The biology of fear

April 2014

By Shivi Verma

Fear is the greatest creator of diseases, and the road to good health involves facing and conquering our fears, says Shivi Verma


I suffered from eczema, psoriasis, stomach disorders and depression for a pretty long time. I sought help in medications but they provided only temporary relief. I blamed my diseases for my lack of dynamism, and lack of material progress in life. In a way I hid behind my diseases to explain my failures in life. When I got married, my husband’s dynamism and take-on-the-world attitude inspired me to look beyond my limitations, and focus on my abilities. The moment I changed my mindset, the medicines began to work their magic on me. As I focussed on doing what I should, instead of brooding about fearful consequences, my body began to respond positively.

Slowly, my depression, eczema and stomach disorders vanished from my system. I began to enjoy good health for the first time in life. I began to trust the Universe more and more. I observed that good health arose when you listened to your inner voice and took action. It included listening to the body, conscience and intelligence. It included doing what must be done, regardless of fears. Diseases occur when we ignore or suppress the inner call of growth out of a fear of the unknown. When we refuse to pick up the gauntlet thrown by life.

Fear and illness

That is not to say that fear is completely useless. It is there for our safety and self-preservation. It is a normal and natural reaction to something which threatens our happiness and existence. Says Anu Mehta, Meta healer, “Fear is like an inborn alarm that our body is fitted with, to protect us. The newly born child when picked up by the doctor upside down, tries to move up in an effort to save itself from falling. The fear of loud noises warns a child of danger.”

Problems arise when we allow fear to dominate our lives and dictate the way we live. Says Louise L Hay, author of the health classic, You Can Heal Your Life and founder of the publishing firm, Hay House, “Over the years I have learnt that there are really just two mental patterns that contribute to disease: fear and anger.”

Sanjiv Ranjan, author of the book, The Seven Mystical Laws of Self healing, graphically illustrates the effect that fear has on our bodies, whether real or imagined, and how they translate into illness. Says he, “Your body is your subconscious mind. Your cells constantly listen to your thoughts and your thoughts affect them. The moment you feel fear, it percolates down into your body, into every cell which constitutes and frames your physical destiny. The cells begin to feel vulnerable. They immediately begin to take remedial action. In order to protect what lies within, they build impenetrable fortresses around them so that their tiny worlds cannot be breached. As a physical fallout, the cell membranes become impenetrable. They literally lock themselves in, out of fear. They seal all portals of entry. As a result they cannot take in vital nutrients. They begin to starve once their inner resources dwindle and deplete.”

He continues with his bleak narrative, “With time cells come to terms with starvation. There is a sense of unrest within your body. It functions like a kingdom which is under the throes of famine. The kingdom has no resources, no reserves, so it cannot maintain an army (your immune cells). There is no food for soldiers. Ultimately, the immune system crashes. You become susceptible to disease-causing organisms, to invading pathogens, and you suffer from infectious diseases. But the dangers which lurk outside are not as potent as the ones which lurk within. When the king (you/your mind) is trapped in fear, there is no governance. Lack of governance creates anarchy. Every cell begins to fight for survival by attacking each other, and eventually, killing each other. This gives rise to auto immune diseases like hypothyroidism, and leucoderma. This anarchy gives birth to rogue cells. Rogue cells are strong, immature cells. Their only function is to find a place within you where there is nutrition and well-being, where they firmly establish themselves and live parasitically. They begin to multiply. They don’t serve the system. They plunder it. They loot it. We call such rogue cells cancer. If you trace any disease to its roots you will always find fear.”

Case studies

Gail, a businesswoman from Canada, suffered from severe arthritis of the knees. She was trapped in a bad marriage where her husband would constantly demoralise her. The fear of losing the security provided by marriage made her ignore this constant assault on her self-esteem. Eventually, her husband dumped her for another woman. In her quest for help and treatment, she stumbled upon Louise L Hay. Louise told her that her arthritis was the signal her body was sending her that she could not stand such treatment any more. She began to apply Louise’s teaching. She determinedly told her arthritis, “Since you came from nowhere, please go back to nowhere.” She used medications, and positive affirmations, and eventually healed her arthritis. Now not only does she have a new partner, she has also healed her relationship with her ex-husband. When she finally faced the reality of being alone, she saw that it did her a lot of good. Her fear was baseless.

Fear can impair us mentally and psychologically too. Says Dr Trupti Jayin, a past-life regression therapist (PLRT) best known for her TV programme, Raaz Pichle Janam Ka, “Fear is a reaction to external or internal threat. These responses become pathological when the person begins to respond in a fearful manner to every situation. Take the case of Ravi. He was repeatedly told to excel by his parents, which put him under severe pressure. However, he learnt that if he feigned panic, his parents would get worried and exempt him from exams. Ravi is now 43, and he has panic attacks every time he has to meet his targets. Threat has taken illogical proportions in his mind.”

How to heal from fear

The solution lies in accessing your fears and eliminating them through awareness. The moment you allow yourself fearlessness, and stop creating imagined fears, your cells open their walls and nutrition floods them. They begin to heal. Well-being is restored. Diseases heal.  There are several ways of healing from fear. Happiness Joyshop facilitator Nithya Shanti gives the following tips:

•    Shift focus from imagining the worst possible outcome to consciously thinking of the best possible outcome.

•    Fully feeling whatever we are feeling, without our narrative or story, is very healing.

•    Radiate love and good wishes to the object of our fear.

