will respond to our emotional state, the way we feel is then paramount in its importance for the overall health and well being that we create for ourselves.

The first step in changing our thoughts and through them our feelings is to become aware of our fears and breathe through them. We must then reach for a thought that will create a better feeling!

Let’s start now by becoming aware and paying attention to what fear teaches us. Let’s practice awareness and breathing!