How Long Term Fear, Anxiety and Stress Affects Your Body

Article 12 in TruLight Radio XM Healing articles called “The Doctor Says – The Bible Says” By Dr.Michelle Strydom MD.
The devil knows that if he can control your thought life, he can control your body chemistry and cause disease. One of the tools he uses is fear, anxiety and stress. Understanding the enemy will help you overcome him. Understanding how fear, anxiety and stress works in your brain, and its subsequent reaction in your body will help you to control it. Fear, anxiety and stress is a toxic stronghold or thorn tree in your mind which disrupts the way in which you function spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and physically.

Stress is a modern term – the Greek and the Hebrew in English would identify it as fear or another word is anxiety. We can also use the word worry. According to Hosea 4 v 6, God’s children are perishing for lack of knowledge. Fear, anxiety and
stress are destroying your body behind the scenes and initially you don’t even realize that it is happening and that is scary. Many people’s minds and thought life are plagued by fear: fear of tomorrow, fear of finances, fear of disease, fear of death, fear of security, fear of man, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear
of abandonment, fear of trains, fear of planes…the list is endless. Anything that takes away our freedom produces fear. Anytime we are humiliated, oppressed, victimized, verbally abused, emotionally abused, physically abused, sexually abused or even oppressive legalistic church abuse that crushes people’s spirits, are all tragic situations that have the potential to produce fear.

Fear and faith are opposing spiritual forces. Both project into the future and both demand to be fulfilled but they cannot co–exist.
As Faith Decreases, Fear Will Increase When thinking starts stinking and becoming toxic faith level drops fear levels increase fear dominates and you feel stressed!
Definition of stress: Stress is the mind and body’s response to any pressure that disrupts a normal peaceful state. It is your brain converting the thought into a physical reality via the electrical impulses in your nerves and specific biochemicals. Stress is a global term for the extreme strain on your body and its
organ systems as a result of toxic thinking.

1 Fear is the root of stress: our body moves into a toxic state when our thoughts become toxic as a result of fear. Fear is a spiritual force that triggers more than 1400 known harmful physical and chemical responses in your body, and activates more than 30 different hormones and neurotransmitters 15! This has an incredible detrimental effect on your body.

There are three stages of stress. The first stage is a temporary stress which you experience for example when you have to stand up in front of an audience and give a speech, when you suddenly swerve your car to avoid hitting something or when meeting your in-laws for the first time. This is where you can feel your heart beating fast and your palms get sweaty.

Understanding how fear, anxiety and stress works in your brain, and its subsequent reaction in your body will help you to control it.

Then there is stage 2 of stress. This is where your body has been in stage 1 for too long or when the stress reaction is triggered by a negative toxic thought such as fear, anxiety, anger, rage, unforgiveness and bitterness. This is when stress starts becoming harmful to your body.

When you have been in stage 2 of stress for a long time, you shift into stage 3 of stress. This is chronic stress which is also called the exhaustion stage. In stage 3 of stress your organ systems begin to breakdown and serious illnesses develop. These stages of stress are a very good example of how toxic thinking can cause extreme physical reactions that damage almost every organ system in your body. Let’s have a look at it in more detail:

The 3 Stages of Stress

STAGE 1 OF STRESS IS CALLED THE ALARM STAGE (FIGHT OR FLIGHT RESPONSE)
This is a reaction generated by your hypothalamus, pituitary gland, sympathetic nervous system and your adrenal glands (which are on top of your kidneys).
This is the “sweaty palm, heart beating fast, adrenalin-pumping” reaction that was designed by God as a survival mechanism in emergency situations. This is what you need when you suddenly have to swerve your car to avoid hitting something, or when you suddenly have to run for your life when you bump into a snake while walking in the bush. This physical response was designed to counteract the danger by mobilizing
the body’s resources for immediate physical activity. In essence, the first stage of stress or alarm reaction makes sure that large amounts of glucose (for energy) and oxygen are transported to the organs that are most involved in warding off danger which include the following:
• The brain which becomes highly alert – you are focused and thinking very clearly.
• The muscles in your arms and legs – to either fight off the attacker/danger or to run away i.e. flight.
• The heart – your heart rate increases and the strength of the pumping action of your heart increases to pump as much blood (which contains the glucose/energy and oxygen) as possible to your brain and muscles. (This is why you can feel your heart beating after you have just had a fright.)
• The liver increases the levels of glucose (sugar) and fats in your blood stream for the increased energy needed by the brain, heart and muscles.
The adrenal gland which is on top of each kidney This is the hypothalamus
The pituitary gland

• The spleen (which is a storage reservoir for blood) contracts and discharges more blood into the blood stream.
• The rate of breathing increases and your trachea (wind pipe) becomes wider so that you can breathe in more air and get more oxygen, which is needed by your brain, heart and muscles.
• Blood is directed away from your skin and digestive system and sent to the brain, heart and muscles.
There is a decrease in the production of saliva, stomach enzymes and peristalsis (movement of your stomach and intestines that helps digest your food). This is because the digestive system is not needed in a danger situation – there’s no time to eat when you have to run for your life!

So the alarm reaction (stage 1 of stress) makes you alert, strong and focused and it enables you to react quickly. Stage 1 of stress also helps you to build memory: it enables your nerve cells to build memory branches very effectively and efficiently. You are actually in stage 1 of stress at the moment because your brain has to take in all the information that you are reading, and must be able to build memories. The
chemicals that are released during this reaction will alert you and help with memory building – it helps you to focus and concentrate which is good.

