JOURNEY TO WHOLENESS - November 2015 - Kansas City
From Fear to Gratitude
By Jude LaClaire, Ph.D.
The media, movies and current culture optimize our attraction to fear. The body-mind reacts instantly to something that appears to be a threat. We are wired to flee, fight or freeze in response to assumed danger. When we lived in caves this mechanism served us well. It protected individuals and the community from harm. In today’s more sedentary world, this response does not serve us so well.
The neurobiological response to fear can be exciting. All systems are ‘go’ and we are ready to act. But systems are drained and shut down to recharge. The stimulus-response loop of fear can be addictive. It is also linked to depression, emotional instability, anxiety and other addictions.
Our body-minds are a marvelous and complex communication system. We know that feelings of joy or sadness, peace or gratitude are all activated in this same mind-body-cell-gene loop of communication. This natural response mechanism can be the key to healthy approaches. When a fearful idea or image is stimulated we have the opportunity to recognize it, look at it and transform it into a helpful, life-giving idea or image.)
Deepak Chopra in his forward to Molecules of Emotion by Candice Pert says, “She shows that our biochemical messengers act with intelligence by communicating information, orchestrating a vast complex of conscious and unconscious activities at any one moment…This bodywide information network is ever changing and dynamic, infinitely flexible. It is one gigantic loop, directing and admitting information simultaneously, intelligently guiding what we call life.”
You can take some simple steps to re-frame an image or thought.
Make a statement with I and a present action verb.
I feel anxious and frightened about possible impending danger.
Make a statement telling what you can accomplish now.
I am in charge of my feelings and my responses to what thoughts or images present themselves. I can choose what I look at or listen to.”
State what you can do now and in the future to be ‘proactive’, creating a thought or image of hope, peace, gratitude, etc.
I can become aware of how I feel; breathe, relax and take time.
I can imagine some times when I felt safe, in charge, nurtured.
I can remember what I have now and think thoughts of appreciation and gratitude.
I can continue to create specific, concrete images and thoughts that are helpful and
Our thoughts and images create physical, mental and emotional realities. In the book “The Messages from Water”, Masaru Emoto, a creative Japanese researcher, scientifically demonstrates how the energy of words, sounds, visual images and smells effect the molecular structure of water. Water adapts to whatever environment is present. Our bodies are seventy percent water. Emoto visually documents the molecular changes in the water. You can find these images on the web site www.wellnessgoods.com. We can change our inner and outer environment; the mind-body self and our external environment by what we think and imagine!
In the month of November, often thought of as Thanksgiving month. Make a list each day of people and things for which you are grateful. Make helpful, positive statements of gratitude and appreciation for yourself and others each day. As you find the appreciation habit growing, your physical and mental health will be greatly enhanced. Those around you will benefit greatly, as well. Remember, “The Attitude is Gratitude.” Transform fear to appreciation and gratitude.
Jude LaClaire, Ph.D., LCPC, is a counselor, educator and author. For counseling appointments, seminars, training, speaking engagements or information on Neurobehavioral Programs or Imago Couple therapy call 913-322-5622. For more information about Jude LaClaire or the Kansas City Holistic Centre go to