Do you have a specific fear that’s holding you back in life?
Realize this, fear is a product of your mind. It is a mental state that causes those trivial anxieties you struggle with every day, and which keeps you from living a more satisfying life.
Fear has been a part of our life, one way or the other. You may have experienced the fear of losing, fear of being rejected, fear of looking foolish or being judged, fear of failure, fear of being abandoned… you name it. If there is one thing that this article will attest to, to spend your life living in fear and never fully venturing out a world of possibilities or going for your dreams is a miserable way to live.
Whether those feelings of trepidations are rooted from previous bad experiences or fear of the unknown, it’s important to take note that it’s mainly a mental process that’s generating the angst or inducing doubt to rise within you. A process you can reverse once you understand the science of fear and learn acquire the tools to master it.
A recent study discovered that there was a significant reduction of conditioned fear responses among healthy male subjects with higher Anandamide levels in the blood. If you’re not familiar with Anandamide, it is a neurotransmitter derived from arachidonic acid and is considered to be one of the most important endocannabinoids within the body.
Anandamide can be found in several regions of the brain, in the central nervous system, heart, liver, spleen, pancreas, skin, white blood cells, reproductive organs, and in the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts, and is believed to sustain the brain and body in a state of balance, called homeostasis.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS), including anandamide, which mainly interacts with CB1 receptors, provides defense against stress-related disorders, including major depression, generalized anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
What would it be like to live a life where you’re immune to fear? Or bad experiences and painful flashbacks can’t hold you hostage anymore from finally achieving what you want in life?
You can increase your anandamide levels, and get extra protection from stress and anxiety.
Develop a significant amount of resilience from distressing situations or traumatic memories by adopting a diet rich in foods that naturally increase your anandamide levels. These include dark chocolate, black truffles, black pepper, and foods rich in arachidonic acid (anandamide’s precursor) such as meat, eggs, and dairy.
Animal studies also revealed that one can increase anandamide levels by inhibiting the enzyme that catabolizes it- FAAH. It was found that through this mechanism, anxiety-mediated behaviors were significantly reversed after lab mice were exposed to intense, acute stressors.
Kaempferol is a plant flavonoid that inhibits the production of FAAH. It can be found in fruits such as grapes, peaches, raspberries, apples and blackberries. Veggies rich in this compound include broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, squash, cucumbers, green beans, and tomatoes.
Evidence from preclinical studies has shown that Cannabidiol or CBD has acute anxiolytic effects through the same mechanism. By inhibiting FAAH-the enzyme that degrades anandamide, many studies found that CBD can modulate conditioned fear by reducing its expression, and disrupting the formation or solidification of adverse memories.
In addition to improving Anandamide levels, CBD’s interaction with TRPV1 receptors supports its ability to dampen nociception and pain signaling. CBD’s ability to target and regulate TRPV1 ion channels may have a positive implication on how one perceives a painful event.
The findings are very encouraging, although more studies are still warranted to investigate the underlying mechanisms, and to determine CBD’s significance on fear extinction and its effectiveness on treating anxiety-related disorders.
The fear, uncertainty and apprehension that you feel when you step out of your comfort level can cause you to retreat into a perceived safety zone. That’s understandable. But if this is your habitual response to everything that gives you a sense of discomfort, it may well be the most dangerous place because it doesn’t allow for any growth.
And where there is no growth, there is only deterioration. Life is in constant flux and you’re either moving forward to something bigger or better perhaps, you’re being pulled in an entirely new direction.
To expand, you must take on things that will challenge you and test your limits. You must look your fear in the eye and walk right through it. Or else, it will swallow you into a purposeless world of empty existence.
To Courage and Limitless Possibilities,