Fear is one of the most debilitating and self-limiting emotions to live with. It is also an emotion most difficult to wash out of the system. Fears can be known/ conscious, like the current wave of fear caused by the very real threat of the Coronavirus. Unknowingly too, we live with various fears which affect our mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Undetected and unchecked, fear grows in size and intensity, leading to negative changes in your personality and relationships. Expert Counselor, Tai Chi practitioner and Healer, Kashmira Shaw Raj provides valuable insights into this decapacitating emotion and shares solutions to rid yourself of fear, for good!
Our bodies respond as much to internal thoughts and emotions as it does to external stimuli. Of the various feelings and emotions we experience, fear is one of the most common responses. Simply put, fear is an unpleasant emotion one experiences as a reaction to a perceived threat. The threat could be real or imagined and is felt by all, immaterial of age – for a number of reasons. While children usually feel threatened due to reasons like bullying; performance anxiety; physical or mental beating; love withdrawal from parents or loved ones; etc., – adults, on the other hand, usually experience fear when faced with issues related to the well-being of their health, financial, interpersonal wellness.
The short-term effects of fear are felt at the time when fear is perceived. These include increased heart rate, freezing mentally and being unable to process things or respond rationally, excessive sweating, crying, or even negatively impacting sexual performance (premature ejaculation), lack of neuro-motor skills (hand-leg coordination) and abortion. When a person is exposed to fear for a long time, then lasting effects are seen at mental, emotional and spiritual levels – manifesting physically as fluctuation in blood pressure, stomach ulcers, infertility and faster aging of the body. The person could end up getting increasingly suspicious or paranoid, start telling lies, or becoming a recluse, as seen in cases of phobia and other fear-related disorders.
The organ most associated with fear, as per Traditional Chinese Medicine, is the kidney, known to store fear. As the kidneys are associated with water, the body’s water element gets affected, leading to a different set of problems. When fear is not dealt with, it gets increasingly stored in the kidneys, and this starts putting pressure on other organs, staring with the heart. These two organs can lead to a lot of unfortunate issues, so it is best to deal with fear as quickly as possible – see a doctor or counsellor or consult a specialist.
Techniques like meditation, yoga and Taichi help greatly in calming the mind when faced with fear. Taichi brings about positive differences physically while empowering you emotionally – making it the perfect method to undo fear from your system for good. Taichi brings inner calmness which handles fearful situations and heals. Physical Taichi exercises work on the related emotions and bring an overall level of mental agility and physical endurance. With dedicated practice, it altogether rejects fear from entering your system at all.
Listed below are some Taichi exercises that can be practiced by those who wish to deal with their fears better. These exercises will work on your kidneys which will in turn work on your fears:
1) Tap the tail bone. Ideally do it for 300-350 taps daily. You can tap it with the back of your hand. Rest your hand gently on the side of the tail bone so that you get the support to tap it.
2) Massage the little finger for 36 counts.
3) Visualize emerald green color on inhalation. On exhalation visualize fear moving out of your body in the form of heat or grey smoke.
4) Perform Kidney Squats 8 times: Stand with feet, shoulder-distance apart. Keep knees slightly bent. Hands should be by your side, palms facing inwards. As you inhale, start moving your palms from the sides of the body to trace a circle stopping at your shoulders. Let the arms move behind and then continue to come up to complete the circle rotating your shoulders and bring them in line with your shoulders (palms facing down). When you reach shoulder level, slowly exhale, and as you lower your arms, start bending your knees as well, so that by the time your arms reach the sides of your body, you also stop bending simultaneously. Rise up again and start all over.
This exercise can be done at home. However, if the kidneys are affected to a large extent, then it is necessary to consult a Taichi instructor.
Wishing all our readers a safe, stress-free and fearless Jamshedi Navroze Mubarak!