Fear is simply excitement without breath.
I think about this phrase often when facing my fears. Whether I’m charging a big wave, getting the courage to say something vulnerable or speaking in front a large audience it reminds me to harness our most powerful personal tool: a deep breath.
Fear has many faces.
Fear of putting ourselves out there, fear of saying no, fear around finances, fear of showing our feelings, fear of getting older, fear of rejection or messing up, fear around big life events, relationships, sickness, dreams and more.
Our basic fear, however, is the fear of the unknown. But wouldn’t it be great to be more excited about life and the unknown rather than fearful and worried about it?
Breathe deeply, find clarity and get excited about life.
Fear in Yoga philosophy is considered one of the four expressions of misperception, know as “the veil of Avidya.”
The journey of personal growth (and yoga) is all about overcoming misperceptions—and breathing is one of the most powerful tools we have to help us with this challenge.
Breathing more deeply changes our nervous system and brain function, allowing us to think more clearly. When we breathe deeply we move from the limbic survival brain of fight/flight/freeze to the pre-frontal cortex of problem-solving and creative thinking. Our perception heightens, perspective changes, and often with that fear diminishes if not vanishes.
So when fear arises, remember it’s simply a sign that you’re not seeing clearly or breathing deeply. Take a moment to deepen your breath, calm the nervous system and invite yourself into a bigger picture perspective.
Our body tells us if we’re in fear or in clarity.
When we’ve put our fears in the context of a bigger perspective it fees like a big sigh of relief and ease in the body.
The narrow perspective of misperception, on the other hand, feels like tension in the body, stress or being “frozen with fear.”
Breath practices in yoga are called Pranayama. Prana means life force energy and Ayama means non-restraint.
In other words, deep breathing is a non-restraint of life force energy. Fear, on the other hand, is a restraint and freezing of our life force energy.
We may not even be aware of how restrained we’ve become however because fear starts to feel “normal.” But if you find your body holding a lot of tension, it’s highly likely you’re running on fear-based thought patterns.
If you’d like to know more about how I can help you shift those fear-based patterns fill in the form below for a free 15 min phone consultation.
Breath is the first step to overcome fear patterns in their tracks but we often need to work more holistically to make lasting change and overcome our fears. Working with psychotherapists, counsellors or energy psychology tools like EFT or NLP can be tremendous support systems to shift the fear patterns on a deeper level.