The Fear Cure
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Not many people in the medical world are talking about how being afraid can make us sick-but the truth is that fear, left untreated, becomes a serious risk factor for conditions from heart disease to diabetes to cancer. Now Lissa Rankin, M.D., explains why we need to heal ourselves from the fear that puts our health at risk and robs our lives of joy-and shows us how fear can ultimately cure us...See more
Not many people in the medical world are talking about how being afraid can make us sick-but the truth is that fear, left untreated, becomes a serious risk factor for conditions from heart disease to diabetes to cancer. Now Lissa Rankin, M.D., explains why we need to heal ourselves from the fear that puts our health at risk and robs our lives of joy-and shows us how fear can ultimately cure us by opening our eyes to all that needs healing in our lives.
Drawing on peer-reviewed studies and powerful true stories, The Fear Cure presents a breakthrough understanding of fear's effects and charts a path back to wellness and wholeness on every level.
- How a fearful thought translates into physiological changes that predispose us to illness
- How to tell true fear (the kind that arises from a genuine threat) from false fear (which triggers stress responses that undermine health)
- How to tune in to the voice of courage inside-our "Inner Pilot Light"
- How to reshape our relationship to uncertainty so that it's no longer something to dread, but a doorway to new possibilities
- What our fears can teach us about who we really are
At the intersection of science and spirituality, The Fear Cure identifies the Four Fearful Assumptions that lie at the root of all fears-from the sense that we're alone in the universe to the belief that we can't handle losing what we love-and shifts them into Four Courage-Cultivating Truths that pave our way to not only physical well-being, but profound awakening.
Using exercises from a wide range of mind-body practices and spiritual traditions, Dr. Rankin teaches us how to map our own courage-cultivating journey, write a personalized Prescription for Courage, and step into a more authentic life.
The Fear Cure Public Broadcasting Service Special
“As a culture, we are so scared, we’re not just making ourselves miserable; we’re making ourselves sick . . . By all measures, we are the healthiest, smartest, richest, safest people in human history. And yet, we have never been more afraid.”
THE FEAR CURE WITH LISSA RANKIN, M.D. is a 60-minute lecture shot before a live audience, addressing how being afraid can make us sick—the truth is that fear, left untreated, becomes a serious risk factor for conditions from heart disease to diabetes to cancer. In this compelling program, Lissa Rankin, M.D., explains why we need to heal ourselves from the fear that puts our health at risk and robs our lives of joy—and shows us how fear can ultimately cure us by opening our eyes to all that needs healing in our lives.
When Fear Is Your Friend
Most of the fears that plague us today exist only in our imagination. They are not real threats, but the amygdala in the primordial brain can’t tell the difference, so the nervous system gets stuck in unnecessary stress responses. Our warning mechanisms malfunction, and we wind up feeling inappropriately afraid, which harms our health and leads to unnecessary suffering.
If fear can harm you and make you unhappy, you might assume that fear is something you need to get rid of. You might imagine you should add “Cure fear” to your list of New Year’s resolutions, along with “Eat healthy” and “Exercise more.” But that’s not what I’ll be suggesting in this book. Instead, I’d like to invite you to reframe your relationship with fear so fear can cure you instead.
What if fear isn’t something to avoid, resist, or feel shame about? What if, instead, fear is here to help you? What if fear is the finger pointing toward everything that stands between you and true well-being?
Most of us devote a great deal of energy to organizing our entire lives around avoiding what we fear most. But fear can be a messenger that wakes you up to everything in your life that’s still in need of healing. For example, if there’s still a roof over your head and money in the bank but you’re afraid of going broke, fear might be pointing to patterns you learned in childhood about financial lack. In order to experience the peace of abundance, you might need to address any limiting beliefs about money that keep you from thriving.
If you’re afraid of making yourself vulnerable and opening your heart to love, fear may be sending you a message about wounds from unhealed heartbreak in your past that need your tender, loving care. If you’re afraid of getting sick, fear may be signaling you to stop giving so much and start prioritizing your own self-care. Fear carries with it a precious message, and if you’re willing to listen to your fear, rather than run away from it, fear can help you get on the fast track to healing in body, mind, and soul.
Praise for The Fear Cure
“Finally, a brilliant teacher from the medical community takes a hard look at the omnipresence of fear in our culture as a major cause of illness in our contemporary world, while simultaneously offering a plethora of highly specific suggestions for eradicating this ‘disease-producing mind-set.’ I love the exceptionally honest and personal approach that Dr. Rankin provides throughout the pages of this powerful book. Fear is much more than the scary feeling you experience inside when you get too close to the edge of the cliff, it is a way of living in which your subconscious mind is being programmed from your earliest years to avoid any and all risks. This programming invites sickness not only of the body, but the mind, and especially the soul. My friend Lissa Rankin has created a book that will show you how to cultivate the courage to live life fearlessly. It is medicine for the soul as well as the body. I love love love this book.”
— Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, New York Times best-selling author of I Can See Clearly Now and The Power of Intention
“If you’re haunted by fear or anxiety and want an energetic, vigilant, and encouraging friend to calm you down, carry around a cop of the Fear Cure. Dr. Lissa Rankin has been to the dark places where your fear may take you, and emerged not only unscathed, but filled with advice and prescriptions to bring others into peace. Part reporter, part scientist, part mystic, and always full of compassion, Liss will help you find the part of your own being that is never afraid. The Fear Cure can teach you how to release the fears that may limit your joy, and give control of your life to your calmest, wisest self.”
— Martha Beck, Ph.D., New York Times best-selling author of Finding Your Way in a Wild New World
“Just as hunger will lead you to find nourishment, fear can lead you to nourish your life. We are all capable of doing this, but without guidance and someone who believes in us, it is hard to do. Lissa Rankin’s book can make the difference.”
— Bernie Siegel, M.D., New York Times best-selling author of Love, Medicine and Miracles; Faith, Hope and Healing; and The Art of Healing
“Nature has endowed us with healthy fears—the lion in the bush—but most fears in modern life are destructive and prevent us from achieving our greatest potential. In The Fear Cure, Dr. Lissa Rankin analyzes the fears that hold us back and how to rise above them. She reveals how most fears are of our own making, and how to unmake them. This book is wonderfully up close and personal, because Rankin’s advice has been put to the test in the crucible of her own life.”
— Larry Dossey, M.D., New York Times best-selling author of One Mind
“The lives of a vast majority of humans are stressed with panoply of psychological fears: fear of loneliness, fear of failure, fear of disease, and fear of judgment, among others. These chronic fears, which result in stress that undermines health and leads to disease and death, are responsible for up to 90 percent of all doctor visits. A valuable palliative to combat debilitating stress is provided in Dr. Lissa Rankin’s new book, The Fear Cure. This empowering compendium on the psychobiological impacts of fear offers highly effective personal management techniques to shift consciousness and transform chronic fear into health-enhancing behavior. For the health of civilization, I highly recommend Dr. Rankin’s prescription for a positive drug-free healing experience that enhances intuition, integrity, and joy in life.”
— Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., cell biologist, best-selling author of The Biology of Belief and The Honeymoon Effect and co-author of Spontaneous Evolution