What Exactly Is Fear?

Fear is a biological response to an internal or external stimulus.

Let’s break this down. Fear is:

  • A biological response. When you’re afraid, your body goes into “fight or flight” mode. Your heart rate goes up, and your adrenaline increases. Your brain starts to race, and you may begin to sweat. All these things together create the emotion of fear.

  • Internal or external stimulus. Fear can arise from within or without. Thinking about losing your job (internal stimulation) causes anxiety. Coming face-to-face with a grizzly bear (external stimulus) also causes fear.

When dealing with your struggles, it’s essential to understand the source of your fear. Is it arising internally or coming at you externally? 

What you’ll probably discover is you create fears internally. Very rarely will you find yourself in an actual life-or-death situation. Most of the time, you are afraid because of what you think will happen rather than what is happening.

Put another way, the majority of fears simply aren’t connected to reality. What you feel is real, but the circumstances you’re imagining are not. The fundamental truth is that most fear is a response to an imagined reality.

For example, say you find a strange lump on your neck. Immediately, you begin to fear the worst, thinking you have a terrible disease. Are you sick? You won’t know until you see the doctor, but you’re afraid, nonetheless. You are worrying in response to your imagination.

As the author Mark Twain said: “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”When you understand the true nature of fear, it becomes easier to overcome. You can closely examine your anxiety and determine if there is any substance to it. Some of your worries may have merit, but you’ll discover that most of them don’t. And even the ones that do have merit probably aren’t nearly as bad as you imagine.

Part 3 to be continued tomorrow. Until then, stay and keep the faith.

La Wanna Parker

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