Does Fear Prevent You From Better Health?

Health is the soul that animates all the enjoyments of life, which fade and are tasteless without it. -Lucius Annaeus Seneca

For over a year, I have focused more than ever on my physical and mental well being.  I run daily, meditate, and receive regular chiropractic and acupuncture treatments from the team here at Monmouth Spine. I have lost over twenty pounds, have more energy, and feel stronger than ever.

I would like to believe that I do all of these healthy things for myself because I am gaining further wisdom and understanding of the value of good health. However, I think that what compels me most is the fear that if I do not focus on my well being, I will be unable to have the energy and clarity necessary to enjoy the life that I want. Perhaps what drives me even more than this is the fear that if I do not focus on my health, I will become another statistic of disease.

I understand that these thoughts are not healthy. In fact, I am certain that fear-based action creates stress, and stress is the number one cause of disease. I understand this from studying scientific literature and through my clinical experience of treating thousands of patients for more than twelve years. So, there is an apparent Catch-22 in my line of thinking: I do all of these healthy things to keep myself well, but the underlying drive behind my efforts may be lined with fear. Fear creates stress which leads to illness and disease.

What is the solution? If I stop working on my physical and mental well being, I am certain to have less than what I want for my life. This is not the solution. Instead, I must focus on eliminating that nasty little driving force called fear.

Working to minimize or eliminate fear from our lives can be a great challenge. The first step begins with acknowledgment of any fear within us. If you go inside of yourself and find no fear, then good for you!  After acknowledgement of the pain, the next step is to understand where the fear stems from and finally to let go of it.  One of my favorite teachers once said: “This is a very simple process… but not an easy one!”

My goal this season is to embrace the simple enjoyment of life without the drive of fear.  Fear wears us down. In Eastern Philosophy, fear is often considered an illusion that prevents us from being who we truly are. I know that good health provides the greatest opportunity to enjoy life and any fear that we have simply gets in the way.

Take some time to reflect about the things that motivate you to a better life.  I hope this exercise brings you greater health and happiness this summer.  Enjoy all that life has to offer you!

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