FEAR = False Evidence that Appears Real


As I have suggested in previous tips, what one thinks about actually results in physiological changes in the body.

When I was scheduled for gum surgery, I was terrified. I went through the operation in my mind a gazillion times imagining the knife cutting into my soft palette in graphic detail.

By the time I went in, I was in quite a state. My heart was pounding, my muscles were tight and stiff, and I felt like I had consumed 20 cups of coffee, even though I had had none.

The actual operation was nothing. My imagined operation was far worse, and my body had reacted very strongly to my imagination.

The body interprets our thoughts as real. In other words, the body responds to what we are thinking and puts out the necessary hormones as though the scenario were actually happening, even though it is only in our mind.

Instead of going through the operation once, my stinking thinking caused me to go through the operation countless times, each time eliciting a very real stress response in my body. Not a very healthy thing to do …

Because of the fact that our physiology interprets our thoughts as real, what we think about when confronted with challenges has a huge impact on our health.

Constantly catastophizing a problem resulting in our fight and flight response being activated all the time, means we never get the rest and recovery needed to keep us healthy. Not only that, but it is very difficult to focus on finding a solution to a problem when we are in a stressed state.

Our adrenals which secrete stress hormone to help us cope, become more and more exhausted fighting these imaginary demons on a daily basis. In today’s modern world, it is very rare that we find ourselves in a life and death situation where we actually need our stress response to kick in to keep us alive.

Most of the time, our stress is caused by what we think when we are reacting to a situation. Change your thinking, and you instantly change your body’s response.

So, when you find yourself dealing with a problem, instead of dwelling on it, acknowledge the situation and focus your thoughts on possible solutions.

If something is completely out of your control, understand that, and don’t waste your energy and hormones dwelling on something you cannot change. Controlling your stress levels will go a long way towards preventing cancer and many other diseases.

Chek, Paul; How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy! Chek Institute, San Diego, CA, 2004.

Wilson, James L; Adrenal Fatigue, The 21st Century Stress Syndrome Smart Publications, Petaluma, CA, 2001.

Copyright Vreni Gurd 2005

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  1. Brandon Harshe said,

    January 11, 2008 @ 1:27 am

    I once read about a guy that got trapped in a meat locker at work. He couldn’t get out and resigned himself to the fact that he was going to freeze to death before he was found. The next day, he was found dead in the freezer, but it wasn’t from the cold. The temperature of the freezer had been in the mid-60s. He froze to death because of his own doing.

  2. karen shield said,

    February 17, 2008 @ 4:00 pm

    so true, i have been suffering from anxiety and panic attacks for the last four months , the only thing that seems to be working is practising thinking differently. when you constantly think something it will become real.

  3. KWalker. said,

    May 29, 2009 @ 11:27 pm

    Melatonin relieves panic after taking for 3 mos. in a row and up to a year. It works for me.

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