The Love Response : Your Prescription to Turn off Fear, Anger, and Anxiety to Achieve Vibrant Health and Transform Your Life
Fear, anger, and anxiety-the side effects of life's everyday stresses-are natural and sometimes helpful, but left unchecked they can lead to a host of debilitating ailments that are now so common we assume they are unavoidable: heart disease, arthritis, gastrointestinal problems, depression, and more. There is good news, though: The key to a healthy life free of these conditions is to activate what Harvard Medical School instructor Dr. Eva Selhub calls the love response: a series of biochemical reactions that lower blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, and adrenaline levels, stimulating physical healing and reinstating balance and well-being.
A practical life-healing program, the first of its kind, The Love Response is the result of Dr. Selhub's years of research-and clinical practice-on how to reverse the destructive physical effects of fear and stress, and banish emotional wounds from the past. Through a simple-to-use plan of awareness, breathing, visualization, and verbal command exercises, The Love Response reprograms your brain and changes your biochemistry from negative to positive, putting you on a path to long-term wellness and happiness. The Love Response is structured around the three essential building blocks of mental health:
� social love-connecting not only in your intimate relationships but with family, friends, and pets
� self-love-learning to nurture yourself with care and tenderness (often the hardest step)
� spiritual love-contributing in meaningful ways to the world beyond your personal needs
The Love Response provides all the tools you need to transform anger into compassion, release your fears, overcome shame, embrace self-acceptance, connect through empathy, and, ultimately, strengthen your natural ability to heal.
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January 26, 2009
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Excerpt from The Love Response by Divinia Infusino
1 Fear The Ultimate Silent Killer Imagine you are lost. You have no map, and no GPS, and your mobile phone is out of range. What are your thoughts and feelings? “I am going to be late. Where am I? What am I going to do?” You are likely to feel out of control and anxious. When you meet an obstacle for which you think you are unprepared, when you feel you lack the resources you need to cope with a situation, your body automatically undergoes a series of biochemical reactions in which you experience stress and fear. At its most primitive level, fear keeps human beings out of the mouths of wild animals and away from dark, dangerous places. It also goads us out of our comfort zone so we can experience new things, and grow and evolve as people. Fear gets us out into the world. It drives us to learn, achieve, and acquire knowledge. Fear creates a sense of urgency to fix what is not right. Fear has pushed society to overcome tuberculosis and certain cancers, to fly through the sky, and to take care of basic survival needs such as food, water, and shelter. On a purely physical level, fear prompts our bodies to heal wounds, survive traumas, and run from danger. Go back to the example of being lost without a map. Fear could incite you to muster the resources you have and work hard to find a solution. In this case, fear results in a productive response and action. Once you find your way again, your anxiety and the adrenaline that helped you to safety usually subside and your body returns to balance. Now imagine you have been lost in the woods alone for hours. You have nothing with you but the small lunch and bottle of water you packed for what was supposed to be a short hike. In this scenario, you may be so unnerved that you stop thinking clearly, go beyond the kind of adrenaline rush that might help you, and move instead into panic mode. In this case, fear and stress are no longer helpful but harmful—they override your body’s normal functions and send your mind into a place where you no longer operate rationally. This is just one dangerous side effect of unchecked fear, and unless you can get it under control, it will be difficult for you to find your way to safety. Fear and stress are necessary and natural parts of life when they function as intended—as a temporary, short-lived state that raises blood pressure, quickens breath, and pumps cortisol and adrenaline into the system to keep us out of harm’s way. Fear and stress damage your health when they strike too often or linger too long, a problem you certainly have suffered from if you live in the modern world. Today, rest and quiet time are a luxury. We set an alarm to wake us up in the morning so that we rarely sleep until our bodies are rested. We gulp down breakfast and rush to work, where we’re constantly under pressure to perform more and faster. Ten minutes for lunch? Oh, just skip it—who needs to eat? After eight to ten hours of madness, it’s hurry home for a couple of hours of quality time, by yourself or with your family, before going to bed and starting the whole cycle over again the next day. Oh, yes, and then comes the weekend, filled with shopping and mowing and cleaning and baseball and ballet and social and cultural events to attend. Who has time to rest? I’m exhausted just thinking about it! Our twenty-first-century lifestyles keep us operating in a constant state of anxiety and fear. It might not be active or obvious, but your fear is idling so high all the time that it does precipitate what I call the Fear Response. Whether it is gridlock on the morning commute, a disagreement at the office, a migraine, or a divorce, the body responds the same way: it locks into a cycle of fear symptoms such as tight muscles, poor digestion, a racing heart, anxiety, and or inability to sleep. <