Imagine that you are walking on a quiet and dark road in the evening. All of a sudden, there is a dog running towards you, barking very loudly. Like any human being, you are afraid and have a dilemma. Run or fight. Then you realize that the dog is on a leash and cannot reach you. Boom! All your fears are gone in an instant.So, do all your fears go away easily this way? What happens in our body when we are afraid? Most important; how to overcome fear? Let’s find the answers to these questions.
What Is Fear?
Almost all of us have a story similar to the one above. Fear is what causes us to react so intensely in this kind of situation. Fear begins with a stressful stimulus. Afterwards, there is a tension in the muscles and an acceleration in the heartbeat. As a result of the chemicals secreted by the brain, one of the options of run or fight is chosen. Due to the nature of living things, these reactions must be experienced. Because if you are not afraid where it is necessary, you will not have the energy to protect yourself or to escape. So, fear is useful if it is felt to a certain extent.
The most researched emotion is fear. Because the feeling of fear can be triggered very easily and its effects can be measured more easily. That is why the emotion most familiar to people is fear. Also, fear is one of our oldest emotions. This is one of the emotions that has helped people the most to survive since ancient times.
What Causes Fear?
There are many factors that cause fear. Generally, people learn to feel fear at a very early age, when they are only 4-6 months old. The fear of being separated from the mother, being alone, or not being able to find food at that time stresses the baby. No one is born cowardly or brave. People develop attitudes through life experiences.
Some of us are afraid of the dark, some of us are afraid of loud noises, and some of us are afraid of animals. In general, they all have stories from childhood. In some studies, it has been observed that rats form memory against some frightening sounds. Likewise, people can develop fears of certain triggers. Sometimes an object, a smell, or a sound can bring to mind stories we had a negative experience with before. It is also possible for us to be unconsciously afraid of these things we remember.
In other words, the formation of fear varies a lot from person to person. Each individual needs to identify their own reasons for fear.
But sometimes fear can be felt for no apparent reason. In such cases, it becomes more important to learn how to overcome fear. Because if the fear felt for no reason lasts for a long time, anxiety begins. Anxiety disorder is a long-lasting and strong fear that occurs when there is no danger. Anxiety, which is essentially a psychological disorder, reduces the quality of life. It is therefore beneficial for you to learn how to overcome it.
How Do You Overcome Fear?
We have 6 great tips to overcome fear.
Accept That It Is Normal to Be Afraid
Just like loving or missing, fear is a very normal emotion. It may be a little more comforting to think that everyone who has ever lived on earth has fears. Also, it is impossible to be completely fearless. This is not a very healthy situation. Fear is neither good nor bad. Being afraid of something is not a deficiency either. You need to know that even moderate fear can be beneficial. So accept that your fear is actually a very normal and human thing.
Understand the Negative Effects of Fears
For example, let’s say you are afraid of heights. You have trouble getting on the elevator. You cannot travel by plane. If you have to go to a high place, it will be difficult. There are many activities that you cannot do yet. But for normal people, these are very mundane activities. Well, don’t you think it’s sad not to be able to do these things that normal people do very comfortably in their daily lives? Some fears have very negative effects on us. It negatively affects our quality of life. Try to create a self-awareness by exploring these negative effects. Don’t you think it’s ridiculous that you can’t do things that everyone can easily do?
Get Used to Your Fears
It is not possible to overcome all your fears at once. Once you discover that being afraid is very normal, but it has negative effects on you, gradually try to get rid of them. Trying to get rid of your fear all of a sudden can have the opposite effect. So first raise your awareness. Then expose yourself to the things you fear, within a certain plan. If you go step by step, you will see that you are making progress day by day. So, don’t rush. Take slow but steady steps to overcome fear.
Find the Causes of Your Fears
As we mentioned before, every fear has a trigger. Think more deeply about the things that cause your fear. Clearly identify what frightens you and worries you. Sometimes this discovery helps you realize how unnecessary your fear is. First, distance yourself from what worries you. If you are less exposed to the trigger, this will become normal for you. Go over your fear by taking smaller steps. If you can, find the causes of your fear and eliminate them. If you identify the causes of the fear, it will be much easier to overcome.
Visualise Overcoming Your Fears
First you have to dream. It’s usually good to have this as your guide before starting a business. Because in order to achieve success, you must first dream. In the end, anyone who does not aim for success cannot be successful. That is why sometimes it is very helpful to sit down and imagine that you have overcome all your fears. Imagine how strong you are. Imagine that you have overcome your fears and you are less worried now. In this way, you will be rehearsing the pleasure you will experience when you reach your goal. Then work hard to achieve these goals.
