Sometimes you won’t be able to explain why you were afraid on a certain occasion.
You might later find it humorous to reflect on your fears.
Why was that incident such a huge deal that you felt fear?
But since we’re all human, we dread. We all grow phobic and fearful.
My wife suddenly developed a severe fear of being alone and phoned me one day that she can no longer stay alone in one big room. Our teen daughter only stays with my wife because we both work and have different job prospects in two separate cities. Our daughter, who is in class IX and requires more freedom and space, recently began staying in a nearby separate room while the wife continues to occupy the master bedroom alone.
However, my wife’s request that her grown child should stay the night in the same master bedroom with her gone in vain as the daughter prefers to stay alone. The daughter is at ease staying alone in a separate room that my wife can’t. So, after hearing something from her mother one night, our daughter began to feel afraid and eventually started living with her mother in the same master bedroom. After the incident, my wife told me that it was because of me only that she had again developed the fear to stay alone in a separate room.
The funny incident was, One day, I lightly informed my wife and daughter that there was a figure that occasionally appeared on the large whiteboard they had set up in their room for writing purposes.
That white writing block is removed right away. Both of them even forgot about it because it occurred long ago. However, because the wife dislikes spending the night alone in the triple-bedded master bedroom, the one-night wife told our daughter again about that funny tale of emerging that imaginary figure. That’s all, fear trigger responded our daughter and she avoided spending the night alone in a separate room.
And that is the face of FEAR.
One of the seven universal feelings that everyone on the planet experiences is fear. Out of these seven emotions—anger, contempt, disgust, fear, joy, sorrow, and surprise—fear is the one that is triggered by the possibility of harm—real or imagined—to one’s body, mind, or emotions.
Although fear is typically regarded as a “negative” emotion, it actually plays a crucial part in keeping us safe as it prepares us to deal with possible danger.
The threat of harm, whether actual or imagined, is the primary cause of all forms of fear. Our bodily, emotional, or psychological health may be at risk. While most of us have certain situations that make us fearful, we can learn to be afraid of almost anything.
Fears that are frequently triggered are: darkness or reduced peripheral vision, heights and flying, social contact and/or rejection, snakes, rodents, spiders, and other animals, and death and dying.
We are usually fearless as children, which is an interesting truth. But as we mature, dread sets in. Possible causes include…
- Brain growth: Childhood and adolescence are crucial periods for the human brain’s development, and this can have an impact on how we feel. As we age, we might become more conscious of potential threats and dangers, which could increase our feeling of fear.
- Life experiences: As we get older, we might go through traumatic things like mishaps or injuries that can make us feel afraid. For instance, if you were involved in a car accident as an adult, you might start to dread operating a vehicle or riding as a passenger.
- Learned behaviours: People around us frequently teach us to be afraid of particular objects or circumstances. If a parent or caregiver is afraid of spiders, for example, a child may grow to be afraid of them as well, even if they had no prior fear of spiders.
- Social conditioning: Culture and society can influence how our worries and phobias develop. Because they have been trained to think that public speaking is a scary and intimidating experience, for instance, many people are scared of it.
If we experience constant worry without understanding why it may be referred to as anxiety rather than persistent dread. We are unable to remove ourselves or the real threat from the circumstance because we are unable to recognize the trigger.
Although anxiety is a prevalent emotion for many people, it can be diagnosed as a disorder when it is recurrent, persistent, severe, and interferes with daily activities like job and sleep.
So, it can be said that someone may experience anxiety if they live in continuous fear due to various factors.
Fear frequently causes both mental and physical symptoms. The signs and symptoms of fear can vary from person to person, but some of the prevalent ones are as follows:
Chest discomfort, chills, dry mouth, nausea, a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, sweating, trembling, and an upset stomach
Concerning dread, there is more.
Agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), separation anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobia, and panic disorder are a few examples of the various anxiety disorders that are characterized by dread.
You can effectively manage the circumstance once you have more knowledge about FEAR.
The brain initiates a fear response, which spreads throughout the body to cause a flight reaction or adjustments for the best defence. The amygdala, a part of the brain, is where the fear reaction begins. The temporal lobe of the brain contains a group of almond-shaped nuclei that are responsible for sensing emotional salience, or how much something sticks out to us emotionally.
The amygdala, for instance, becomes active whenever we see a human visage displaying emotion. In situations of anger and dread, this response is more pronounced. The amygdala undergoes a fear reaction in response to a threat stimulus, such as the sight of a predator, which stimulates regions involved in the development of motor functions for fight or flight. Additionally, it causes the sympathetic nervous system and stresses hormones to discharge.
This causes physical changes that enable us to respond more quickly and effectively to danger: Pupils enlarge, bronchi expand, and breathing quickens as the brain becomes hyperalert. Blood pressure and heart rate increase. The amount of blood and carbohydrates reaching the skeletal muscles rises. Organs that are not necessary for life, like the digestive system, begin to slow down.
A part of the brain called the hippocampus is tightly connected with the amygdala. The hippocampus and prefrontal cortex assist the brain to interpret the felt threat. They take part in a higher-level context processing that enables a person to determine whether a perceived threat is genuine.
Knowing what FEAR is, you can now confront it wisely and explain to it what its acronym is: FEAR-False Evidence Appearing Real. Once realised, you can easily face the fear to heal unwanted anxiety and it will you to a transformed life.
Treatments for phobias that are founded on the psychology of fear frequently emphasize methods like flooding and systematic desensitization. Both methods decrease fear by influencing your body’s physiological and psychological reactions.
To undergo a succession of exposure situations gradually is known as systematic desensitization. For instance, if you’re afraid of snakes, your therapist and you might spend the first appointment discussing snakes.
Your therapist would guide you gradually over the course of consecutive sessions as you practised handling a live snake, playing with toy snakes, and looking at pictures of snakes. This is typically done in conjunction with learning and using fresh coping mechanisms to control the fear reaction.6
This is a type of exposure technique that can be quite effective. Flooding on the grounds that you must unlearn your phobia because it is a learned habit.
In a safe, controlled setting, you are exposed to a great deal of the feared objects or situations when you flood, and this exposure lasts for a long time until the fear passes. For instance, even if you’re afraid of flying, you’d still board an aircraft.
Even though these treatments have a high chance of success, it’s crucial that such confrontational methods only be used under the supervision of a qualified mental health expert.
You can also take action to help you deal with anxiety in daily life. These methods concentrate on controlling the negative behavioural, emotional, and physical impacts of fear. Among the activities you can do are:
- Obtain humanitarian assistance. Having supportive people in your life can help you manage your feelings of dread.
- Engage in mindfulness. Even though you can’t always control your emotions, mindfulness can help you control them and replace unhelpful ideas with constructive ones.
- Practice stress-reduction methods like progressive muscular relaxation, visualization, and deep breathing.
Despite being historically viewed as a “negative” emotion, fear plays a crucial part in keeping us secure. However, it can also keep us feeling confined and keep us from taking the actions we’d like to. Some people find fear almost intolerable and avoid it at all costs, whereas others find joy in experiencing fear and actively seek it out. It’s crucial to keep in mind that fears and phobias are common and normal, and there are numerous efficient treatments accessible to help manage them and it will definitely help us to face the FEAR to have a transformed life.
We must remember Bertrand Russell‘s famous saying about FEAR :
“Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.”