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Overcoming the Fear While Healing

Living with chronic illness can be a challenging journey. When symptoms arise, it is completely normal to feel fear and uncertainty. Our bodies are telling us that something is wrong, and it's natural to want to protect ourselves. However, when we let that fear take over, it can actually heighten our symptoms and be very uncomfortable.

Fear sets off a chain reaction in our bodies, triggering a surge of adrenaline that plunges us into the "fight or flight" mode. To move through and release fear quickly, we must regulate our nervous system and create a sense of safety in our bodies.

Fear is a natural response to the unknown, and it's often rooted in a lack of trust in ourselves and our body's ability to heal. It is essential to understand that our bodies are incredibly resilient and have an innate ability to heal. By cultivating trust in ourselves and our body's ability to heal, we can reduce anxiety and come back to that sense of safety.

So how can we stop that fear response and calm our bodies down? Or what I like to say - get out of the fear spiral.

Creating trust and regulating our nervous system- that is the answer. Do you trust yourself? You have gotten yourself through everything that has been thrown at you this far in life. Do you trust in the miracle that is our body's ability to heal? Do you trust that you can put in the work and the effort to get yourself where you want to go? Do you trust in a higher power that is protecting and guiding you?

So if we can tap into practices to help regulate our nervous system and restore our trust, we could move through the fear quickly, rather than letting it consume us.

Here are some strategies that can help:

  1. Mindful breathing: Conscious breathing exercises can help us regulate our nervous system by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, our body's natural relaxation response. By focusing on slow, deep breaths, we can reduce anxiety and create that sense of safety in the body to shut off the "fight or flight" adrenaline response. There are different breathing techniques or breath-work - it is about finding the one that feels best for you.

  2. Positive self-talk: When we experience fear, our minds can quickly spiral into negative self-talk and catastrophic thinking. To counteract this, we can use positive self-talk to remind ourselves that our bodies are capable of healing and that we are strong and resilient.

  3. Trust-building activities: It's important to actively work on building trust in ourselves and our bodies. This can include engaging in activities that promote self-care and self-compassion, such as meditation, yoga, reiki, somatic techniques and journaling.

  4. Nature: Connecting with nature can regulate the nervous system by allowing us to tap into the healing energy of the Earth, which can help us achieve a state of balance and harmony, promoting a deeper sense of spiritual and emotional wellbeing.

  5. Meditation: Meditation can help us regulate our nervous system and allow us more capacity for stressors in our day-to-day. By focusing on the present moment and observing our thoughts and emotions without judgment, we can reduce the fear response and promote a sense of calm.

  6. Positive affirmations: Positive affirmations and mantras can help regulate the nervous system by rewiring the subconscious mind, replacing negative thought patterns with positive ones that will serve your healing.

  7. Self-compassion: Practicing self-compassion is an important aspect of healing from chronic illness. By treating ourselves with kindness and understanding, we can reduce stress and promote a sense of self-trust.

  8. Gratitude Practice: Gratitude is a powerful practice that can help us regulate our nervous system by promoting positive emotions such as joy and contentment. By focusing on what we are grateful for, we focus on the things going well in our lives, rather than the things that are not.

  9. Keeping your Promises: Keeping promises that you set for yourself is a powerful way to rebuild trust and faith within you.

  10. Investing in Support: Investing in support is helpful for rebuilding trust because it provides accountability, support, and a new perspective, all of which can help you process your experiences, gain new insights, and make positive changes in your life.

When we experience fear in response to symptoms, it's important to remember that it's a normal human response. It takes time, practice, lots of faith and trust to be able to easily let go of fear. But the more you practice this, the easier it will get.

Try this mantra next time you are feeling ungrounded - "My body is capable of healing"

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