In stage 1 of stress a hormone called CRF is released from your
hypothalamus in small quantities. CRF stands for Corticotropin Releasing
Factor. To make it easier, we’re going to call CRF the yellow hormone. This yellow hormone is an excellent chemical to start building memory.

The yellow chemical stimulates the pituitary gland in the brain to release a small amount of a chemical called ACTH. ACTH stands for Adrenocorticotropic Hormone. We’ll call this the red hormone. The red hormone keeps you alert. The red hormone stimulates the adrenal glands on top of the kidneys to release hormones called cortisol and adrenalin. These hormones are all good in small quantities to keep you alert and focused. The adrenalin and cortisol will then go up to the brain to tell the hypothalamus and pituitary gland that there is enough adrenalin and cortisol in the blood stream, and that they can stop secreting the yellow and red hormones (this is called a negative feedback loop). So the process stops, and you go into a
settled, peaceful state of processing and building memory. As soon as you lose attention again your body will be shifted back into that cycle where more yellow and red hormones will be produced again. This is a positive cycle when you have short bursts of these chemicals for short periods of time. There are other chemicals involved in the stress reaction but the yellow hormone (CRF), red hormone (ACTH), adrenalin and cortisol are the important ones for the purpose of this discussion.

STAGE 2 OF STRESS (RESISTANCE STAGE/ACUTE LONG TERM STRESS)
Stress becomes harmful when you are in stage 1 for too long or when it is triggered by a negative, toxic thought. This then makes you shift into stage 2 of stress: if you shift from being alert to being anxious, fearful, worried, angry or bitter the hypothalamus will respond by secreting too much of the yellow hormone.

In large quantities, the chemical structure of the yellow hormone changes. Because the chemical structure of the yellow hormone changes in stage 2 of stress, we’ll now refer to it as the black hormone.

So in excessive quantities the yellow hormone shifts from being a good hormone that builds memory, to a black hormone which the medical field has called the chemical of negative expectation (dread). The black hormone then stimulates the pituitary gland to release the red hormone in large quantities. The red hormone in large quantities is referred to in the medical field as the fear hormone. This is fear in physical
form! When the adrenalin and cortisol go back to the brain to stop it from secreting the yellow (which is now black) and red hormones, the large quantities of the yellow and red hormones will override this negative feedback loop. Thus large quantities of adrenalin and cortisol are produced.

The alarm reaction (stage 1 of stress) makes you alert, strong and focused and it enables you to react quickly.

Now the situation is that there is too much yellow (now black) hormone, red hormone, adrenalin and cortisol, chaotically flowing through your whole body. This is stage 2 of stress. These stress hormones in large quantities are destructive over time. They are not supposed to flow continuously, only in short bursts. A burst of stress is healthier than constant daily stress which puts your body into a complete
state of illness mentally and physically. When all these stress hormones are flowing in large quantities, you can’t hear your heart, as the ANF is drowned out/overwhelmed by these stress chemicals. What God created to help you in an emergency situation has now turned on you and begun to destroy your
body. What was meant for good has now become harmful.

SUMMARY OF STAGE 2:
• The hypothalamus produces too much of the yellow hormone.
• In excessive quantities the chemical structure of the yellow hormone changes and it becomes the black hormone which the medical community has called the chemical of negative expectation (dread).
• Too much red hormone (fear hormone) is secreted from the pituitary gland.
• Too much cortisol and adrenalin (the stress hormones) are released from the adrenal gland on top of the kidneys.
• All electrical and chemical feedback loops become disrupted. When the adrenalin and cortisol go back to the hypothalamus to tell it to stop releasing the yellow and red hormones, the message is drowned out by the excessive quantities of the yellow and red hormones.
• The hypothalamus continues to produce too much of the yellow hormone and the negative cycle perpetuates.
As high levels of cortisol flow over your brain, it causes the branches of memory on your nerves to temporarily shrink so that you are unable to access those memories. This is what happens, for example, when you go into an exam and go completely blank where you suddenly can’t remember anything. Then when you walked out of the exam and you had calmed down, the cortisol levels were reduced, the branches
come up again and you were able to recall that information you had studied.16 But over time when you stay in a toxic state of stress, the high levels of cortisol flowing through your brain, like battery acid, will corrode and break off those branches – you will literally have broken memory on the branches of your
nerves. As a result your thinking becomes foggy, you begin to have difficulty concentrating, you have trouble with your memory and your creativity levels drop. This is because your brain starts being rewired and restructured during this toxic state of stage 2 of stress and it is no longer as efficient as it is meant to
be at memory building and memory recall.

When you think, the information in your thoughts travel along your nerves in the form of an electrical current. The nerves in your brain form an intricate network and communicate with each other as the electrical current carrying the information travels from one nerve to the next. The high levels of stress hormones during stage 2 of stress disrupt the electrical current as it travels from one nerve to the next.
Your thinking becomes foggy because the flow of electrical current is impaired and slowed down by the stress hormones.

Stress becomes harmful when you are in stage 1 for too long or when it is triggered by a negative, toxic thought.

