What do you mean by fear?
Rather , one should ask, why do we fear?
We all have fear some time in our life.
No one can deny that he or she is fearless.
Being human, as we have nervous system, we have sensation of fear.
But what’s this fear all about.
We all know that fear is an emotion triggered by some perception that can pose danger or threat.
Fear develops in response to certain stimulus occurs in present situation or in anticipation of future threat. This anticipation sometime may be real or sometimes just perception.
You can find an interesting definition of fear in merriam webster that is Fear is an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger and accompanied by increased autonomic activity
That is fear – strong emotion often unpleasant.
As per one study, appx.60 percent of adults admit to have at least one unreasonable fear. But no research to date is clear why these fears manifest. One theory suggest that humans are genetically designed to have fear things that had been a threat from pre historic periods like snakes, spiders, heights, or water and so on.
Like, I think myself a brave man and never use to fear of anything for no reason.
But during my first job in Nalbari Town , Assam , I had to stay in a newly constructed two stories building in a remote area. Nearby in a hut, one small family stayed. Land owner asked me to stay without any rent as his buildings were under construction and some one stay meant the house would be under vigilant. Being that my first job with limited salary, I thought I could save my lodging.
So, I decided to stay there.
In first night itself, when I went to bed around 10 o’ clock, it started raining with gentle wind outside.
It was lonely rainy night. No one in that two storied bulding except myself. I could not sleep.
All of a sudden at around 11 o clock, I felt whispering sound near the door.
I don’t know what happened. Unwanted thought, worry, anxiety, anticipation, perception came to mind that I was almost in a paranoid situation.
That was fear.
But later on when I analyzed, the fear emotion triggered due to certain anticipation. Sometimes those are false trigger.
But I had that night like nighmare.
So, Fear is a normal human reaction that warns our bodies to be alert.
What about anxiety?
Anxiety is nothing but one type of fear only that deals more with worry and about the future what will happen than the present situation.
But when fear and anxiety sometimes takes a pattern in our lives, different problem starts surfacing.
Same happened with my seven standard daughter.
She has a pattern that she simply cannot face mass gathering. During this pandemic, even though she wears musk most of the time, she has a pattern of social anxiety.
She even avoids going to a shopping mall.
On much insistence, she will go out to the market with a condition that she would be inside car. But she will not enter mall.
As I already studied a lot how to beat your fear, last Saturday, when I went home for our Eid Al Adha festival, I thought why not to apply the technique on her to see whether she could over come her fear to enter the shopping mall.
One thing, I believe that knowledge is power.
To be specific, it can be termed as applied knowledge is power.
What I did, instead of going to the mall, we had a casual drive on the highway juts to make her relax.
I put on her my applied knowledge on her about how to over come fear.
I told her, sometimes though fear is good for our safety but most of times fear is not real, its fake.
You can use an acronym for fear that is False Evidence Appearing Real.
I told my daughter that as the fear is just false evidence which seems to be real that triggers your fear stimuli, best solution for you is to……
Face the fear.
I explained her that fear generates from our brain’s amygdala part.
Soon one recognizes fear, the amygdala comes into action.It alerts body,s nervous system into motion to release stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.
Being biology one of her favourite subject, I explained her that because of these hormones, you will find your blood pressure and heart rate increase, breathing faster and your body will start preparing for fight-or-flight or sometimes freeze mode and it will stop you to enter the shopping mall.
That’s what you are going through. In a pattern.
Amazing part is, amygdala learn from experience.
So, face the fear to go to the mall to have the experience how it feels.
When your amygdala learns from entering the shopping mall experience that its just a false trigger, nothing to fear.
So, your amygdala will think, wow, its nota big deal to go inside a mall to face other people.
So make yourself be ready to have that experience by your amygdala .
When you face today and your amygdala will see it that its alright to go inside a mall, so, next time, when you will come again to this Mall, your amygdala will push you that its not a big deal that will make you at ease to enter inside the mall.
So, what do you think.
My daughter kept on thinking.
I saw some changes in her.
To motivate her, I repeated , as you are studying biology, you know human body and brain structure.
Why not to give your brain a chance to prove it being a science student.
So she entered inside the mall.
After buying some staff, she told me, its not a big deal.
I can come to the Mall anytime.
By applying this simple technique, she overcame fear.
So, next time, you are in a fearful situation, faceoff the fear to get a magnificent life.