Fear: Shift From “Fear Everything and Run” to “Face Everything and Rise”

Fear is a primal survival mechanism. Our reaction to fear is the same whether it’s a physical threat (such as a bear chasing us) or an emotional threat, such as the fear of being rejected, judged, embarrassed, or ridiculed. The fear feels real and can prevent us from working toward achieving our goals.

Why Fear Feels Real

The hippocampus is the area of the brain that stores real or perceived threat signals. It stores the threat signals in our long-term memory and responds to potentially dangerous stimuli before it has all of the facts. This is typically based on our past history or past hurts. While it’s important to keep ourselves safe from physical danger, responding to an emotional threat before taking time to discern if we’re in real danger can cause us problems.

When we are feeling fear, our sympathetic nervous system is activated and causes our amygdala, located below the hippocampus, to initiate a Fight, Flight or Freeze response. When in the Fight/Flight/Freeze mode, blood rushes from our prefrontal cortex (the logical part of the brain) to our arms and legs and our thinking goes out the window. The stress hormone, cortisol increases. We don’t feel a sense of safety, satisfaction, or connection.

We are most effective when our parasympathetic nervous system is activated which results in a calm response. We have an increase in the feel-good neurochemicals, dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin. This is when we feel a sense of safety, satisfaction, and connection. Our needs feel met, our body and brain default to its resting state allowing them to repair and refuel. We recover from stress easily and our problem-solving ability goes up. We want to be around other people, our health improves, and we become more resilient.Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/10209436

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