Stage 2 of stress is where you start feeling physically unwell with all sorts of vague symptoms. You are not so sick that you need to be bed ridden but you no longer wake up in the morning full of the joys of spring. You start feeling tense, anxious, overwhelmed, out of control and you begin to feel like giving up.

You will find that you start getting constant aches and pains and you are suddenly at the doctor more than you’d like to be: everything seems to be going wrong with your body – whatever infection is out there you seem to be catching, and so on.

You can stay in stage 2 of stress for 10, 20, 30 or more years. You will shift in and out this stage 2 of stress: when you relax (for example you have a great time on a weekend or go to a movie), the stress hormones will subside and the whole cycle will calm down, and you will rejuvenate a bit. But then you will shift back into stage 2 of stress again. Over time you will shift into stage 2 too quickly. It becomes easier and easier for you to shift into that negative state of high levels of stress hormones, and it becomes more and more difficult to control.

Eventually after 10 or 20 or 30 years of this, you’ll shift into stage 3 of stress. Stage 3 is when it gets very dangerous – this is where you see the big illnesses coming in.

STAGE 3 (EXHAUSTION STAGE – DEATH CYCLE)
• The whole stress system never stops reacting
• The adrenal glands on top of kidneys become enlarged.
• All organs are on heightened alert for too long, organs don’t relax and become exhausted
• Organ and system breakdown
• Memory and all mental functions decrease.
• You feel very ill.
• Feeling of loss of control and failure
• Over time your mind and emotions simply burn out.
• Tissue damage occurs
• Changes occur at cellular level as discussed below:

CELL SURFACE RECEPTORS:
You have special receptors on the surfaces of the cells in your body that respond to the chemicals that flow in your blood stream. You have hundreds of different chemicals flowing through your body (e.g. steroids, peptides, hormones) that carry a copy of the memory that was formed in your mind as well as emotion – they are called information-emotion molecules. The receptors have a very specific shape that Stage 3 is when it gets very dangerous – this is where you see the big illnesses coming in.

When a chemical binds to its receptor on the surface of a cell, it stimulates a specific reaction for example metabolism or cell growth. There are thousands of different receptors on the surface of a cell that the different chemicals and hormones in the blood stream bind to, to stimulate a reaction inside the cell. So
how does a chemical find the specific receptor that it fits into amongst the thousands of different receptors on the surface on the cell? Well, the chemicals vibrate as they pass over the surface of the body cell and the receptor that it fits into will have a corresponding vibration – this is what is referred to as your
body’s music because vibrations are basically sound waves.

As well as good chemicals flowing in our blood stream, we also have bad substances e.g. cancer cells, bacteria or flu viruses etc. If you are not stressed, the cancer cell or flu virus will try and get into the cell, but won’t be able to because it doesn’t fit into the receptor – it is like trying to put the wrong key into a
lock – you won’t be able to open the door. Eventually your immune system will send out killer cells that will go and kill the cancer cells or flu virus. But if you shift into stage 2 of stress, the high levels of stress hormones corrode/damage these receptors like battery acid. Thus, whatever is floating past is able to drop
into the cell. So now the cell gets what it needs plus what it doesn’t need i.e. the harmful things like cancer cells, bacteria and viruses.

That is why it is easier for you to catch flu or become sick when you are very stressed out, for example students at exam time. Any of the sicknesses that are out there hit you and you feel constantly exhausted because the cells have damaged receptors, and are just accepting anything that is floating around.

Fortunately, when you deal with toxic thinking by eradicating fear, anxiety and stress from your thought life and you choose to think correctly, your nerve structure in your brain is changed – your body is connected to your brain and those receptors will be healed and repaired and function as they were supposed
to. This is because your brain takes your thought life and converts it into a physical reaction. Here is a physical reaction on a cellular level which is damage to the receptors on the surface of the body cell by fear, stress and anxiety in your thought life. God is an awesome God – we can damage our body for years
with toxic thinking but by choosing to think correctly we can start healing.
Proverbs 14 v 30: “A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are life and health of the body…”

The Sequence of Attack of High Levels of Stress Hormones
When the high levels of stress chemicals are flowing through your body in stage 2 and 3 of stress, something very interesting is that they don’t move randomly through your body causing damage just anywhere – they move in a very specific sequence of attack:
1. CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM – the heart and blood vessels are where the destructive stress chemicals go first. If you think of it, the heart pumps blood and the Bible says that the life is in the blood (Leviticus 17 v 11). So in terms of the plan of attack of the enemy, if he can kill and squeeze the life of the person, the enemy has already started winning the battle. High blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm, angina, heart valve disease, heart attacks and heart failure set in. This is before it gets to your brain so you still have clear thinking at this stage. Your mind is still focused because it hasn’t been affected yet. Your heart is weakened first. We often hear of young men in the prime Anything such as cancer, bacteria and flu
viruses can fit into the damaged receptor of their life who’ve never seemed to have a day’s sickness dropping down dead in the gym. That is from toxic thinking and emotions that are not dealt with. Eventually the stress is built up and built
up internally, and then… WHAM! It hits the heart and the person drops down dead. The statistics say that 750 000 people die in America every year as a result of heart disease and 50% of these is due to sudden cardiac death.
Luke 21 v 26: “In the last days men’s hearts shall fail them because of fear.” (KJV)
Your heart is very sensitive to your thought life and emotions. 14 2. The next area these harmful stress hormones attack is the DEFENSE SYSTEM i.e. THE IMMUNE
SYSTEM – the immune system is an army of cells that defend you from harmful things such as viruses, bacteria and cancer cells. When your immune system detects these harmful substances in your blood stream and body tissue it either destroys or removes them. If the enemy can kill the life of the person (heart), and break down the defense (immune system), he’s winning the battle. I explained previously how the high levels of these stress hormones corrode the receptors on the surface of body
cells, which then enables toxins, viruses, bacteria, cancer cells etc to enter the cells and cause disease.

