Some facts about fears

By Paul, Joseph and Luke Clough

Fear is simply an emotional response when the mind perceives any threat. It is perfectly normal in anyone in case of a threat and is hard wired in our neurology. It is a mechanism of the human body specifically designed in order to save the body and commonly known as fight or flight. Fear is different from anxiety. Anxiety is caused without any external threat but fear is mostly seen when there is an external threat and is generally future orientated. But there are also some kinds of fears which are not real but imaginary. Such fears include the anticipation of some future situation which is expected to bring trouble or a worse event and so on.

It is a basic human emotion and is an instinct. From the very begining of man and our need to survive and even in childhood every human being is equipped with fear to sense danger to the body which is necessary to survive in the world. It can vary from mild all the way to highly intense with varying degrees. The degree of the fear completely depends upon either the situation perceived or the person in the situation or both.

Whenever you sense a danger, your mind reacts to it immediately no conscious thought is necessary. It sends some signals and then the nervous system is activated. The physical changes that occur when you are in fear are: the heart beats faster, breathing becomes rapid, the blood pressure increases and so on. More blood is pumped into the muscle groups so as to enable the body for an action like running or fighting the threat. The sweat glands work rapidly to keep the body cool. Stronger sensations include pain in the stomach, head or chest. The whole process is nothing but the body preparing to escape the situation or threat. It has two ways to do that. Fight or flight. Either fighting with the obstacle or running away from the place so as to escape from it. The body comes out of this state when everything settles down and becomes normal.

Fear can arise even when there is no danger of any sort. If you suddenly hear a strange noise that you are unfamiliar with then there is immediately the sensation of fear in you. Fear is instantaneous even before the logical mind analyses the situation whether it is safe or unsafe.

There can be rational and irrational fears too. Some people may fear water and some people may fear heights and others may fear closed spaces. The irrational fears are called phobias. In these types of fears the person may feel the fear even when there is no external threat in the immediate environment.

The biological fear is perfectly normal in everyone in case of a perceived threat. But the irrational fears need to be overcome. To overcome a phobia one needs to be able to identify the nature of the fear.

This way, understanding fear helps us in tackling it or getting rid of it. It makes you analyze and rationalize the emotion and be free from it.

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Paul Clough is a practicing Hypnotherapist, Trainer and Coach and Luke is apracticing Hypnotherapist and Coach.

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