fear and health

How Fear Impacts Your Health and How to Respond

Fear. It permeates our daily lives in ways we don’t even realize. Whether it’s sourced from the nightly news, worries about being a good mom, or the lies we tell ourselves in the privacy of our minds, it’s there. The thoughts loom in our minds throughout the day.

Questions such as:

What will they think?
What will I do?
What if __________ happens?

Comments like:

I’m not good enough, smart enough, skinny enough, ______ enough.
I don’t have what it takes.
I couldn’t do that. It’s too risky.

I’ve been talking a lot about fear lately because I’ve noticed some ways it’s held an ugly grip on me personally. I’ve also noticed beautiful things happening when I step out in courage as opposed to retreating in fear.

Let’s talk about fear and our health, shall we?

Consider just a few potential ways fear may be impacting our health.

We may choose not to go to a gym because:
  • People may judge us.
  • What if we’re doing it wrong?
  • What if we look like an idiot?
We may choose not to change our diets because:
  • It may be too hard.
  • It may be too expensive.
  • We may not have the time to prepare it.
  • People might think we’re weird or make fun of us.
  • Others may not understand.
We may choose not to work on our mindset and negative thinking because:
  • We’re afraid of what we might discover about ourselves if we do.
  • We are uncomfortable with new things.
  • We are scared of ideas we don’t understand.
We may choose not to get more sleep because:
  • We may miss out on all the fun things everyone else is doing in the evenings.
  • We may lose our “free time” after the kids are in bed.
  • We may miss our favorite TV shows or movies.
We may choose not to rest and recover because:
  • If we don’t take care of things, who will?
  • We may miss out on something.
  • We feel rest is a luxury, not a need.
  • We may look lazy or unmotivated.

Are we all on the same page? Fear has the unique capability of causing so much damage to our bodies – and we haven’t even discussed its impact on our emotional or spiritual selves.

In The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal, she mentions not only the fight or flight aspects of fear but also the potential of rising to the challenge, connecting with others, finding meaning and personal growth. We are often going to be tempted toward fear and many of us live there day in and day out.

Nelson Mandela has been attributed to the quote “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear but the triumph over it.” What I’m proposing is that we stop fleeing from fear and address it head-on. This is going to look different in different situations and may even look different for the same individual from day to day. But it’s achievable. Courage is moving forward DESPITE fear, not because the fear has vanished.

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10, NKJV

Just this past week, I jumped one of these fear hurdles myself. For the last three years, I’ve felt a calling to pursue yoga instructor training. None the less, I’ve let many fears keep me from following that desire. Time. Money. Location. Stage of life. Even not knowing what I’d do with the certification considering I don’t currently want to be a full-time yoga instructor. Last Monday morning, I had a moment where I decided I was tired of letting fear determine my actions. While fear can be good and keep us alive (we should fear a speeding car headed our way), it does not need to rule our lives. I told my husband and he was fully supportive. I found a program close to home where I could achieve the first portion of training in January. My husband, however, encouraged me to go to one that was sooner – as in THREE days from then.

Ladies, I’m a planner and this was not planned. I was completely paralyzed for a moment even at the thought. “Do you realize that’s THIS weekend?” I asked him. “Do you know how busy our weekend is with kids’ activities? Do you realize you’ll have to do it all alone? Where would I stay? Do we have the money?” My mind swirled. Praise God for my husband’s calmer, reaffirming way of being. He assured me everything would be taken care of and sure enough, it was.


What a joy it was! I met 15 like-minded women I would otherwise not have met. I enjoyed two sweet nights reconnecting with old friends (who hosted me) over laughter and shared stories. I completed my Level 1 foundation training on the beautiful campus of Butler University. As an extrovert, I even reveled in my ability (and common fear) of doing a few things alone in the short downtimes. Because I trusted my husband, my gut and what I believe was the Lord’s calling for me, I now have these new things, achievements and experiences to be grateful for. And as a side note, in case anyone is confused, I have no intentions of leaving my beloved health coaching behind. I’m simply adding to my tool belt and services available.

This coming Monday, September 24th, my Change your Mind, Transform your Health program kicks back off. This is the FINAL time it will be offered in 2018 so do not wait for another. If you are looking to change your perspective on topics such as fear, your abilities to create new habits and achieve real, lasting change, join us. You will not find another program at this low of a price for this magnitude of possibilities. Learn more and register before Saturday, September 22, 2018!

Until next time…

Take care,