High levels of cortisol (one of the stress hormones) also directly kills and prevents the production of the different cells of the immune system such as macrophages, lymphocytes, monocytes, helper and suppressor T cells – diminished helper T cells cause a decrease in B cells; B cells produce antibodies that protect you against infection. When the B cells are destroyed, no antibodies are produced that normally kill harmful bacteria and viruses.

In essence your immune system is destroyed by the high levels of cortisol and therefore you now have no defense system against harmful toxins, bacteria, viruses, fungus and parasites. You are susceptible to catching any infection that is going around. Most bacteria, parasites and fungus cannot infect you unless your immune system is weakened. When the immune system is damaged, you can also end up with allergies such as hay fever (allergic rhinitis and allergic conjuctivitis) which causes runny eyes and runny nose, coughing, sneezing, asthma, skin rashes, urticaria and hives, vomiting, cramps and diarrhea (food allergies).

There is a specific cell called interleukin 2 in your immune system. This cell is like a policeman: it puts up road blocks in your blood stream and body tissues and it checks all the cells, hormones and chemicals that drive past. This policeman is able to recognize harmful cancer cells, bacteria and viruses by detecting the foreign proteins on their cell wall. When the policeman recognizes these
harmful substances in the blood stream, he sends messages to the other killer cells of the immune system that come and kill that harmful substance before it is able to cause sickness in the body.

However, during stage 2 and 3 of stress, the high levels of the stress hormone cortisol distort the DNA of the killer cells of the immune system so that they are less effective in killing cancer cells.16 The policeman (interleukin 2) is also damaged so that he is no longer able to recognize the cancer cells, bacteria and viruses as foreign harmful substances when they drive past him. Therefore instead
of alerting the other cells of the immune system to kill these harmful cells, he says, “Hello Cancer!

Hello Mr. Bacteria and Miss Virus, how nice to see you. Welcome to the body. Thank you for coming.
Have a nice day!” And so you become what is called “infection prone” where you have infectious diseases that just don’t seem to go away.

The devil knows that if he can get you into sin by getting you fearful, anxious and stressed spiritually, he can compromise your immune system so that it is weakened and unable to recognize the harmful things such as viruses, bacteria and cancer cells. Then he can make you physically vulnerable to any illness he wants to bring upon you. We give him permission to do it in our sin and disobedience. Fear
and anxiety is a sin. Fear is a lethal poison and Satan knows it. It’s time you know what your enemy knows about you so that you will not perish for lack of knowledge.

Proverbs 17 v 22: “A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” (Amplified Bible). There is so much medical truth in this scripture it is unbelievable. The cells of the immune system are formed in the bone marrow which is in bones. A person who is broken, fearful, anxious, stressed and depressed has a dried out (destroyed) immune system. I mentioned previously that cortisol in excessive quantities (stage 2 and 3 stress) kills the cells of the immune system, thus literally drying out the bone marrow. When you get rid of fear, anxiety and stress in your thought life, those stress hormones are no longer produced, the cells of the immune system re-multiply and regain their strength and your immune system recovers and functions as it should…
a cheerful mind works healing… because whatever is going on in your thought life, your brain converts into a physical reaction. The interleukin 2 (the police man) recovers and it recognizes the cancer, bacteria, virus, parasite or fungus and
alerts the cells of the immune system to kill off the infection and the body heals. God created and designed our immune system so that it is strong enough to kill off any infection or cancer (no matter how big the tumor or how far it has spread), but there is a condition – we must be well in our spirituality.

3. THE BRAIN: After weakening the heart and breaking down your defense system, the stress hormones attack the brain. Fatigue, lethargy, exhaustion, insomnia (inability to sleep), lack of peace, phobias and panic attacks, poor memory and fogged thinking set in. By this stage you are really feeling sick.
I just want to make a point here: not everybody will get an illness on all 3 levels – it depends where your genetic weakness is. So if you have a great heart, then you might just get a little rise in blood pressure and maybe a bit of angina, but you won’t get a heart attack. Someone who has a weak heart may have a massive heart attack or a stroke. If you have a strong heart, you might get manifestations
in your immune system – hitting your pancreas or your skin etc In other words wherever you have a weakness – that is where you are going to see the most problems in your body. The chain will break at the weakest link. It may by pass both your heart and immune system where you just have minor nagging illnesses, and then when it gets to your brain then boy does the exhaustion, foggy thinking and insomnia set in.

