Definition of fear
- An unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger
Fear is an emotion we all experience from time to time. It can wash over us like a wave out of nowhere or it can linger and we can sit and marinate in it. Once we let fear take over it will sometimes have a tendency to grow and to find its way into areas we might not have earlier thought of as a danger.
You get the idea and some of this might even sound familiar.
Fear has been around for a long time. We see it in advertising, politics and even in Hollywood with NBC’s Fear Factor, and horror movies (I personally don’t watch them so I am at a loss for naming any).
What has fear got to do with bone loss you might ask? A lot actually.
When our bones become less dense (osteoporosis) we are more likely to fracture if we have a fall. I have read and have spoken to people who have expressed a concern/fear about fracture since they have low bone density. Depending on how severe your bone loss is this fear can be overpowering. Some people have bone loss so severe that even sneezing can bring on a fracture. Fear in this case can be paralyzing and keep a person from doing things they might otherwise have done. We can find ourselves opting out of certain activities that we might typically have done. I am not suggesting bungee jumping from a bridge in a third world country as a good idea; on the contrary… I am speaking of the times we let fear talk us into saying no to something that is reasonable.
If you ruminate on fear it can have adverse effects. It can send us into “fight or flight” with our nervous system. For example it can increase our heart rate, shut down our digestive process and get us ready for the perceived battle. If this state is prolonged and our stress hormone (cortisol) stays elevated and over time we will start to experience a whole cascade of negative issues.
Take a moment to ask yourself… have you said no to something because of fear of your bone loss? Was this a reasonable thing to be fearful of (bungee jumping…) or was it not?
Maybe you cannot think of anything you said no to and that is great! But if you can think of a time, create some awareness around it. If we let the bone loss define us and we start opting out of experiences that are reasonable we could feed into those fears, lose the feeling of empowerment and miss out on life’s adventures.
From an Ayurveda Perspective:
Ayurveda is yoga’s sister science. From an Ayurveda perspective Osteoporosis is a Vata imbalance. The Vata dosha is one of the three doshas; Vata, Pitta and Kapha. We have traits from the 3 different doshas that comprise us. Some of us have more traits in one dosha than the others making us more dominant in that dosha. For example, Vata dominant people tend to be thin/small boned and we more often see Osteoporosis in these people.
The practice of Ayurveda is designed to bring a person back to balance through the tools of yoga. A Vata dosha out of balance can display as worry, fear and anxiety. If you find yourself fearful or find that “fear feeling” lingering, try these Vata balancing tools:
- Notice your feet fully planted on the ground… in fact take off your shoes and really feel the connection. Notice the stability of your legs and feet.
- Practice child’s pose. This can calm the nervous system with pressure on the abdomen. This may require you to use props, such as a blanket. You can also lay face down on the floor on your belly and breathe.
- Get out in nature. Nature is great for us on so many levels.
- Stay on a schedule, wake up and go to bed at the same time. Go to bed before 10pm and eat meals on a regular schedule.
- Drink warm water throughout the day.
These are just a few simple techniques that can help someone feel more grounded, calm and live with greater ease resulting in a lessening of the fear response.
Live better in your body.