Be fearless. This one [not small but life changing] act is a major antidote to stress. So much of our stress comes from fear: fear of making the wrong decision, fear of disappointing others, fear of failing.
Be fearless. Pick a path and follow it with all your heart. Change your mind. Pick a new path and follow that one with all your heart. I’m not saying to be rash or impetuous, although sometimes those things can be good too. You can carefully consider your path…the danger is when we never move beyond careful consideration. We can spend years carefully considering career changes or letting go of unfulfilling relationships (trust me on this one, I have firsthand experience). Heck, I know someone who spent a year considering a hairstyle change! When was the last time you were fearless?
In Chinese Medicine we say that fear descends Qi. In my experience, fear in the form of chronic anxiety also causes Qi to rise and results in heart palpitations, insomnia or racing thoughts. In Chinese Medicine fear is the province of the Kidneys and a sudden fright can impact the Kidneys. We see this in our Western understanding of the body as well. When we experience fear the adrenal glands (which sit on top of the kidneys) secrete cortisol, a steroid hormone that, among other things, causes your heart rate to increase. More insidious is chronic anxiety, which, in Chinese Medicine is often a disconnection between the Heart and the Kidneys.
So, how can you become more fearless?
· Meditate. A host of studies have demonstrated that meditation reduces the body’s release of the stress hormone cortisol. More importantly though, meditation gives us the opportunity to stop running away, to sit with how we are feeling and let it go. So often we are afraid to feel our fear so we disconnect and distract ourselves. Most people find that their resistance to feeling caused more stress and anxiety than just sitting with the feelings. Even meditating 10 minutes a day can have a positive impact on your life. Start today. You don’t need fancy cushions and chimes. Just sit in the quiet for 10 minutes and pay attention to your breath. That’s it.
· Start small. You don’t have to move across the country or quit your job. Although you could do that if your heart is calling you to do this very thing! Pick one fearless act to do today. Tell your real deal feelings to someone you trust. Sign up for that weekend retreat your braver self fantasized about doing. Say no. Say yes. Do one fearless act each day. It gets easier.
· Get acupuncture! If you are stuck in fear, in indecision, or in a near constant state of low-grade anxiety acupuncture can unstick you. It is quite amazing actually. Like a car stuck in overdrive, our bodies can get stuck in fear and our sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) never turns off resulting in chronically high levels of cortisol. Acupuncture works to return the body to its natural state of balance (sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems working together). You’ll feel less anxious, less fearful, and less stressed. Sound good? Call 404.695.0905 today to schedule a free consultation!
What act of fearlessness are you going to do today?