All About Fear

Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger — if we didn't feel it, we couldn't protect ourselves from legitimate threats. But often we fear situations that are far from life-or-death, and thus hang back for no good reason. Traumas or bad experiences can trigger a fear response within us that is hard to quell. Yet exposing ourselves to our personal demons is the best way to move past them.

Recent posts on Fear

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Fight Emotion With Emotion

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on January 17, 2018 in Science of Choice
An important way to enhance self-control is to use our emotions to achieve challenging goals.

The Experience of Fear

By Jennifer Verdolin Ph.D. on January 16, 2018 in Wild Connections
We, and other species, have evolved the ability to rapidly adopt an appropriate strategy to respond to life-threatening, fearful, or aggressive encounters.

Stories That Heal Primal Wounds

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on January 15, 2018 in Moral Landscapes
Primally wounded people often feel betrayed by their selves, their bodies, their weaknesses. Stories can jar us loose when we get mired in these traps.

Exposure and Response Prevention for OCD

Heard of ERP treatment for anxiety disorders? Learn what part of ERP actually causes behavior change.
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Fear-Driven Learning Circuit

Informing efforts to develop more effective PTSD treatments.

Why Bother? Part 1

There are no guarantees that when we bring to the surface some of the material that needs healing that it’s going to benefit us right away...
K. Ramsland

The Structure of Fear: Follow-up

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on January 05, 2018 in Shadow Boxing
A class trip to a haunted asylum to study the psychology of fear had interesting results.

Five Ways to Overcome Fear of Failure and Perfectionism

By Christopher Bergland on January 05, 2018 in The Athlete's Way
An expert on coping with anxiety recommends five practical ways to overcome fear of failure and paralyzing perfectionism.

Resources Within Reach: The Merits of Speaking Up!

By Rick Miller LICSW on January 04, 2018 in Unwrapped
Were you bullied as a kid? Echoes of those messages often remain: “We deserve to be treated unfairly.” But those echoes will fade in the face of your superpower: Resilience!

I Have a Flight Scheduled and It's Snowing. Should I Cancel?

By Tom Bunn L.C.S.W. on January 04, 2018 in Conquer Fear Of Flying
Anxious fliers feel safer when in control. Since someone else flies the plane, being informed is as close to being in control as they can get. Information rarely reassures them.

You Don’t Really Want to Get Better

Of course psychotherapy clients want relief from their symptoms. Yet, they are reluctant to change the defenses that would allow them to overcome their psychological maladies.

How Therapy Works: What it Means to ‘Process an Issue’

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on January 03, 2018 in Insight Therapy
People often are advised to go to therapy to “process” some issue. But what does “processing an issue” actually mean?

How Vulnerable Should You Let Yourself Be?

The impulse, self-protectively, to ward off whatever feels threatening is only natural. But you also have to consider the costs of such cautiousness.

Freezing with Fear

Does scaring people about climate change lead them to freeze and do nothing in response? How to motivate action rather than inducing overwhelming fear.

Beyond Looking: When Voyeurism Leads to Criminal Behavior

Voyeuristic tendencies range from the mild to the malevolent. And although such behavior itself is unsettling, some voyeuristic individuals do more than just look.

Are Emotions a Product of Human Design?

In individualistic but not collective cultures, positive high-arousal affect, such as love of power, is held in high esteem. Paradoxically, this triggers misery and dysphoria.

Positive Psychology in Martial Arts

Martial arts does not just teach us how to kick and punch. It provides a strong basis for living with positive psychology foundational principles.
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Trump Divided America With Psychology — Here's How We Heal

By Bobby Azarian Ph.D. on December 27, 2017 in Mind In The Machine
President Trump has increased collective anxiety, creating division and tribalism. But recognizing these psychological effects can allow us to reverse them with cognitive control.

How This Common Fear Can Keep You Stuck

Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will. But it doesn't have to.

Fear Is Nothing to Be Feared

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on December 26, 2017 in Insight Therapy
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” FDR once famously declared. But was he right?

The Emergence of the iGen

By David F Lancy Ph.D. on December 24, 2017 in Benign Neglect
Why are youth unhappy? Don't blame the internet.

Electrical Stimulation of the Amygdala Boosts Human Memory

By Christopher Bergland on December 24, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
For the first time, neuroscientists have identified that direct electrical stimulation of the amygdala can enhance declarative memory in humans.

Dare to Seek Change in 2018

If you can embrace some initial fear and challenge to your routine at work and in life, you've likely opened the doors to success in 2018.

Regrets in Finance and Romance

By Eyal Winter Ph.D. on December 21, 2017 in Feeling Smart
How does the fear of regret affect our dating behavior?

The Deadly Cost of Censoring the CDC

By Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D. on December 21, 2017 in Intentional Insights
Censoring the CDC could result in more deaths, especially among the most vulnerable—babies and children.

Tales of the Primally Wounded

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on December 20, 2017 in Moral Landscapes
Our ancestors pulled together with stories of cooperation told by the community's storytellers. Today we are pulled apart by fear-promoting stories. Here are some of those stories.
Quick and Dirty Tips

Embracing Masculine Vulnerability: A Q&A with Lewis Howes

By Ellen Hendriksen, Ph.D. on December 15, 2017 in How to Be Yourself
Why men have trouble letting themselves be vulnerable, and why it is so important that they try.

Love Is Easy

By Randi Gunther Ph.D. on December 15, 2017 in Rediscovering Love
Relationships are hard. These six commitment behaviors can help.

The Science of Emotion From the Inside Out

By Rachael Bedford Ph.D. on December 15, 2017 in If Babies Could Talk
How do we learn to recognize emotions, in real-life and in the movies?

How Fear Is Being Used to Manipulate Cryptocurrency Markets

By Bobby Azarian Ph.D. on December 14, 2017 in Mind In The Machine
The world of cryptocurrency is profitable and intellectually intriguing, but misinformation campaigns that use psychological manipulation are creating chaos for investors.