Fear is the occurrence of stress and anxiety arising as a result of a perceived threat to our future safety or status. Symptoms of fear include elevated heart rate levels and tension throughout our entire body. These symptoms, known as the ‘fight or flight’ response, sharpen our body’s senses in readiness. Unfortunately, unlike our early ancestors, we rarely face mortal danger in our modern world, resulting in an unnatural chemical imbalance within the body. This can have a negative effect on our health and mental wellbeing as the chemicals and hormones released during this process, place a lot of stress on our body’s organs.
Our primary concern as humans is that of physical and emotional survival. Many of our fears are instilled within our psyche from a very early age and help to protect us as we become adults. Resulting fear responses arise from our early adult experiences and develop a set of subconscious rules which help us avoid loss, pain, and emotional discomfort throughout the remainder of our lives.
Fear arises when your subconscious mind believes a dangerous or harmful event will occur in the future. Nervous expectation will give way to a desire to avoid the event/situation. The strength of these symptoms will depend on the gravity or danger level of the perceived threat. Careful rationalization of the perceived threat and analysis of the expected results should help to calm your nerves and at that point, action should be taken to ensure that if the event does come to pass, the effects will be minimal.
If we do not confront these fears through this method of rationalization, they will usually evolve into what is known as a phobia. Once a phobia has taken hold it can be very difficult to relieve the stress caused by its triggering association. In most cases a prolonged course of analysis by a credible psycho-therapist will be required. It is possible to slowly decrease the severity of the phobia gradually through self-help methods which gently expand your sphere of comfort, also known as you comfort zone.