4. The next area to be hit is your digestive system – indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, cramping, stomach ulcers, reflux (heart burn), irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and malabsorption.
5. Fertility problems and amenorrhoea (absence of menstrual periods) or irregular menstrual periods.
6. Affects growth of children – stress can reduce the growth hormone by 87%
7. Muscular tension – for example a tension headache, sore neck and muscle contraction backache
8. The common cold (caused by the Rhinovirus virus). The cold virus can’t get in unless you’ve caused damage to the receptors.
9. High levels of the stress hormone cortisol delays healing of wounds, causes inflammation and decreases bone formation.
10. The list goes on and on – almost every system in your body is affected by unresolved fear, anxiety and stress.

God created and designed our immune system so that it is strong enough to kill off any infection… but there is a condition – we must be well in our spirituality.

Toxic Retention
The wall surrounding a body cell is semi-permeable, in other words it acts like a filter. It allows for the diffusion of oxygen and nutrients into the body cell and removal of waste products out of the cell. The high levels of stress hormones during stage 2 and 3 of stress cause the cell walls to become stiff or rigid.

As a result the body wall cannot filter substances properly. The things that the body cell needs like oxygen and nutrients cannot diffuse into the cell. There is also a buildup of waste products inside the cell which cannot diffuse out. Thus the body cells are not able to cleanse themselves as they were designed to.

People that are diagnosed with high levels of toxins such as mercury in their blood are treated with chelation therapy. However, in two months they are just as toxic as they were to begin with and so they have to go for chelation therapy six times a year which costs about U.S $200 a shot. Furthermore some research indicates that chelation therapy causes permanent tissue damage in 5 to 8% of all cases. Why
waste your time and money with chelation therapy and other methods of cleansing when you can deal with the spiritual issue that caused the toxicity to begin with? You can have five people in the same home, exposed to the same chemicals in industries, cars, cities etc and only one is toxic – why? Because only one has a spiritual problem. It has nothing to do with toxins. It has to do with the fear and subsequent stage 2 and 3 stress reaction that caused the cell membrane to become semi-rigid so that the toxic waste could not be eliminated properly.

Fear, anxiety and stress which causes toxic retention, can also cause severe allergies. Patients with severe allergies have been found to have high levels of toxins in their blood and tissues. There are several case studies of patients who were healed of these severe allergies simply by dealing with the fear, anxiety and stress behind it.

Their blood tests also showed that their toxin levels had normalized. They had not used any drug therapies or cleansing methods to get rid of their body toxins. As these patients dealt with the spiritual issue of fear, the stage 2 and 3 stress reaction was broken, the cell membranes became more permeable and the cells
detoxed themselves automatically. You see, God designed your body to be able to cleanse itself of toxins.

Remember what Jesus said in Mark 16 v 17 – 18: “And these attesting signs will accompany those who believe … and [even] if they drink anything deadly , it will not hurt them…” When you are in right relationship with God, yourself and others and there is no fear, anxiety and stress in your thought life, your body cleanses itself of toxins as it was designed to. That is why it says if you drink anything deadly it shall not harm you…unless you have the fear that it will and then it will. I am not
implying that you can do something irresponsible such as drink a bottle of poison. I am talking about a normal lifestyle and things that you are exposed to in your environment. I do believe that we need to keep our environment clean and I am aware of the possibility of chemical injury. However, in the ministry of Pastor Henry Wright for example, they found that the majority of patients that they dealt with who were diagnosed with high levels of toxins in their blood had not had excessive exposure to what is considered harmful chemicals. After dealing with the fear, anxiety and stress in the person’s life through ministry, the levels of toxins in the tissue and blood returned to normal.

The retention of toxins and waste products inside the cell damage what is called anti-oncogenes. Antioncogenes present within a cell protect the cell from developing cancer, for example when the DNA is damaged through wear and tear. Thus when these anti-oncogenes are damaged by the build up of toxins and waste products inside the cell, the person is susceptible to developing cancer.

When you are in right relationship with God, yourself and others and there is no
fear, anxiety and stress in your thought life, your body cleanses itself of toxins.

External and Internal Stressors
In the chapter “Essential Background Knowledge of Disease from a Medical Perspective” I explained in depth how the brain works, how thoughts form and how toxic thinking leads to the formation of negative strongholds or toxic ‘thorn trees’ in your brain. I explained that every time you think on that toxic thought, the pre-existing memory (toxic thorn tree) in your brain is reactivated by an lectromagnetic
wave which I called the “breeze through the trees”. When that toxic thorn tree is reactivated, it secretes toxic chemicals that eventually cause disease in your body. At the same time as that toxic thorn tree is reactivated, the emotion associated with it is also reactivated. Therefore when a toxic thorn tree of fear and anxiety is reactivated, a fear-based emotion is reactivated. Information-emotion molecules that carry an imprint of the fear based memory as well as the emotion flow throughout your entire body – they bind to receptors on the cells of your body and you physically feel that strong fearful emotional reaction.

One of the ways that a stressor (the thing that causes fear) will come into your brain is through one of your 5 senses – what you see and hear becomes a thought, which when meditated upon leads to thebuilding of a toxic stronghold in the ‘trees of the mind’. However, you don’t just respond to the external,you respond to the internal as well. Thus you can have an external and an internal stressor: For example, say you were hijacked and you didn’t deal with it and built a negative stronghold of fear about your safety.When you are in a similar environment that reminds you of that incident, that stronghold (thorn tree of fear) will be reactivated. In the absence of the external stressor (the hijacker), the internal stressor (toxic thorn tree of fear) will put you into the same physical stress state.

