Is it real?

All fears are based on perception. Knowing this can free us up to live more fully.

We are constantly evaluating risk. We do this automatically. Our survival depends on it. But what happens when we enter and remain in an constant state of hypervigilance because what is feared is actually a misperception?


This seems to be the case for most of us as we are constantly bombarded with notifications of the lastest catastrophe across the planet or the latest update on Instagram. 

It’s increasingly more difficult to discern what is a real threat and what is one that is perceived. What’s interesting is that for the body, real and perceived are not different. The experience of a perceived threat is felt in the same way as a one that is real. This last bit is so important because failing to reduce perceived fear in our lives will lead us to a less than optimal state of being. We don’t have an unlimited amount of energy. Spending our precious lives on protecting ourselves from what is not real does not make sense.

As you go about your day today, are there any ways that you can strengthen your ability to determine what is a perceived fear and a real fear? Can you lower your vigilance a bit if you know that right now you are not really being threatened? Can you take a deep breath and feel the goodness of feeling safe? 

 We sometimes forget what it feels like to be at ease and to genuinely feel safe. This is something we come back to in our Yoga classes. For that hour, we remind ourselves, we can set aside all of the thoughts we might have of things done and left undone and instead take our attention to the body and breath. That one hour of rest can help us reset so we can discern what is real and what is perceived.

Clearly, if you are not in safe place and your fears are based on a real threat, then you want to act and move. Understanding the difference and being able to have the clarity to discern, however, will help us become less hypervigilant, freeing us up to live as fully as possible.


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