The Fear Factor in Difficult Times

What Causes Fear in Us?

Two fingers in a hug seeking comfort against fear and depression.
Image by ElisaRiva from Pixabay

The heart starts to pump blood at a faster pace, our hands and body get humid by sweating, the hearing and seeing senses get more alerts to our surroundings as the brain sends the signal to gather more info from it.

We know very well that stitch in the spine and that shivering in our nerves when we confront something that is well… scary.

Fear can be triggered by a lot of things but we usually know fear when we get stunned in front of something that we don’t know what to expect and can create some kind of harm to us.

Saying it in simple ways, our primitive fight or flight response gets activated because we are perceiving something dangerous nearby and we need to respond accordingly.

It would be a way too long of a shot to define what causes us to feel fear in a 100% accurate way in all situations but we know when we feel it and we know that we want to avoid the situation so we can “survive” another day.

Healthy Fears & Unhealthy Fears

Knowing that fear works as some sort of mechanism to keep our survival, we can conclude with a simple look that fear is something healthy to have. Right?

Well… yes and no.

Let me clarify this better.

In the sense previously described then yes!

But fear is unhealthy to have when A) there’s no real threat or harmful situation to our being and B) we hold to the feeling longer than we should.

For instance, I would say that a lot of phobias enter in the category of “no real threat” as examples I can cite:

Carcinophobia (fear of developing cancer when we don’t have any signs to it), Coulrophobia (fear of clowns), Trypophobia (fear of small holes conglomerated in clusters), or the #1 phobia in America according to Washingtonpost since 2014 Glossophobia (fear of public speaking).

It is unhealthy to have fear of something that cannot represent real harm to us because our safety is not being compromised (at least not in a physical way), hence it doesn’t support our “drive to thrive in life”.

The Side Effects Created by Fear

Now, things could get even worse when we hold to some kind of fear longer than we should.

But why?

Very simple, when the threat (or the belief of the threat) has already passed we still think that danger is nearby and we don’t go back to our relaxed normal way of being.

The sense of alertness provoked by fear to respond to danger is good. However, when we are overly cautious and alert most of the time it can create anxiety, irritability, concentration problems, insomnia (troubles with your sleep), and depression.

In a physical way, an unhealthy fear can lead to problems with our digestion, fertility, weakens our immune system and even can accelerate our aging and lead us to premature death.

Fear can be humanity’s most deadly poison (or virus) in all history and a lot of us are still learning how to deal with it. Even worse, there’s no vaccine or cure to fear and the stress it creates.

The Present Situation with COVID-19

A don't panic message with a Cloth Face Covering to avoid the faste spread of the Coronavirus.
Photo by Tonik on Unsplash

If you look up the news, the statistics and the information that is being spread about COVID-19 without being in constant “panic” or being terrified by them, you should be aware that to this bug you are summing a weakened immune system and all the problems fear brings.

Better it would be to turn off the news for the sake of your health and whole being. (I know it sounds counterintuitive but you can see my point).

Listen, I’m not saying you should not be afraid of anything and be courageous to everything, but I’m saying that we should not make things worse by amplifying problems by holding a feeling of fear.

We must learn how to let go of fear! That’s the key.

Learn to be cautious by feeling fear of something but don’t hold to that feeling longer than must be done after it has accomplished its purpose.

What I think is the antagonist feeling of fear is not courage or bravery, I think we can defeat the fear of any kind by having gratitude of everything in our lives (even the perceived negative situations).

I hope and wish the best for you and your beloved ones in this difficult time we are living due to this Virus and also that can find the way to be grateful for everything in your life.

See you soon!

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