What fills you with fear? What are the triggers? Does that fear actually belong to you and how can you ever be freed from it?
We all know what it feels like to have fear. A holding of breath, a pounding heart, sweating, a racing pulse, trembling or feeling frozen stiff. A panic about not being able to escape…that feeling of DANGER to your life.
Why the fear?
That fear is there for a reason. It is in fact essential in that it’s function is to assure survival. When faced with danger our bodies go through several physical reactions to prepare us to respond and to keep us alive. Increased blood flow to the extremities of the body is there for us to flee as quickly as we can, and muscles tighten in order to fight back. But why is it that some of us will have these intense physical sensations of fear when presented with a situation that, in the eyes of others, would not actually cause any real danger? A general house spider for example does not pose a real threat to our survival. Many people dislike spiders but a person with arachnophobia will go to great lengths to ensure that they are not exposed to spiders.
A phobia is described as an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. The impact the phobia has on their lives can be horrendous, especially if it is a fear that is not easy to avoid. Their bodies are in threat mode all the time whether they are exposed to the fear or not, just the thought of it brings on the physical and mental suffering.
Caused by what?
A phobia can be caused by a traumatic experience, either one specific event or exposure to several very unpleasant events. The traumatic experience however may not be remembered by the person with the phobia especially if it occurred in early childhood. In fact, the traumatic event may not have even happened directly to that person but instead happened to their mother, father, grand-mother, grand-father and perhaps even further down the family line. The newest research in epigenetics tells us that the effects of trauma can pass from one generation to the next. This can be known as inherited family trauma. Great-grand-parents living in a war-torn country, a grand-mother who was continually being locked in a tiny room as punishment, or a father whose brother died in a car accident. Memories in the body are passed down to the next generation which can lead to intense body sensations when triggered by something resembling the original trauma. So you could well be carrying with you the emotional baggage that doesn’t actually belong to you! The work done by Mark Wolynn, author of “It didn’t start with you” is a fascinating read if you want to look further into this concept.
Ok, so most of us want to know WHY?
WHY do I have this condition? WHY is it so difficult for me? and probably now you will be wanting to know WHERE did it start?
Learning about the origin of the initial trauma can be healing in itself. Understanding what it must have been like for family members and how this affected others and now yourself can bring an element of peace. Often though stories of previous events are not always clear, perhaps an event took place that was then never ever talked about (due to it’s severity and incomprehensibility), or there are just mere fragments of memories or images left.
How can EFT help?
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) aka ‘Tapping’ is an effective tool to enable these deep rooted fears to be released. In a session of EFT we may come across the original trauma; a forgotten memory or image from early childhood may appear, and we can tap (on acupressure points) on the event itself. However it is not necessary to unravel the past, digging up deep wounds and reliving the bad experience. We don’t go where the body doesn’t want to go! EFT is gentle and works on the sensations of the here and now.
When the fear is triggered by an image, a thought, sight, sound, smell, touch, or memory, the body sensations are intensified. This is when the emotional part of the brain is on override, and we prepare to fight, flight or freeze. When we then gently tap on acupressure points we send signals to the amygdala which begins to then calm the system. With arousal levels dropped the rational part of the brain takes over. It can start to make sense as to what is happening in the present moment and will say “Oh, I’m not really in any actual danger”. I know that sounds somewhat incredible but this light bulb moment occurs for many and it gives a powerful sense of sheer liberation.
Here are three success stories:
Sarah, who suffered from Arachnophobia literally left the computer screen in the middle of our second Skype session and went to her garage and searched for spiders without any of those old terrifying sensations. No hesitation she just went. She looked behind bins, lifted jars and even looked into the large sink where there was bound to be a spider, but, to the disappointment of us both, there were no spiders to be seen! The threat however had gone and although she still does not like spiders she can tolerate them in her house. “I no longer feel that creepy tingling when I meet a spider, nor do I go running around shouting for someone to come and remove it.” Sarah
Sam with a fear of flying. After three sessions of EFT she became relaxed about the idea of going on holiday on a plane. On the day of the flight she says “I wasn’t stressed at the airport, going down was fantastic….the whole experience was a lot different to flying in the past. It made such a difference because normally I would feel sick, have shakes and panic attacks”. Sam
And lastly Anne;
Anne is pictured above standing on a rock almost 400 feet high, who, before I met her would avoid heights all together. She would go on walks with the family but could not climb higher than a certain height. After session one she could look up at heights without that same dizzy feeling . After session two she could climb a step ladder without any sensations of fear and after the last session she had a great desire to finally face her fear head on and follow her family’s footprints to a height I think many probably wouldn’t even consider: “As I stood there, I felt amazing. What an achievement. What a sense of freedom. Something I had been scared of for so long, seemed so insignificant now. All I could think about was how beautiful it looked from up there and how much I could see. The saying “As far as the eye can see” really had meaning now. I felt so alive and so very proud of myself!….Melody made it possible for me to face my fear, confront it head on and then conquer my fear.” Anne
To witness these ladies, and many others heal their own wounds (myself included) through this gentle process touches me deeply and sincerely. It gives hope to others that fears do not have to stay embedded in the body. Emotional inherited baggage can end here….and forever hold its peace! Now what would that feel like??
Have a beautiful day.
I hope you have enjoyed this article and if you have any questions relating to EFT or would like to book a Skype/Zoom session then please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
It is important to mention that EFT does not work for everybody, it works for people in different ways and some fears can be eliminated quicker than others. For more information about my work please visit http://www.melodylovell.com or follow me on facebook https://www.facebook.com/melodylovell where I give advice and support to those practicing EFT.