FEAR, the other 4 letter word

You know what I mean. That feeling of tightness in the chest and stomach, your throat closing, your hands beginning to sweat and that unmistakable impulse to RUN AWAY. It is not a fun state to be in, but the truth is that without that very natural body response, you wouldn’t be here.

This totally natural instinct to flee is the reason your ancestors survived long enough to procreate…they got the right messages from their environment: run from wild animals, snakes and natural disasters! It is highly probable that the stimulation of the section of the human brain called the amygdala (Davis, 1992) produces this fear response.

When we respond to observable danger with fear, it motivates us to survive and that has served us well…yet as modern industrial society has evolved into the digital age and our gadgets have upgraded their hardware, we haven’t. Our environment has changed, but what is sometimes referred to as the primitive or reptilian brain remains firmly stuck in its evolutionary past.

The truth is we find ourselves over-stimulated and emotionally aroused by everything around us. If you turn on the evening news you will find a great many things to be terrified about: the economic downturn, your unhealthy diet, to terrorism (in all it’s forms) and the list goes on… We forget that most probably, if we look around us at this present moment and take stock of what is actually happening in our awareness, there is nothing to run from. No terrorist at your door, bogey man in the closet and certainly nothing to fear.

If you are truly honest with yourself, this body response is the result of light from the screen stimulating your visual-cortex with words and images that produce thoughts (conscious or not) that you believe. That’s it. But it is certainly enough to be a signal to flee fight or freeze in fear…False Expectations Appearing Real.

That being said, I have found that often our unconscious emotional responses like fear DO have something to tell us about our current experience. They can possibly be pointing us to areas of our life where we need to take action. Like someone knocking at the door, they are delivering a message and if we don’t answer the knock just gets louder and louder…we continue getting anxious, fearful and remain cut off from our natural resources of resilience and clarity.

A famous self-help authors titled her book ¨Feel the fear and do it anyway¨, I would like to change that and say feel the fear if it serves you. If not, let it go!

Hypnotherapy is a very effective way of triggering the body’s natural relaxation response and retraining the unconscious part of your mind to let go of unreasonable fears and phobias that you have learned. If you want to know more about it, please check out my web-site hypnotherapyinbarcelona.com.

Davis, M. (1992). The role of the amygdala in fear and anxiety. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 15, 353–75. doi:10.1146/annurev.ne.15.030192.002033

“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.” (Thich Nhat Hanh)