Excerpt from my forth coming book “What are you afraid of?”
The fear of the Future
Highlighting Joy and Peace
“In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision” Dalai Lama
Faith is permitting ourselves to be seized by the things we do not see. Martin Luther
“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be” Abraham Lincoln
If you were asked the asked the question how are you feeling now? Depending on your state of mind and life actual realities , we have two simple answers. One answer could be I’m great and everything is going well and the future is bright. Or opposite response could be I’m so stressed and anxious I have this ……
You have probably experienced one these states or even both . The continued program or mindset we have in simplistic terms is pessimistic or optimistic mindset.
Is your glass half empty or half full which describes your person mindset?
The acceptance of life for what is often filtered by what optical illusions we don’t wear. The person who continues to look for the negative will find the holes in life experiences. In contrast the person who looks at life with possibilities and opportunities will probably find them.
There are different ways of living life especially with our programmed mindset. We could continually look back in regret or with joy. We could live our life always chasing the dream of tomorrow or worrying about the what ifs?
The ultimate way to embrace life is to be totally present right here now at this moment in time as you read this sentence being absorbed in the flow state with no distractions entering my world of engagement now………… Pause and close your eyes and reflect on the 3 choices I have just mentioned about what style living you are in.
As you close your eyes be honest with yourself and ask the question
1 Looking back wanting
2 Looking forward wanting
3 Live each day being fully present with yourself and engaging with others and environment.
Take 5 minutes to do a quiet meditation and ask yourself this soul searching question.
The fear of the future can stop us from enjoying the present moment and missing out on experiences fully. Your fears could be very real or an imagined fear of what might happen. I was listening to Jim Rohn today on a healthy attitude about health etc. He related an experience of a young woman who was diagnosed with heart problem and the consultant said she had to restrict her lifestyle and take medication for the rest of her life. After some time she evaluated her life and said to herself this is not living. She decided to live her life again , took action and started to rebuild her life. She went to the gym , changed her lifestyle stopped the medication. She became an executive and lived life to her purpose. Another article I was reading last night was about a young teenager who had brain cancer and was diagnosed with terminal illness. Today he is still living a normal life 30 years later. We can never really be totally convinced about our future even if it looks bleak. We all have are own responsibilities regards health care and we all have own choices on what we decide is best for our situation. Very often practitioners can advise and be very helpful to improving our life style but no one really knows what the future will be.
Chronophobia Is from the Greek word Chronos means time and phobia means fear. The reality of a person sense of time is either a lack of it or not sure what happened to the time. The a word is related to this condition used in medical text books called prison neurosis. (medicine.academic.ru) Imagine you have been sentenced to life locked up in prison it will have an impact on your perception and feelings. Constant fixation on the future outcomes can impact our health especially our mental and physical systems. Anxiety or being anxious about the future is a symptom. In essence we can not change time either go back or forward. Maybe another post I might discuss the science of time travel which is great pub discussion….
We all face anxiety from time to time but constant anxiety and uncertainty is not a healthy lifestyle. We all need stress in some measure as it moves us to action for reward or from threat. Understanding anxiety or stress on how it drives us can be a useful weapon rather than being a slave to its relentless drive on ours body and mind. Recognising and being aware of anxiety is the first line of action. In another chapter on self awareness will show in more depth of recognising the different states we are in.
Stress can effect many different body systems in different propensity. The brain is the first port of call in response to stress or anxiety we face ( either it can is real or imagined ). The brain makes many decisions we are unaware of for example our breathing and heart rate done automatically but we can over ride them. The brain has to make decisions in utilising efficiency of resources with out us constantly thinking about it. A lot of our actions are on auto pilot driven by subconscious behaviours. Logically if we had to think about every single operation we did in our existence the brain would need so much energy to sustain it be ridiculous. The brain is an effective predicting machine with no conscious thought, this is a interesting debate you can have with friends with of use of our free will who is actually in charge? (neurosciencenews.com).
The HPA Axis (hypothalamic pituitary adrenal)( integrativepro.com) hypothalamus is part of the brain that maintains homeostasis of the human body in a stable condition.( yourhormones.info.)
The body releases different hormones from pituitary gland and adrenal glands (pituitary.org.uk) (endocrineweb.com).
The biology of the body is effected also by diet receiving a balanced nutrition.( britannica.com) Also the environment can interfere with our natural responses to stress which effect homeostasis or equilibrium of our internal body systems.(course.lumenlearning).
A key player in our stress response is the hippocampus and one of its functions is memory and learning (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) This section of the brain is part of the limbic system that process our emotions and behaviour in our responses to stimulus. In the chapter on fear in the book I will discuss more in depth how this is the reactions we have in life experiences especially about fear.
In summary the brain references our experiences as future actions from past memories. For example when brushing our teeth we don’t think about the whole process. We create the internal biology of who we are from a lifetime of intertwined experiences some great some not so pleasant. The good news is because of neuroplasticity we can rewire or reprogram our brain some call this neurogenesis.
There a lot of references not mentioned here and I have tried to keep it simple to understand. I want post all the bibliography now it will be in the book though.