Fear comes from within, and in most cases, you try to avoid it by all means. In short, you don’t want to think of anything that will probably expose you to this feeling. But truly speaking, who wants to be in a state of fear? Of course, no one!
There are a few helpful lessons you can learn. If you have been through scary events, you might agree the experience is less dramatic than what you envisioned mentally. And that’s why you need to be ready to face your fears.
WHAT IS FEAR?
According to the Oxford dictionary, “fear is an unpleasant emotion that is caused by threat, pain, or harm.”
It’s a natural and primitive state of emotions everyone experiences in some life situations. Fear alerts you of potential danger, whether the imagined or outcome is real. Besides, fear can result from stress and anxiety arising from a situation you perceive as uncontrollable or unavoidable.
Though the feeling may be overwhelming emotionally, fear plays an important role in helping you stay safe and maneuver through potential danger.
CONSEQUENCES OF FEAR
So far, you can summarize fear as a survival response. It is a basic mechanism that signals the body to react in fight-or-flight mode to danger.
But on the flip side, fear can be harmful, especially if you live with this emotion continuously. You may experience negative impacts and become incapacitated if you don’t address the source of fear.
Here are some of the impacts of living in constant fear:
- Fear can impair long-term memory formation or damage the hippocampus part of your brain.
- Causes physical health and immune system problems related to cardiovascular and gastrointestinal. Besides that, it can speed up aging and even lead to premature death.
- It slows down brain processes and reactivity because it hinders how the brain picks emotions and interprets non-verbal
- It can lead to mental health issues like clinical depression and PTSD.
Now, let’s focus on the lessons.
WHAT FEAR TEACHES YOU
1. FEAR KEEPS YOU SAFE
As aforementioned, fear acts as an alarm meant to help you make a prudent decision, even though sometimes it may be abrupt.
Let’s face it. Without the emotion of fear, you would live carefreely and, hence, have a short life span. Fear is beneficial to you more than it is not. It helps you be aware of your surroundings and pending threats. For example, when crossing the road, what makes you walk faster when you see a vehicle speeding toward you? It’s fear.
Fear makes you scared, so your body reacts physically to avoid danger. This reaction is known as a fight-or-flight response.
If you lack fear, you won’t have a fight-or-flight response, meaning you will not have the focus, energy, or strength to fight or speed to flee when in jeopardy.
2. FEAR IS PHYSICAL AS WELL
Conceptualization of Fear starts in your mind after evaluating sequential events, but the reaction is physical. The transition from brain to body reaction comes to action as soon as you recognize fear, which signals a potential danger thanks to the amygdala.
Amygdala is a small organ found in the brain. It alerts your nervous system with sets of motion responses after the fear emotion gets triggered. Stress hormones take over your body during this state, increasing your heart rate and blood pressure. As a result, you breathe fast, and more blood flows into your limbs in preparation for throwing punches or running.
3. FEAR CAN GIVE PLEASURE
Ever wondered why certain people love roller coasters, horror movies, and doing risky stunts? If you are one of these people, it means you enjoy the thrill you get from stressful and fearful moments. According to experts, you love the adrenaline rush that triggers your brain to release dopamine and endorphins when in a scary situation. The biochemical rush of happy hormones is what illicit pleasure.
4. FEAR IS PART OF LIFE
The important aspect is for you to appreciate fear because it’s part of life.
Instead of trying to eliminate fear, you should accommodate it, learn how to cope with it, and proceed despite its presence. For example, breaking an engagement, ending a relationship, or quitting a job is difficult without feeling the burden of fear. But regardless, fear is part of life, and we should not be afraid to make those tough decisions.
5. FEARS MAKE YOU UNDERESTIMATE YOURSELVES
After going through a harrowing experience, you can attest it’s possible to overcome situations despite the emotions and fear attached. In essence, fear teaches you about your inner personal power and the zeal you possess within.
Even though every attempt to push the boundaries may fail, you should not let fear of failure get into you. Instead, put in more effort.
To borrow from Kanisa Kapanen, “yoga can provide a concrete example of growth, and really demonstrate that when we move past fear, we can do amazing things.”
6. OVERCOMING FEAR IS A SIGN OF GROWTH
Fear may be an emotional response to the danger of getting hurt physically or emotionally. But likewise, it can be a reason for wanting to stay in your comfort zone. Fear prevents you from trying new challenges and learning new skills.
With this knowledge, you need to understand fear is an emotional state stopping your growth. So push yourself beyond your comfort level.
Therefore, the next time you feel uncomfortable, push on because you are about to overcome a level of fear.
7. FEAR MAKES THINGS APPEAR WORSE THAN THEY SEEM
Your imagination can get the better of you. If not careful, it might make you lose focus since it can go beyond what could actually happen in the worst-case scenario.
It’s important to differentiate fear caused by imagination and probable outcomes. Especially when trying to embark on a new mission, which involves making a decision that will alter the course of your life, this will give you a clear perspective to see things from a wider angle.
In addition, you should stop believing that everything unfamiliar is scary and will likely cause harm.
8. FEAR COMES FROM A LACK OF INFORMATION
The lack of information about what is happening, combined with our imagination, may cause unnecessary fear and anxiety. For example, when a relative or close friend’s phone accidentally calls your number without them knowing. What goes through your mind when you receive the call, and all you hear is weird sounds or silence? Immediately, fear and imagination creep into your mind because your hellos are not getting responses.
You can see not knowing what’s happening on the caller’s side triggers emotions that lead to fear. It’s natural for you to think of the worst whenever you don’t have information or exact details of what is happening.
9. FEAR FEEDS ON ITSELF
The point where fear and courage meet is the birthplace of confidence, creativity, and innovation. It’s a sweet spot since this meeting teaches you what you are capable of and brings out your authentic self. Through fear, you learn your limits and your survival abilities.
With that said, you should embrace the fear that pushes you to the limits. This fear gives you a new chance to become even more remarkable in life!