The toxic chemicals that are released from the thorn tree of fear in your mind will recreate the physical effects associated with intense anger, fear and other stress related feelings. Thus if someone hurt or abused you, and you are bitter towards them, and you have anger in you – those are toxic thoughts that are internal stressors that will keep your body in a constant state of stage 2 and 3 of stress. This is how not dealing with toxic thoughts opens the door to sickness. This gives you a good reason to deal with those toxic thoughts (anger, unforgiveness etc) in your brain. You need to watch your thought life. We tend to think that stress
only comes from the external, but most of the time stress comes from what we do with the external inside our head through our thought life, which then determines how our body is going to react.

Science has told me that for every thought that you have either conscious or unconscious there is a corresponding nerve signal, hormone, neurotransmitter or chemical released. If you are not thinking correctly because fear, anxiety and stress is dominating your thought life, your body is going to be put into
a state of dis-ease. One unresolved issue that is robbing you of your peace can affect your entire body.

The brain and nervous system, heart and blood vessels, immune system, digestive system, urinary system, muscles, bones, connective tissue, the endocrine system (hormones) etc are all put into dis-ease. If that dis-ease is not dealt with, then your body will stay in dis-ease which will eventually become a disease.

God said “Do not fear!” 365 times in the Bible. If somebody said something to you 365 times don’t you think that are trying to get a very important message across to you? Your whole body is affected by those high levels of stress hormones. No organ system in the body is spared when fear, anxiety and stress is running wild in your thought life.17 That is why we are seeing so many diseases today coming out of
fear, anxiety and stress. In fact the hypothalamus responding to improper thinking and lack of peace can set in motion over 100 major incurable diseases! You need to seriously think about this. You don’t have to be a victim of disease.

The hypothalamus responding to improper thinking and lack of peace can set in motion over 100 major incurable diseases!

Life can be full of stressful circumstances which we cannot always control. However we can control our thought life and how we react to those circumstances so that stress doesn’t affect us in a harmful way.

As your mind starts going through the thinking process you have the
choice via your free will to stop that stress reaction in your body.

Stress in Children
I explained last week that children take 18 years for their brains to grow and fully mature. The stress that children experience is much greater than what we as adults experience – it is catastrophic to put it mildly. What we experience as moderate stress for children is catastrophic because the brain is still growing and in the developmental phase – it is very vulnerable and susceptible. The patterns for adulthood are set during childhood. Thus an excessively stressed child will be prone to lifelong stress-related illnesses. For example research has shown that children who have been exposed to excessive levels of stress before the age of 12 will increase their chance of cancer by 30%. Research has also shown that in pregnant mothers who are very stressed out, more than 60% of oxygen is channeled away from the baby. 2 This is because when you are stressed, your body is in the state of “fight of flight” where your body is being geared up to run from or fight some form of danger – the blood with the oxygen and nutrients is being channeled away from the womb to your brain and muscles. So the baby is deprived of oxygen and nutrients and therefore also experiences severe stress in the womb.

Children are exposed to excessive levels of stress for example when you try to make your children do too many activities – school and sports all day plus one extra lesson after the next. They then flop in front of the TV at night exhausted from stress. Research has shown that if you try to push your children and force them faster through their academics than they are designed to do, you actually decrease their intelligence through stress. The stress will impair the functioning of the brain. We have become so success orientated and so success driven. Our children are paying a very high price for our drivenness to perform, to achieve
and for perfectionism. Parents – it’s time to stop it! Lay off your children. They are little, they are supposed to be playing in the rivers and in the sand, playing with the dog and so forth. Get them away from the TV. We need to teach our children to play. Playing is an essential part of a child’s physical, emotional and
intellectual development.

We need to be careful how we expose our children to stress. Their brains are not fully developed and as parents, teachers, pastors etc we need to guide them and walk them through whatever they are going through. Children cannot verbalize and express their emotions as well as we can, so it will come out in behavioral problems. They are finding a lot of ADHD symptoms coming from classroom induced stress. We
have a huge responsibility to reduce stress in our children’s lives and
let them have more fun, play more, and by giving them more love. The best ways of dealing with stress in children is play and love – give them lots of love, hugs and touches. Reduce their activities. Dr. Caroline Leaf (who has been doing research and studying the brain for 25 years) advises parents not to allow their children to do more than 2 or 3 activities a week and those activities must be physical and creative – for example, 2 sports days and one art/music day. Playing a musical instrument (even if they don’t play well) calms down a lot of the stress in the brain. We are seeing a lot of problems in children today because of stress. 20 years ago the biggest problem was chewing chewing gum and not throwing it into the dustbin.

Now our biggest problem is children have to be screened for guns in school.
Our children are paying a very high price for our drivenness to perform, to
achieve and for perfectionism Types of Fear What types of anxiety and fear cause us to live in stage 2 and 3 of stress? There are two types of fear that we deal with: There are the superficial fears, for example worrying about not having enough
money. We may worry about our family’s safety or we may stress about meeting a dead line at work. Then there are much deeper fears that come from victimization or a breach in relationships and a broken heart – fear of man, fear of failure, fear
of abandonment, fear of rejection, fear of being vulnerable or trusting
somebody again and so forth. We are seeing more serious illnesses
come from this type of fear. Most fear, anxiety and stress in disease
is not fear of flying or fear of snakes… it is a breakdown in relationships.
The Bible gives us insight into this deeper type of fear in 1 John 4 v 18: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.”

