Fear: Friend or Foe?

Fear has been present as a determinant for survival throughout human history, and it implicitly controls our daily lives. As one’s intrinsic “internal guardian,” fear has the capacity to guide us through some of the most terrifying events or simply guide the way we walk home from school.

The threat of damage, real or imagined, is the universal fear trigger. This danger could be to our physical, emotional, or mental health. While most of us have particular fears that we can learn to fear, we can learn to be scared of almost anything.

Fear is felt in the mind, but it also causes a powerful physical reaction in the body. Your amygdala (a little organ in the centre of your brain) gets to work as soon as you recognise fear. It wakes up your nervous system, triggering your body’s fear response. Cortisol and adrenaline are stress hormones that are released. Your heart rate and blood pressure rise. You begin to breathe more rapidly. Even your blood flow shifts, with blood flowing away from your heart and into your limbs, making it simpler for you to hurl punches or flee for your life. Your body is gearing up for a fight-or-flight situation.

Fear can be paralyzing, but it can also be empowering. Learning to own your fear is a tremendously satisfying experience. It might be life-changing to embrace everything positive about it. It doesn’t imply you should put your life in danger all of the time; dealing with fear requires a healthy dose of common sense.

By Jhanvee Khanna

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