•    Fully bring attention to the present moment and notice how in the present there are never any problems.

•    See everything that is happening as a dream, as a hidden blessing, or as God in disguise. Welcome the very thing we are afraid with the mantra, “Bring it on!”

•    Ask yourself, “Who is afraid?” or “Who am I?”

Other options

If you find this difficult, then a counsellor or a therapist can help you come to terms with your chronic fears. Dr Trupti Jayin uses counselling, PLR and graded desensitisation to help people heal their phobias.

In systematic desensitisation a person is gradually taught to relax through various stages of his fear.

“A client did not want to do PLR to know the root cause of his fear of travelling in a lift or being in closed spaces. I accompanied him in the lift and taught him to relax as the lift took us to higher floors. I took him to various floors of the building and encouraged him to relax as he looked down. The man was taught relaxation exercises prior to this therapy. A biofeedback belt is also worn to give feedback to the person to see if he is relaxing.”

Flooding is another method. Here the person is taken to the state of highest fear and anxiety, and he is asked to relax in the state of highest fear. This works for those who are highly intelligent, and can cope with the consequences. One of Trupti Jayin’s clients had a fear of heights which she combated by going mountaineering. She succeeded.

Past-life regression too is effective in dealing with fear that may have its genesis in an earlier life. Trupti herself suffered from severe vertigo. When she did PLR on herself she regressed to a village near Manali where she had lived as a field help in 1857. There, she had committed suicide by jumping from a high cliff into the flowing river beneath along with her daughter. As she revisited the fear of falling from a great height…she healed. She was no longer attacked by vertigo.

Healing unconscious fears

But when fear is unrecognised and the ailment has shattered a person’s life, then Advanced Clearing Energetic, a technique founded by Richard Flook, can greatly help in identifying the root cause. In this technique a patient can talk to the body part which is hurting and ask it what is the purpose which is getting served through this pain.

Says Anu Mehta, the Meta Medicine healer, “Ask the person, what is he doing which on giving up the pain he will not be able to do? Or, what is he not doing which once he decides to give up pain, he will have to start doing? These two questions can help us to identify what is the gain from nursing the fear. We can also enquire into the beliefs that people have, that are creating these fears. Once you deal with beliefs behind the pain, the fear can actually be released.”

When you stop creating imagined fears, your cells open their walls and nutrition floods them

She quotes a few examples. One of her women clients suffered from breast cancer. When Anu took her back to the probable big incident which had happened in her life before the cancer, she discovered that  the woman was fearful for her daughter’s safety. Her 19-year-old daughter had
entered into a relationship with a boy. That boy recorded her daughter in a compromising position with him and put it on Facebook. The girl went into a huge  trauma. She called up her mother and told her what had happened. That lady soon developed breast cancer because she could not protect her daughter from this trauma, and because of her fear of infamy. Once the fear was dissolved, her cancer cleared up.

Another woman suffered from severe skin infection. She had itching and flaking all over her body. On probing, it was discovered that she had had an extra-marital affair with a male friend. He dumped her later on, and she developed a skin problem soon after. The catalyst was the fear of the world finding out about her affair. Once the fear was cleared, so did her skin.

A man suffered from high blood pressure and diabetes. In a workshop on Meta Health it was found that the fear of losing his job and not finding a similar job that would help his family sustain their affluent lifestyle, made him highly stressed. The fear made him tolerate undesirable things at the workplace giving rise to anxiety, and high blood pressure. Once this fear of uncertainty was dissolved, his health improved.

If fear cripples our life, and creates illness, it also compels us to discover our innate power and true nature. Conquering our fears is one of the greatest milestones in self-discovery. It is not knowing about our power which makes us do irrational things or not do essential things. The more powerful we feel, the less fearful we are, and less prone to doing things which can harm our health or happiness.

Says Anu Mehta, “We will not stay in obsolete and abusive relationships. We will be more self-empowered. People will not be in unpleasant jobs just because they are scared that their families will die if they don’t earn enough. As a society we will be healthy and happy.”

Concludes Nithya Shanti, “Eventually our whole relationship with fear is transformed. We now  define it as Feeling Energized And Ready!” This is what healing from fear does to us. It makes us energised and ready to embrace life in all its totality. It makes us who we are…healthy, happy, complete and prosperous.

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Comments [ 4 ]


I am sharing this! Getting well is so simple!

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Denis Khan

At the end of a weary year, we celebrate the festival of Christmas. The Life of Jesus is filled with all the wants and needs we experience in our earthly lives. Homelessness, Poverty, Rejection, Injustice, Suffering and Death. Dr. Prateep Philip explains, ‘The word “ rejoice” implies that we need to find joy again and again in the Lord, not in the things He has provided for us or the things He has done but in who He is to us. We should not get bored or exhausted or run out of enthusiasm as we tend to do with worldly things and activities but our joy keeps getting filled to the brim, overflows, empties and is renewed and filled again and again endlessly. Who we are or what we have or what we have done is not the source of our joy but whose we are is the source.’ As Dr. Prateep Philip clarifies, the opposite of Fear is JOY, an acronym implying ‘Jesus Owns You’.

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Krishna Prasad Cherala

Wonderful Shivi. Thanks for your insights on Fear. Would like hear more on the related subjects from you. Seasons Greetings from Good Feelings.

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Hi Shivi Read your article on fear,It beautiful and insightful.Guess sometime you will write on anger. regards Rajneesh

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