Fear is a wonderfully amazing thing that we’ve been equipped with to keep us safe. Our brains are wired to kick in whenever a threat is perceived. If your brain senses danger, a cascade of incredible reactions begins within your body. Your heart starts pumping faster, feeding your cells with the oxygen needed for the anticipated fight or flight you’re about to engage in. Your breath becomes faster and more shallow to quickly provide more oxygen. Your senses begin to heighten. Every function that isn’t necessary for survival in that moment slows so more energy can be used in the fight or flight.
This is great, if you’re in actual immediate danger. Like running from a bear in the woods for instance. But if you’re just going through every day life and something happens (perhaps an opportunity to speak in front of an audience) the fear response may kick in when you don’t need it to. Some people even live in a constant state of fear. Health professionals like to call this “anxiety.”
Anxiety happens when you live inside your head. If you stop and pay attention you will actually feel that you are occupying the top third of your body. That may sound strange, but hear me out. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. This means that your spiritual self can concentrate in any one part of your body, leaving the rest feeling empty. Living like this for extended periods of time causes all sorts of physical and emotional problems.
There is a simple solution, though. Tune into the way you feel. Pay attention to what your body is telling you. Whenever you start to feel that you’re occupying the top third of your body, stop and take a moment to ground yourself. Grounding means pulling your spirit back down to where it’s meant to be. Your spirit is designed to take a seat in your belly, just below your navel. In order to bring it back down, you need to breathe. Take a deep breath in and concentrate on pushing your diaphragm down towards your belly button as you breathe in. Your shoulders should not really move at all. Breathe in slowly and deeply. You can even picture your spirit moving back down and taking its seat below your navel. As you breathe out drop your shoulders.
Make it a point to practice putting your spirit back on its seat daily. Over time you will come to live in a more grounded state and your “anxiety” will cease to exist.