One of the strongest emotions, and one that most strongly impacts human health, is fear. Our ancestors feared that bear. As children we feared the big bad wolf, the mean old man next door, or the classroom bully. Those are fears of physical objects. As adults today, we fear things like the loss of happiness, getting cancer, or losing someone we love. We fear things we don’t want. We fear things we don’t like. We fear things we don’t know enough about. And we fear things that are not physical. A bear, a wolf, and the classroom bully are physical objects; the loss of happiness, getting cancer, and losing a loved one are not. This is the key factor in emotional memory override.
If you fear over and over, you eventually live in a state of fear. Your body constantly produces the chemicals necessary to deal with your fears and responds physically to those chemicals. The fight or flight response was designed to survive physical attacks, not mental ones. The cave man felt fear of the bear, his body reacted with needed chemicals and systemic functions, and he was prepared to defend himself. Whether he actually survived or not, he fought or ran, and the whole incident was over in a matter of minutes.
Today’s fears (hates, angers, worries, jealousies, etc.) are not on the physical plane and they last for a very long time. Your subconscious responds according to its master program, but the situation is not over in a matter of minutes. This continual drain of energy to fight or run exhausts your body, which manifests itself in your health. It may lead to illness, disease, pain, a bad cold, the flu, or depression. Continually exhausting your power to fight, weakens your immune system and puts you on the road to poor health. Fear and other strong negative emotions are major contributors to exhausting your body.
Keep in mind that every emotion produces certain chemicals in your body that your body must respond to in order to survive. Dr. Blair Justice offers extensive research on how the brain and body interact in his book, Who Gets Sick. He cites information from leading researchers regarding chemicals, neurotransmitters, and hormones, their related bodily functions, and the outcome on the physical body when produced in excess. Neurotransmitters are, simply put, chemicals that transmit nerve impulses. These are the chemical messengers that Roger Guillemin and Andrew Schally received the Nobel Prize for demonstrating back in the 1970s during a series of important studies.
Dr. Justice writes, “The discovery that our very attitudes, beliefs and moods influence the action of the messengers has greatly expanded knowledge of how we can get sick – or, conversely, protect our health. For instance, when we are chronically hostile, excessive secretion of one of these neutrochemicals – norepinephrine – contributes to our risk of hypertension, arteriosclerosis or a heart attack. When we believe our problems are beyond control, another hormone – cortisol – increases and can impair our immune system, making us more vulnerable to infections and some cancer.”