There are 4 parts to this scripture and we need to look at each one:
1. There is No Fear in Love Now think with me: if we have not been loved, covered, nurtured, forgiven, accepted, if we’ve been verbally abused, emotionally abused, physically abused, sexually abused or we are driven and into perfectionism
because we are loved and accepted based on our performance …do you think fear is at our door?
Oh yes, you think about it. You are afraid of people that you don’t feel safe with. You avoid them don’t you? Do you know that when you have a breach in relationship with somebody, there is a spirit of fear that comes with it? If you are not sure, meet that person that you have a breech with at the local supermarket
and see what reaction happens on the inside of you as you see them in the isle.
And then we become worried about whether we are going to fail somebody else’s expectations, including God. Is somebody going to like us or not like us? We are fearful about what others think about us. Do we measure up? There is no fear in love so if you are not being loved perfectly, there is fear that is lurking at your door. But that fear doesn’t come to you and say “I am fear! I’m going to get you!” That fear comes with feelings, impressions, not feeling safe, feelings of insecurity, projections of what could go wrong in the future …and you’re about to develop a disease because your body is about to respond to your lack of peace.

Competition, success orientation, drivenness, performance, perfectionism, win at all cost – these are disease makers. We can be driven into performance and perfectionism in childhood when our families make us feel loved based on our achievement. Perfectionism is an attempt to feel loved and complete through works. The basis of love for these people is what they do, not who they are. There are many anxiety
disorders and stress related diseases coming out of this mentality such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Who you are as far as God is concerned is not what you do. But in today’s society your identity is in what you do. We are a success orientated society and if you don’t measure up to the survival of the fittest you are a cast away. With performance and perfectionism comes the fear of failure because there is no allowance for weakness. The Bible says that His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12 v 9) and though the righteous may fall 7 times the Lord shall lift them up (Proverbs 24 v 16). We don’t have to be perfect. In fact we can make a mistake and it might be the beginning of our
learning process on the way to success. If you are not careful as parents, you are going to put your children into a straight jacket of performance and perfectionism where they are suffocating in fear while you are so busy trying to form your kids into something that God never made them to be.

Most fear, anxiety and stress in disease is not fear of flying or fear of snakes… it is a breakdown in relationships.

There are many diseases that have developed because people have been driven into performance and perfectionism by churches with religion and legalism. You are so busy conforming to the God image that you forgot to be human. In this respect religion has literally been a killer. Religion which is a counterfeit to
the Holy Spirit has done more damage to our children and our lives than you could imagine. That is why sometimes we can’t get our kids back in church because we have been part of a system that has removed God’s love. The Bible says that the letter of the law kills but the spirit of the law gives life (2 Corinthians 3 v 6). It is the same law but there is a different spirit behind it.

In 1 John 4 v 18 it says that there is no fear in love, so if we have not
been loved perfectly and we are humiliated, victimized, abused, driven,
or are not being nurtured, loved and accepted – there is a potential for
fear to come into our lives.
Unless you have been delivered of that fear and you renew your
mind with the Word of God, that fear will stay with you for the rest of
your life and it will interfere with all your relationships. It won’t let you
give and receive love. As a result you don’t like being around people
because you don’t trust them. Some of you back off and you say, “I’ll
never allow myself to be vulnerable again. I’ll just withdraw inwardly
and put up a wall of protection for myself. Nobody is ever going to hurt me again.” And now you wonder why you have disease. Satan and his kingdom know exactly what they are doing. When you have unresolved fear at this level, the enemy through the mind-body connection is releasing excessive quantities of cortisol that is damaging almost every organ system in your body.

Not only do you not trust others, but you don’t even trust yourself in relationships. So you have a spirit of fear coming out of insecurity in relationships that will cause you to withdraw in fear. You don’t feel
loved and you don’t even know if you can give love yourself. You feel like God doesn’t love you, you don’t love yourself and you feel like others don’t love you and that will take you to the 3rd stage of stress.

Fear can come in, in early childhood and even in the womb through inherited iniquity. Colic is an example of inherited fear from the parents.

2. Perfect Love Casts Out Fear If you want to defeat diseases that are caused by fear that comes from a breakdown in relationships, you are going to have to be prepared to receive love again. You are going to have to be prepared to be vulnerable again and to trust again. You are going to have to be prepared to have your fears driven out. You need to be willing to have your mind renewed by changing your thinking. The antidote to fear is love.

3. Fear Has Torment
If you have fear, you are tormented. If you have peace, you have no torment. It is that fear that has torment that is behind most psychiatric diseases such as paranoid schizophrenia, multiple personality disorder, psychoses, phobias, panic attacks and anxiety disorders. It is a tormenting hell between the ears and in the depth of the heart. 2 Timothy 1 v 7 says that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. If you have fear, you have no power. If you have fear, you have no love. If you have fear you don’t have a sound mind which is the foundation of the psychiatric diseases mentioned above.

If you want to defeat diseases caused by fear that comes from a breakdown in
relationships, you are going to have to be prepared to receive love again.

