This Article is About
fear
primal instincts
reptilian brain
action films
ancient man
defense mechanism
dangerous situations
home money
self preservation
Fear And Its Control On Your Life
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Fear And Its Control on Your Life

Fear and our ancestors

Fear is said to be one of the lowest states that we can experience in our emotional lives. Fear is an evolutionary consequence that safeguarded us against dangers as we learned about our outside world. When ancient man heard the snarl of a tiger he felt fear based upon the past experiences of himself and his tribe and thus was able to instinctively protect himself and others from danger.

Fear activates our reptilian brain, the basest part of our control system so that we could react, almost without consciously thinking. Primal instincts kick in and our bodies react in self preservation so that we may continue life.

This defense mechanism suited us well when we faced unknown dangers and kept the species of man alive to thrive and become who we are today. It still comes in handy at times of great peril when our lives are truly in danger and when we must take immediate action.

Fear and modern man

The problem with this is that for most of us our lives are not action films where we are constantly under the threat of some enemy who seems to defy physics in his ability to continue to torment the hero. Granted some in our inner cities do live in more dangerous situations where fear can be used for survival but it comes at a cost.

Fear is a learned reaction and comes as a consequence of not wanting to lose something that we are very attached to. This can be our home, money, or our very lives and limbs.

Fear and our brain

When fear is activated a neural pathway is created from the memory of an occurrence to the response of the emotion. As this pathway is used more and more often it becomes the default for our brain and thus the reaction is more likely to happen. Every time something happens that mirrors the memory in any way we immediately head down this path and arrive at fear.

In most cases this response is not appropriate to the situation and can create more harm than good. When the chemicals in the brain that elicit fear are released, our conscious higher level brain activity is shut down and our primal reptilian brain is activated. You can see this response in the way your vision is affected, time seems to slow down, your mouth goes dry, your heart races, and you aren't able to process any information consciously when you are in fear.

Anger and fear

Since anger is usually preceded by fear, in times when diplomacy or other tactful methods would bring the best results, fear takes over and we act in ways that may put us in more danger. Surely we all want what is best for us, so it is important to learn how to deal with and overcome fear. Winston Churchill famously told us that we had “nothing to fear but fear itself.”

Up to this point, I myself have always been a fear based person and it has brought me many things I did not want and it is my aim here to help everyone else from going down this path. There are many methods to conquer fear, but keep in mind that fear is a learned reaction that took time. Be compassionate with yourself when you change your behavior and realize that it will take time to change it. Also remember you cannot behave your way out of a bad behavior, it takes your focus and conscious thinking, the very enemy of fear, to end it's choke hold on your life.

Ending fear

To end fear please accept these ideas and add any more that you have in the comments below:

  • When you feel fear come upon you command it to explain itself to you. Since there is usually no reasonable explanation for your fear it will lose some of it's grip on you.

  • Realize that when you feel fear it is a valid emotion because you are feeling it, allow it to come and then release it, don't fight it. When you resist something you give it that power. You will see it fade away when it sees you aren't paying it any attention.

  • Have a “go to memory” to be used when fear comes upon you to distract your mind and change the chemicals that are being released. This can be your favorite place, person, item, food, pet or any combination of these. Anything that puts an instant smile on your face and makes you feel good.

When you use any of the methods above or ones that you develop yourself you are changing the neural path in your brain that took you from an activated memory to fear. Studies show that your brain can quickly rewire itself. When you switch from one pathway to another, the most used one becomes more efficient and the one not used will eventually shut down.

When your fear response is truly needed it will always be there to serve you. To live a joyful life let most of your thoughts be of joyful things and then you will be able to respond to life with clear, conscious thinking. It will make your life better and the world a better place for everyone.

With love, peace, joy, and tranquility

Pete


Street Talk

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