We only really need to understand intimately, the two foundation emotions of fear and love. Every other emotion we experience such as anger, grief, resentment, despair stem from these two pivitol emotions.
Underlying any reaction of defensiveness is the feeling of fear. Fear puts the body and mind on guard to be ready for an attack or to flee the situation that may feel unsafe.
Fight, Flight or Freeze
When we find ourselves in a life threatening situation both our body and mind mobilize a large amount of energy in preparation give flight or escape. This trigger releases large quantities of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. The mobilization of flight or fight actually discharges the energy from the body and when the threat is over the hormones return to equilibrium, reucing the levels of these stress hormones in the body.
If there is no flight or fight action (many of the stressors in Western Society are caused in the thought process), the message to normalise these hormone is not given to the brain, so the stress hormones remain high resulting in the body maintaining an activated state by holding on to excess energy in the nervous system. Equilibrium is not reached. The result is a heightened awareness and a constant feeling of tension and stress in the body.
Constant tension makes us feel stuck and we struggle to feel safe enough in our world to flow in the present moment. Over time if this energy stays stuck in our bodies, the fight, flight or freeze mechanism becomes a pattern of behaviour. When we are required to stand our ground, deal with conflict or speak out truth, we go into a fear reaction, resulting in dysfunctional behaviour patterns that do not help us in our lives. Reason and logic are often not present when we experience fear but it overwhelmes our bodies, our minds and triggers other resulting emotions.
Sometimes we may experience a series of emotions as a trigger to some event or situation that we have experienced. If we had the time to stop and go within, we would find that many of these emotions have their foundation in fear, often linked to our childhood experiences.
For example we may fear putting ourselves in a situation where we could be judged, and potetially ridiculed which will cause us to feel shame. We may have had previous situations like the one we are about to experience and know that we are not confident at holding our own, maintaining our balance and personal power. Fear rises and can saboutage us taking positive action.
If we take this a little deeper, we come to discover that underlying many fears like the example given above, is the more basic fear that something is wrong with us. It is such a fundamental fear that many of us carry that we will not be perfect and we lack in some way and therefore others will not love and accept us.
Going deeper still this implies that if we are not worthy of love then, should we really be here? We have to hold so much of ourselves back (because we feel unworthy) that if we cant be ourselves and be accepted, maybe we shouldn't be here. This triggers our basic survival instict and thus our natural defenses to survive. Fear then is the underlying motivation for so many things we do in our lives and we are not conscious and aware of this.
In order to understand fear and other emotions linked to it such as stress, tension and anxiety, you need to understand more about yourself, your life growing up, how you react in stressful situations and why.
If you are suffering with anxiety and fear, panic attacks or similar do yourself a favour and call me for a consult. I will give you the tools to transform your life.