When I started teaching yoga I was surprised by the overwhelming number of people looking for ways to deal with everyday stress, chronic anxiety and fear. As part of meditation training in the early 90's, I had been taught to "look behind what's behind" to get to the root or genesis of things. Here's what I discovered:
STRESS = ANXIETY = FEAR
Whenever we are feeling stressed, the anxiety driving the stress is due to a desire to control something we fear.
So if that's true then stress is the symptom of our 'real' problem - fear. This may not be a shocking revelation but what IS shocking is how fearful thoughts cripple us, keep us stuck and make us sick!
The Fear Cascade
Understanding the fear cascade helps us to see how the anxious mind creates a biochemical cascade that is most often unnecessary and more often than not, dangerous. The infographic shows how the fear state can make us act like animals and do or say awful things but it also shows us how we can maintain, or reclaim, our power over fear, anxiety and stress.
Please review the infographic segments before the brief discussions of each below.