Health Is Living Beyond Fear

Health is Living Beyond Fear

© GLOW IMAGES Models used for illustrative purposes

by Don Ingwerson

Everyone seems to be affected by fear in some way or another, but looking at fear and its causes isn’t intended to create more fear, but to show that it need not be harmful. Fear is self imposed but so intimately entwined in the individual that it seems as if it were as much a part of the individual as a body part. But let me assure you that you do have a choice with respect to fear.

Lissa Rankin states, “that even more than smoking and alcohol or eating fried food or being a couch potato, fear is bad for your health. But we experience fear for a reason. It’s meant to protect us, so that when we’re in a dangerous situation, our fear response triggers the body’s fight or flight mode and we’re better able to overcome what is challenging us.”

I experienced first hand how fear creates a fight or flight response when I was at a conference. The conference leader gave each of us a thermometer to hold between thumb and forefinger and asked each of us to take an initial body temperature reading. He then asked us to think of the most horrible and fearful thing that had ever happened to each of us. After a few moments he asked us to look at the thermometer again to see how our thoughts had affected the thermometer reading. When I looked at the thermometer, the temperature reading had lowered by 5 degrees, indicating that circulation in my hands had lessened and that most of the blood was surrounding my heart. My body was ready to respond to the thing I was afraid of.

But fear is important to the health of the body only in that by being aware that fear affects the body both mentally and physically, a person is able to work beyond fear, which brings inspiration on how to solve the fearful situation. When fear is allowed free rein, the body is under stress (fear is definitely stressful), and the body cannot repair itself. Maintaining a state of calm through thoughts of love, faith, and pleasure allows the body to repair itself.

The concept of being in control of and caring for your health through mind/body practices of prayer and meditation is not a new idea. During the last century, noted writer on health and spirituality, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote in her seminal work, Science and Health, “As human thought changes from one stage to another –from fear to hope and from faith to understanding, the visible manifestation will at last be man governed by [spirituality], not by material sense.” According to Deepak Chopra, MD, one of the main themes of alternative medicines is to return the power of healing to the patient. Self-treatment is providing healing, which releases the patient from stress, tension, and the unknown – all which are intimately tied to fear.

Fear governs the health of the body when spirituality isn’t present. Taking control of my own health needs by going beyond fearful thoughts through prayer and meditation, I have prevented and corrected health problems. I’ve found thoughts of goodness and harmony begin to dissipate fearful emotions. Continuing to perform this exercise helps to create a healthy experience that changes attitude as well as improves health.

Article originally published February 18, 2013

About the author

Don Ingwerson Don regularly blogs on health and spirituality and lives in Laguna Beach with his wife - both Christian Science practitioners. He brings his years serving the public in education to his work as a liaison of Christian Science, where he maintains contacts with the media and legislative offices.

Comments

  1. Evelyn Brookins says

    So timely, Don. Often we don’t even realize that fear is present. It becomes a chronic state of thought. How helpful to realize that we can eliminate fear from the equation by seeing that we live under a constant law of divine protection.

  2. Pamela says

    Thanks Don for this reminder of what fear is and how it works. I think I’ve shared this before but will do so again here. I had a friend tell me that FEAR is nothing more than “Forgetting Everything About Reality.” When we forget what is real and believe only the material picture or situation we become fearful. We think we are trapped and cannot go forward. Let me give an example.

    There is a story about a young boy who lived in a far off country and was not afraid of a big bully. And even though the adults around him were afraid, this boy was not. Because this bully was so loud and made threats to everyone, even the adults were fearful and not willing to face this seeming danger and put this bully down. And in this country even the king was afraid. This young boy told the king that he would go and put a stop to this bully. The king was even afraid for the boy, but the boy was not afraid because he knew that God, good was on his side. Bravely the young boy faced the bully and stopped him. You can read this story in the Bible, it’s the story of David and Goliath, and a good example of how knowing what is real and true can stop fear in its tracks and allow us to go forward fearlessly. David knew that God was more powerful than this blustering giant and he proved it. You and I can too.

  3. Belle says

    Thanks for the reminder on the need to handle fear…anxiety, tension, pressure and all its little bedfellows.

    • BradleyPhillips says

      I have found that fear let loose leads to pandemonium , extreme mental confusion , and the human senses become quickly overwhelmed, resulting in breakdown. Under such conditions the human situation becomes seemingly hopeless and nothing good is being expressed. In these instances of seeming chaos men become extremely aggressive and sometimes war is the outcome of such extreme fear. Prayer firmly supported by the spiritual understanding that divine Love casts out fear is needed. “God is Love” the apostle declared. And when we fervently pray with the spiritual conviction that right here, right now in the middle of the situation divine Love is in complete control of the situation and can, and will bring order and resolution to correct the problem in the most effective way humanly possible.
      I have been witness several times, under very trying experiences such as military war, where the situation was so dire, seemed so hopeless that men became incapacitated, helpless. But right in the face of the confusion the effectual, fervent prayer of a Christian Scientist brought immediate help, and human consciousness was lifted, raised up to the level of the Christ. “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. Jn 12:32
      The situations changed. You could see the change in the expression on men’s faces. Fear was supplanted by courage. The men functioned again as an integrated unit. We got through the conflict step by step.

  4. sue says

    What a good reminder to stay alert and face the foe–anger, fear, stress, resentment etc. Spiritual prayer, calm and quiet thinking, & understanding more about divine Love help me overcome and conquer the challenges of unrest, anxiety, fear etc. Just as the last commenter related, David faced down Goliath with confidence since he knew there was a greater power which governed him and the whole situation. I am learning to be ever more vigilant in detecting fear, anger, stress and diffusing it with divine Love and faith in His goodness.

  5. Anne Hughes says

    What powerful ideas! Thank you. I like Deepak Chopra’s concept of returning the power of healing to the patient. Recognizing that my choices for care are MY choice, not someone else’s, not those of trained professionals or even caring friends and relatives, has allowed me to go to God directly and ask God what He knows about me and my condition. God always tells me that He is in charge, and that good is going on, and as the Bible says, “therefore shall not we fear…”