Psychology says that ‘fear is our response for survival’. There are many people who can live with fear looming around them 24 hours, but most try to avoid this. You need to understand that fear is physical, though this triggers in your mind. This has a strong reaction in your body. The amygdale (small organ in the middle of the brain) starts working as soon as you recognize fear. Your nervous system is alerted, setting the fear response of the body in motion.
This leads to the release of stress hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol. The heart rate and also the blood pressure increases. Besides breathing faster, the flow of the blood also changes. This flows into your limbs, away from your heart. In short, your body is preparing for ‘fight or flight’.
Here are some other factors that are due to fear.
- Panic and Anxiety:
In simple terms, anxiety is the fear of your body reacting to fear. If you feel fear while travelling, in future you will associate these situations with fear and avoid travelling as far as possible. This leads to panic attacks and anxiety. You go through sweaty palms, nausea and also a racing heart.
- Unable to Relax:
With fear it is difficult to feel relaxed. Most of the time, you experience this fear as the body is waiting for it. This gets worse if fear is strong and caries on for some time.
- Leads to Depression:
You need to be aware that fear can not only lead to anxiety, but also depression if experienced for a long period of time. This happens to those who experience fear on a regular basis and go through helplessness.
- Damage to the Heart:
One of the worst effects of fear is damage to the cardiovascular system and the heart. Fear on a long term basis definitely affects the heart. The organs are stressed out and overworked due to the constant release of the stress hormones.
Prolonged experience of fear leads to phobia of the particular situation or thing. This experience is long lasting and restricts the quality of life you can lead otherwise. You need to be aware that phobias can expand with time.
- Fear makes you Foggy:
With this experience of fear on a regular basis, some parts of your brain shut down while the others open up. At the time the amygdale senses fear, the area of the brain that harnesses judgment and reasoning gets impaired. This means, you are unable to make good decisions or think clearly.
How Can You Help Yourself?
Fear can be crippling. It is important to find ways and means to tackle this so that you can lead a normal life. Listed below are some tips that can help you deal with fear.
- a) Knowing you:
Try to get a clear understanding of your anxiety or fear. You can record your thoughts or keep a diary. You need to note down what you feel when you experience fear and anxiety. Try setting small goals to tackle your fears. You can carry a list of things that help in managing fear at different times.
- b) Facing the Fear:
Avoiding situations that scare you is not the answer to your problem. You might never be able to do what you need to do. Anxiety can magnify if you are not trying to face your fears. The best way to overcome the fear and anxiety is to face the fear.
- c) Relaxing Methods:
Adopt methods that can help you relax. You can try meditation. This does not give the desired results in a few days. It takes time but, for sure, you feel relaxed over a period of time.
- d) Exercising:
Include exercise in your daily routine. This can help you keep healthy physically and also mentally.
- e) Eat Healthy:
Not many are aware that the food you eat can also affect your mental state. Try staying away from sugar and concentrate on vegetables and fruits. Snacking can be healthy when you pick up a plate of salad or a fruit instead of all those chips and cookies.
- f) Drinking in Moderation:
It works best when you avoid alcohol all together, but that ‘once in a while drink’ can actually work positive for your mental and physical health.
- g) Spirituality and Faith:
This faith or spirituality works only for those who are inclined towards religion and spirituality. As said, faith can move mountains, and this does so. Try building confidence in life and for sure, you will lead a life sans any fears.
If all of the above do not seem to work for you, you can consult qualified professionals. There are medications and therapies to tackle fears and anxiety. You also have the choice of talking to family and friends who have experienced anxiety and have managed to get out of this.