There are many things in the world to fear. We could come up with a long list of all the things we are fearful of. Maybe today you find yourself processing a really hard decision and all the unknowns make you fearful. We want you to know that it is completely normal to find yourself experiencing fear. It is what you do with your fear that makes the difference.
What is fear?
Did you know that fear is a survival mechanism that temporarily inhibits the body from functioning as it normally would? Your body does this so it can help you to either defend or flee from what is in front of you. Most of us will never find ourselves in the woods standing in front of a large scary wild animal. Many of us, though will know what it is like to process hard decisions that seem overwhelming due to fear involved. In the later situation, your brain sends loud messages to your body via chemicals to help your body to get ready to act, choosing whether to run or to defend yourself.
Fear is regulated by a part of the brain within the temporal lobes known as the amygdala. When stress activates the amygdala, it temporarily overrides conscious thought so that the body can divert all of its energy to facing the threat — whatever that might be. “The release of neurochemicals and hormones causes an increase in heart rate and breathing, shunts blood away from the intestines and sends more to the muscles, for running or fighting,””It puts all the brain’s attention into ‘fight-or-flight.'” – Develop Good Habits
We love this quote by Dan Brown: “Men (and women) go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire.” In our medical centers, we meet with patients everyday who are experiencing lots of fears about the present and future. Many patients wonder what they will decide if their pregnancy test returns positive. They feel overwhelmed and full of fear about the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy.
How to Fight Fear
To fight fear, we need to acknowledge its presence in our thought process and we need to make decisions that are good for us and our future. This will help us to avoid making decisions simply out of fear.
Fear will either cause you to be defensive or to run away – neither are good when you need to make a decision that you will not regret in the future. To fight fear and move forward, it helps to know what you are fearful of. Due to the situation you are in, it is often not possible to wait until fear goes away to make a decision. This is because the emotion may not go away until you make a decision.
To fight fear:
- Write down everything that is causing you to experience fear in the situation you are currently in.
- Take that list and ask someone in your life that you trust. This person should care for you enough to tell you truthful things even if you may not want to hear it. This is the type of care and unbiased support you need.
- Use these helpful techniques to also conquer your fears.
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie