Stress and Fear and Deep Breathing

Did you know there is a connection between stress and fear?

Stress and Fear and Deep Breathing

I must say that I’d never made the correlation between stress and fear.

Although, I have been aware that research continues to show that stress is the basis or a significant factor in nearly all diseases and illnesses. I wouldn’t be the first person to report feeling stressed, and then coming down with a cold…a perfect opportunity to rest the body, sleep, and indulge in self-care. After a few days of this, the cold seems to magically cure itself.

So, while I was aware of the role of stress in health, it never occurred to me that there was a connection between stress and fear. That was, until I was listening to a guided meditation by Louise Hay.

In her Subliminal Mastery Series audiobook, Stress Free: Peaceful Affirmations to Relieve Anxiety and Help You Relax (1990), Louise Hay clearly states:

Stress is a fear reaction to life, and to life’s constant changes. Stress has become a catch word, and we use it as an excuse for not taking responsibility for our feelings. If we can equate the word stress with the word fear, then we can begin to eliminate the need for fear in our life. A peaceful relaxed person is neither frightened nor stressed.

When I heard that, I had to keep rewinding to hear it again:

Stress is a fear reaction to life?

Stress…an excuse for not taking responsibility for our feelings!?!

– Equate the word stress with the word fear, then we begin to eliminate the need for fear!?!

Being a 20 year old recording, this is clearly not new news, even though it clearly was for me. Had you heard this before? Were you aware of the connection between stress and fear?

In the audio, Louise goes on to ask…

Why are we afraid? Why do we give our power away? How can we eliminate that fear, and move through life feeling safe? We can do this by changing our thinking.

Changing our thinking (affirmations, of course, with the help of meditation and visualization!) …AND… changing our breathing.

You read that right: Breathing.

Oh, wait, I’m getting ahead of myself…

Last year, I had read a blog post by Susan Eller about how our body is designed to release 70% of toxins through our breathing! That still astonishes me.

Then, earlier this year, I had seen a tweet by @JaqStone reminding us all to take frequent breaks for deep breaths. I did, and it felt so good, I made a decision to breath deeply 3 times throughout the day as I transitioned from one  activity to another. Within that first day, I noticed some huge benefits!

– I felt better and seemed to have more energy
– My day seemed to flow easier
Solutions to problems seemed to appear all by themselves


– I found that my fear-based thoughts seemed to EVAPORATE as I breathed in more oxygen!

Seriously. Just try it for yourself: See how long you can actually hold onto to fear while you are deeply breathing. If you are like me, fear just *poof* dissipates!

Yes, I realize all of the above examples include the word *seemed*…all of our experience is about perception. Deep breathing was causing a shift in my perception and therefore, my experience.

Anyway, shortly after my AHAs about the power of deep breathing, which I tweeted about profusely, I read a response on GVU by Jeannette Maw to a forum post asking about fear. Jeannette wrote:

I’m thinking fear is excitement without breath

That statement really made an impact on me, based on my recent experience with breathing deeply, and it has come back to my mind time and again…and a Google search indicates the quote (fear is excitement without breath) originated from Robert Heller in the 19th Century. Although I had never heard this quote before, either (I know…where have I BEEN?!?), it is a simple reminder that deep breathing is beneficial, most especially when we feel fear: relaxes our muscles and mind, while helping us calm down, think clearer, and recognize the joy of excitement.

I’m also thinking about how some of my favorite energy tools (Emotional Freedom Technique/Meridian Tapping, Non-Personal Awareness, meditation, etc.) and exercise (aerobic, yoga/pilates, etc.) all incorporate deep breathing as part of the technique. After just focusing on deep breathing throughout the day, I’m wondering if the increase in oxygen and therefore the reduction of fear-thoughts is a big part of why we feel so good after doing these techniques or activities?!?

Let’s recap what we’ve uncovered here:

Stress is a fear response, and it’s the root cause of many illnesses and diseases…

And fear, a component in stress, is dissipated by deep breathing, then by deduction, stress must also be reduced by deep breathing.

That would mean that most illnesses and diseases (caused by stress) can be positively affected by regular, conscious, deep breathing!

Deep breathing is the body’s way of releasing 70% of toxins.

Simple enough for everyone to do—keep breathing, but do it a little deeper each time—and something that any deliberate creator would want to add to their conscious life experience!

Fear only exists when you do not understand that
you have the power to project thought and that the Universe will respond.

Abraham, Boca Raton, FL 1/11/97

What do you think about this? Has this been your experience? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

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