Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Fear in humans is an emotional and physiological response to the perception of loss of control.  It is a biological warning signal – an alert – about perceived danger.

These perceived threats can be physical or psychological.

When this state is triggered our bodies release hormones – epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol which increase our level of alertness and thus prepare us to react to the danger.

An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...

Here are three helpful steps to take in dealing with fear:

1)      Ask yourself if the perceived threat is physical or psychological.

(Physical harm can cause injury - psychological harm can cause a risk to our self perception.)

2)      Now ask yourself what is actually at risk.

3)     Use the physiological effects of your fear to help you deal with the situation.

One and two are self explanatory.  Let’s talk about #3. 

Remember all those hormones that get dumped into our bodies when we experience fear?  Our heartbeat increases, our breathing deepens, our visual acuity can improve.  We can feel more alert and stronger. 

So how can we optimize and use all of this? 

Holding our breath, an old pattern from many of our childhoods, is only going to get in the way!    In reality the opposite reaction optimizes our power. 

Breathe deeply and experience this heightened sense of awareness.  Actually feel the energy moving through your body – perhaps in the form of a tingling sensation.

Remind yourself that these sensations are a gift ...

After all – isn’t this what excitement feels like?

Check it out and let us know…

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1 comment:

  1. Carol, I found your step number 3 to be especially inspiring. The image of a human being harnessing the power that fear brings to us (whether or not we always realize we can harness that power) is striking. It reminds me of, say, an honorable warrior preparing for battle. So often I allow myself to be overwhelmed by this power, those feelings, and shrink away, instead of bringing my sizable human resources, both mental and physical, the fore. Even if I decide to take on a little bit of fear at a time, and not necessarily ALL OF MY FEARS, I bet I can train and encourage myself to be that "honorable warrior"! I hope! Thanks.