What is Fear?
Fear is one type of emotion that impacts one’s life significantly. Animals and humans alike have this emotional response based on any events in the environment that poses danger, whether physical, mental, or emotional. Indeed, fear takes on different forms and it will be discussed later. However, the effect that fear has on a person is important because it can potentially alter one’s life and how he or she deals with the environment.
How do you know when one is undergoing fear? Despite of its cause, there are common physical indicators of fear. They are as follows:
• increase in heart rate and blood pressure
• tightened muscles
• inability to focus your senses
• dilated pupils
Different Forms of Fear
Fear comes in various forms. And yet, its effects are similarly devastating to the person involved. There are various triggers for these fears but all have the potential to impact one’s ability to think clearly and respond to situations logically.
Below is a list of the different forms of fears:
• Places: crowds, enclosed places, below ground, or heights
• Animals: rats, snakes, mice, spiders, etc
• People: strangers, homosexuals, feeling over-responsible for others, talking to groups of people, etc
• Events: war, crime, public speaking, etc
• Family member/loved ones: death of family member, getting ill
• Disaster: hurricane, lightening, injury or pain, blood, death, earthquake, etc
• Other people’s reactions or responses: rejection, disapproval, being humiliated, being ignored, pretension, insecurity
• Feelings about one’s self: taking the leadership role, speaking to a large crowd, stage fright, embarassing yourself
There are more different categories of fear that is experienced by people, hence people response differently. Some are able to use that fear they experience in order to sharpen their responses to a given situation. Others, however, do not have control over the level of fear they are experiencing, which often leads to panicking.
Negative Impacts of Fear
Fear is not always negative, provided that you learn how to deal with the feeling of fear. And yet it can be potentially dangerous when the feeling of fear has gotten really extreme. Therefore, it is important that you are able to understand where fear is coming from and deal with it logically. If not, it can lead to you making irrational responses on the situation at hand, such as the following:
• Inability to make clear and logical decisions.
• Prevents your ability to trust in your surroundings and other people, which is crucial in your own growth and development.
• Brings about fear of change due to the uncertainty of events, even though the situation requires it.
• Results to resistance of help from others.
• It confines you and unable you to explore opportunities that come your way.
• You become unmotivated to pursue your dreams.
• Tendency to exhibit self-destructive behavior.
Confronting Your Fears
Before you even think about overcoming your fears, confronting them is a necessary first step. You start off by recognizing your fear. If you have several types of fears, then you can rank them according to intensity. That way, you will be able to recognize which fear needs attended to the most as it can also produce the most negative impact to you.
The best way to get yourself to confront your fears is realizing what you can get once you have let go of these fears. The lack of such fears in your life will motivate you to take steps to rid yourself of it. Whether it’s regaining control over your life or improving your own self image, losing that fear will help boost your confidence about yourself and the world so you can become a better individual.
The most effective means to overcoming your fears is to change your perspective and behavior towards it. Since it is not easy to do, you need to keep yourself motivated in order to live life free of fears. The first step is identification of fear, which is closely tied with the step of confronting your fear. Then, honestly assess the extent of your fear. This is the only way that you can logically come up with methods that can reduce or eliminate the fear you are experiencing.
When you encounter a stimuli that could potentially trigger the feeling of fear, think of ways to release tension and keep yourself in a relaxed state. This is important since once you have acknowledged fear, it can quickly consume and overtake you. If possible, tap the help of others (whether your friends or family) to provide assistance in conquering your fears. Lastly, this is a long-term procedure and you cannot expect to get rid of your fears overnight.