Let’s be honest, everyone has something they are afraid of. Whether it is fear of starting a business, fear of change, fear of failing, fear of going to the doctor, or simply fear of being alone – you name it. We all experience some kind of fear. Fear is a full body experience; it effects both the body and the chemical balance of the brain. Any form of fear can cause an amount of stress to your body. When your stress response is activated, it triggers your amygdala (part of your brain), turns on your fight or flight response, releases cortisol hormones, and before you know it, your heartbeat raises and your breathing becomes shallow. Therefore it is extremely important to know how to dispel fear in order to prevent all of the above.
Dr. Herbert Benson, a well-known author, cardiologist and founder of Harvard’s Mind/Body Medical Institute, introduced a term called the ‘Relaxation Response’. It is the “ability to encourage our body to release chemicals and brain signals that make our muscles and organs slow down and increase blood flow to the brain.” In other words, what the ‘Relaxation Response’ does is it turns off the fight or flight response and brings the body to a calm state. It helps you remove yourself from your daily thoughts by replacing them with a one word or a short sentence mantra. This is what I’ve been using lately and I must say that it really does work.
So basically what I do is, I sit quietly in a comfortable position; I close my eyes and then deeply relax my entire body. I take a deep breath, then as I’m breathing out I repeat a word or short phrase for about 10 minutes. After those 10 minutes I remain my position quietly for a few more minutes before standing up. The phrase I’ve been using is Isaiah 26:3, “Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee because he trusteth in You.” As I am repeating this, I realize that in order for me to achieve inner peace, I need to learn to trust Him. Trust means believing in an outcome with no failure. My mind then takes me to Psalm 139:13, “You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb”. Now if He created my inmost being and knit me together, who knows me better than Him? He clearly knows it all and controls it all, right? As my mind is processing all this, it immediately returns to its calm state; relaxing my muscles and organs and increasing blood flow to my brain by bringing that perfect inner peace.
D. Arelis XO