Managing Fear

Managing Fear

Born to Heal Podcast with Dr. Katie Deming

Dr. Katie Deming believes in making the Born to Heal Podcast accessible to all. If you aren't able to tune in, we've included the transcript from Episode #1: Managing Fear here. 

Episode #1: Managing Fear

What if I told you there was another treatment that should always be given, in addition to the treatment for your illness? This treatment is so powerful, that it may be equally as important as treating your illness.

What if I also told you that the treatment was free? And would likely change your life? Would you want to know about it?

Let me tell you, as a practicing doctor, I want you to know about it. So today, I'm not only going to introduce you to this miracle treatment, but I'm also going to teach you how to use it in your own life.

So what is this miracle treatment that I'm talking about? And what does it treat? What it treats is probably the biggest obstacle in healing. Can you guess what it is? It's a four letter word. And it starts with F. No, it's not what you're thinking. It's fear.

Fear & Healing

Fear is the biggest enemy. When you're healing, where you put your intention is what you're creating. Thus, having your intention on where you want to go is so important, right? When we're in fear, we're 100% spending all our time and attention on what we don't want. We're staying right there in the place of not having what we want, which is health.

Right. So focusing in is what creates more of that. And so fear definitely causes us to focus on what we're afraid of, and what we don't want. It's so crazy, because the fear is so powerful that it draws all of our attention in. And then it feels almost impossible to set your attention on where you want to go. That's why it is so important to treat fear. I literally think fear causes more suffering for my patients than their actual cancer.

So what I want to talk about is, why do we have fear? Where's that coming from? Why is it so prevalent when we're talking about illness. And in order to do this, we need to go back and talk a little bit of neuroscience or brain science to explain what's happening.

Fear in the Brain 

Our most primitive primitive portion of our brain is literally designed to scan for danger. That's its job. That's its job to keep us alive. When it's doing its job really, really well, and you have cancer, basically everything in your environment has now become something that you could be threatened by, right? Of course, now you really do have something that is threatening. So you have cancer, I'm just using cancer, as an example, because this is what I see everyday. But you could use in any other condition.

When my patients are diagnosed with cancer, all of a sudden, all of these potential threats are just popping up all over in their fields, basically, oh my gosh, what if you die? Oh, my gosh, what if you leave your children? Oh, my gosh, what about your husband, oh my gosh I haven't done all the things that I want to do. All of that is popping up all at once. So if your brain is doing a really good job, you're feeling crazy from all of these thoughts of things that could go wrong. That means your brain is doing its job.

The problem is, is that you're not in literal danger in this moment. And so what we need to do is we need to kind of help our brain understand that's not where we want to spend all our attention, that we want to move it to where we want to go, and in this case, perfect health.

Becoming a Brain Whisperer

Okay. So first thing, the way that I like to think about this is actually like a horse whisperer, but you're doing it with your brain. After this episode, you're going to be a brain whisperer. I got this idea actually from the documentary 'Buck', a movie about Buck, who is a true horse whisperer. He is the man that the movie 'The Horse Whisperer' with Robert Redford was based on. He is incredible, his whole thing is that he says that you don't have to really beat horses into behaving. That actually, they don't need that what they need is to be loved, and then given a job. He said that in the movie, and he said, you know, the horses literally just need two things. They need to be loved. And they need a job to do.

And so when I saw this movie, I realized I was like, oh my gosh, this would be such a good way to think about your brain and specifically fear. But you could do this with any thoughts that you're not wanting. The way that I think about this is that our brains, and in this case, we're talking about the most primitive part of portion of our brain, just need to be loved and thanked for doing their jobs. And then they need you to give them a job. You need to direct your brain.

It's funny, I was talking about the brain like it's a plural, but your brain singular, this needs a job to do you just need to direct it where you want to go. Right? So that sounds so easy. And then you're like, oh, yeah, how's that gonna fix my fear? Well, let me tell you, this is the way that I teach this to my patients. And I use it in my own life.

Fear, Then Gratitude

Let's say a thought comes up. That is, oh no, what if I die? What I teach my patients to do is to say, thank you, brain, thank you for doing such a good job and pointing out what could go wrong, I love you for doing your job. Now, what I want you to do is I want you to focus on me being in perfect health.

And that's it.

And it sounds like so simple, but it really is.

It's flipped from what we normally do, because what we normally do is what like traditional horse trainers would have done, which is to beat the brain into trying to get those thoughts out. Well, we know that doesn't work, right, because they're still popping up. And so this is a different approach. It's gentle, it's soft, it's loving.

I'm going to get back to loving yourself on another episode. But this is kind of a piece of that, loving your brain like nothing has gone wrong, that you have all these disturbing thoughts. In fact, it's a sign that everything is going right. So like really loving your brain for doing its job, thanking it, and then giving it the job that you want it to do.

Please, I want to hear if you practice this, and it works for you. I want to know so you can find me on Instagram, or you can find me on my website, www.KatieDeming.com. I want to hear how this works for you guys because it is so powerful for my patients.

I will see you guys on the next episode.

Be Well,
Katie Deming

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