Try to Understand and Control Your Emotions
It is very important for people to discover their emotions for the development of both their intelligence and personality. People who discover and control their emotions achieve success more easily. At the same time, this action contributes a lot to the development of your emotional intelligence. Individuals with emotional intelligence can manage their own emotions as well as understand other people. They manage their dialogue with people well. People who are aware of themselves and their surroundings are less likely to have unnecessary fears. Try to keep your emotions such as fear, sadness, excitement under control. It is beneficial if such feelings are experienced in moderation. On the other hand, excessively felt emotions will disrupt your quality of life.
How Does Fear Affects Human Behaviour?
If you experience more fear or anxiety than you should, your life will be negatively affected. It also leads to many restrictions in human life. People always run away to avoid facing these fears. They want to stay away from places and people that will make them feel these feelings. But after a while, people start to run away from the feeling of fear, not the thing they are afraid of.
This kind of avoidance prevents people from entering social environments. People start to set limits for themselves because of their fears and anxieties. Then their social circle shrinks and their world gets smaller. Over time, this leads to a lack of self-confidence.
In addition, our fears prevent us from thinking clearly. Sometimes intense fear and anxiety can make life very difficult for us. In such cases, people become introverted. In fact, the progression of this situation can bring many psychological disorders.
Focusing too much on our fears also drains our energy. Our feelings and emotions generate energy for us. At this point, all our negative emotions reduce our energy. Negative thoughts such as anxiety and fear also cause us to waste our energy in vain.
What Happens in Our Body When We Are Afraid?
In the moment of fear, some changes occur in our body. First, blood pressure rises. Pupils dilate. There is a serious increase in the adrenaline level. Our muscles become tense. In case of escape, our body starts to sweat to cool itself. In these cases, there may be a feeling of breathlessness as there is more oxygen consumption. Additionally, a feeling of dryness occurs in the mouth. Our face may even turn yellow. Prolonged conditions such as these can cause damage to our nervous system. Therefore, if possible, we should prevent a prolonged state of fear. It has even been observed that some people who were under the rubble during the earthquake died just because of these reactions.
What Happens in the Brain During Fear?
In this section, we will not talk about the chemicals secreted in our body. It will be more useful for us to learn the working principle of our brain to overcome fear. Our brain is a very complex machine. The most complex system in nature is the human brain. But the worst feature is that it always tends to produce shortcuts. The brain sets shortcuts and behavioral patterns to work less and spend less energy. Sometimes creating reflexes in this way can make our job easier. However, sometimes stereotyping negative behaviors is a very dangerous situation.
The human brain is programmed to keep the body alive. If you do not want to develop it, it will try to ensure the continuity of life by working with the least energy. It is very important for our brain to stereotype everything and react quickly. Therefore, it creates a behavior pattern by interpreting past experiences and allows you to give the same reaction in similar events.
For example, let’s say you were afraid of people with beards in your childhood. Our brains may interpret this as an element of fear and create a feeling of uneasiness for the bearded people you will meet later. Sometimes you feel that certain sounds or smells are making you nervous. These feelings are based on a previous negative experience.
But this may not always be the case. It is up to us to correct these wrongly coded patterns in our brains. At this point, we recommend that you think more deeply about the issues you are worried about. Maybe your brain is creating a shortcut based on a previous experience. Instead of forming patterns, we should accustom our brain to evaluate each situation on its own dynamics.
Can Fear Be Removed?
It is impossible to completely eliminate fear from our lives. Because living a completely fearless life is unthinkable. First of all, this is not a healthy situation. In some situations, people must have a certain level of fear in order to protect themselves and survive. Anyone who has no sense of fear cannot find the motivation to protect himself. In fact, removing some seemingly very negative emotions from our lives is not as beneficial as one might think. For example, we all need to experience a certain level of stress. These are natural warning mechanisms for the body. Feeling stress or fear at necessary times keeps us alive. The real danger is the emotions that we cannot control. If you find a formula that will completely eliminate fear from your life, we still advise you not to apply it.
Why Do Some People Enjoy Scary Scenarios?
Some people like to experience fear and the emotions that accompany it. In such situations, the brain releases many chemicals. One of these chemicals is dopamine. Dopamine is an important chemical messenger with many functions in the brain. It plays a role in regulating reward, motivation, memory, attention mechanisms and even body movements. Excess secretion of this hormone motivates you to repeat a behavior. Some people like horror scenarios because people who say they enjoy such terrifying situations don’t have a “brake” in their brains that stops the release and reuptake of dopamine. Because these people have more dopamine in their brains, they take more pleasure from risky and frightening situations. That’s why horror scenarios scare most of us and excite others.
So what do you do to overcome fear? Do you know any other tips besides these? If you have any further questions or comments, feel free to contact us in the comments section.