4. He Who Fears is Not Made Perfect in Love If you have fear, you have not been made perfect in love. This means that you have fear because you have a breach somewhere in your relationships: It could be a breach in relationship between you and God.
It could be a breach in relationship between you and yourself because you are holding yourself guilty and you won’t forgive yourself for what you did in 1963. It may be a breach between you and another person. It could be anybody who was supposed to love you and didn’t, who did not cover you with love and acceptance, who did not nurture you, hug you and kiss you, who didn’t forgive you and cover your
weaknesses, who drove you to attempt to be perfect. This means that you don’t feel safe in love and in relationships and are unable to give and receive love without fear. Have you ever hugged somebody and it was like hugging a telephone pole? You come to give these people a hug and they’ve got the “Don’t touch
me syndrome”. About 2 seconds into the hug they go, “Alright, alright – get away that’s enough!”

The fear that comes from broken relationships is the fear that is the foundation of over 100 incurable diseases. That fear is going to stay there until you are delivered from it with perfect love that casts out fear. The antidote to these deep fears coming out of broken relationships is to receive perfect love which
is the love of the Father.

A Testimony of 1 John 4 v 18
I have just gone on an in depth discussion with you about 1 John 4 v 18 which says “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.”
I explained that it is the fear that has torment that is the basis of most non organic psychiatric disease.

I think that it is worthwhile to share a testimony with you about paranoid schizophrenia so that you can see this knowledge applied in real life, in practical reality. If you do not have an understanding of what schizophrenia is,

Paranoid schizophrenia is a type of schizophrenia where the person has hallucinations and delusions that are fear related – that is what paranoia means. Paranoid schizophrenia is caused by the excessive production of two chemicals in the brain called noradrenalin and dopamine.

Paranoid schizophrenia does not usually come on a person until their late teens or early twenties. It is not genetically inherited but it follows family trees which have dysfunctional relationships. There is often abuse involved, whether is be verbal abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse or sexual abuse. There is always
an atmosphere of strife, victimization, fear and not feeling safe. 1 John 4 v 18 says that he that fears is not made perfect in love. So the home is filled with a lack of love and therefore fear comes in the door.

That fear puts the person into stage 2 and 3 of stress, there is an over production of stress hormones in the body, including the over production of noradrenalin in the brain and that is what causes the symptoms of paranoia in paranoid schizophrenia.
The other half of the profile of paranoid schizophrenia is the overproduction of dopamine which is the pleasure chemical of the body. This involves rebellion. Rebellion is an altered state of consciousness in values and in environmental positioning of thought. For example, let’s say you are growing up as a child
in a home that is not safe – you don’t feel safe in love with your father or your family. While you are little you are under their thumb but as you get older, you go more and more into rebellion. This is what rebellion says, “I don’t like what you represent or what you are doing. I don’t feel safe in this environment, so
I am going to withdraw into a world of my own which is a safe place where I can protect myself from you. I am really sane and you are not.” That is the mindset of paranoid schizophrenia. The fear behind that mindset causes the over production of noradrenalin and dopamine which then causes the disturbance in the person’s thought processes and the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia.

When people have paranoid schizophrenia, nobody wants to be around them because we can’t seem to meet with them. They live in a world that is not our world and they don’t really want to be a part of our world because they are afraid.

Henry Wright was once teaching about paranoid schizophrenia in a conference in Minnesota. In the audience was a man who had one brother with paranoid schizophrenia who had already committed suicide.

He had a second brother who was always being picked up by the police. He should have been incarcerated.

As this man was sitting in the audience, he heard Henry Wright make a statement from 1 John 4 v 18 which is “Perfect love casts out fear,” and he had this thought about his brother, “What if I started loving my brother and not avoiding him? What if the Word of God is true and what if Henry Wright and what he
is teaching is the key to my brother’s healing?”

Two years later this man showed up in a conference that Henry Wright was conducting in Dallas Texas.
The man approached Henry and said, “Pastor Wright, I’ve got to tell you a story of my brother’s healing: Every Saturday, for 2 to 3 hours in the afternoon, I would go to see my brother to spend time with him, to find a place of communication with him and just to love him. In one year of taking my Saturdays just to love my brother, I watched my brother go from advanced paranoid schizophrenic on high dosages of
lithium to normal, no medication and holding down a full time job. He is totally sane today because of one truth – perfect love casts out fear.”

Let me tell you from a medical perspective what happened on a physical level: When this man began to feel love, he began to identify with a different type of environment from the home that he grew up in and he began to trust. He began to open his heart to the realization that maybe somebody really did love him. As he began to respond to his brother’s love, the stage 2 and 3 stress reaction was broken, rebellion
began to diminish, dopamine and norepinephrine levels returned to normal, and at this point the chemical
foundation for paranoid schizophrenia was over and sanity is all that was left.
I learnt a very big lesson from this case history and many
others like it. Healing begins with people having empathy for
one another, having compassion for one another and being
prepared to do what it takes to show love to a person who
needs help. I’ve learnt as a doctor, that people who come to
me are not patients and they are not clients. They are special people who have such extreme value that the Son of God who is the King of Kings found it worth while to give His own life to save them – they are my brother and sister in Christ and if they are not saved, they are my inheritance. God said in Psalm 2 v 8, “Ask of me and I will give you the nations as your inheritance.” The Bible says in Matthew 18 v 11 – 13 that there is more value in the one sheep over the cliff than the ninety nine safe in the fold. The Bible says that nobody is expendable. Everybody has value.

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