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

No Way Did I Want to Die

Adolescents want to feel pleasure, takes risks and be social. Add in a brain that is impulsive and emotional and you have a set up for potential addiction. This is a story about just such a teen.

Four Quick Videos On Anticipatory Anxiety And Fear of Flying

A vicious cycle can hold you captive in a state of anticipatory anxiety. The thought of your plane crashing - or of having a panic attack - can trigger the release of stress hormones. Once released, these hormones keep your thinking locked on those thoughts, which, in turn, trigger even more stress hormones. How can you break out of this vicious cycle?

Understanding Nomophobia: Just Something Else to Worry About

My appreciation of the connection and conveniences offered by my smartphone might qualify as a pathology. That’s right folks, according to a recent study, I may have a disorder called nomophobia, which means that I get anxious, fearful and stressed out if and when I’m unable to access or use my smartphone.

Nine Lessons from Mad Men: The Emotional Cost of Dishonesty

What emotional price do we pay for our lies? Here, I share nine lessons from Mad Men on how to stop your lies from destroying your happiness.

On the Nature of Creepiness

Given how frequently creepiness gets discussed in everyday life, it is amazing that it has not yet been studied in a scientific way. What I found in an exploratory study suggests that creepiness is a response to the ambiguity of threat; it is not the clear presence of danger that creeps us out, but rather the uncertainty of whether danger is present or not.

Be Very Afraid: Uncertainty, Fear, and Achievement

Adventure is defined by uncertain outcome. The most significant moments of our lives, the most important decisions and the most meaningful choices are characterized, in part, by uncertainty and by fear. Without uncertainty we have a safe, contained, and predictable experience; we don’t have adventure.

Reading Faces

By David Ludden Ph.D. on May 18, 2015 in Talking Apes
The language you speak can influence the way you perceive the emotional expressions of other people.

Is Fear Calling the Shots?

Could fear be calling the shots in your life, or in certain areas of your life? If so, here are some simple ways to release fear and move forward.

Want to Know What Constitutes Play?

By Scott G. Eberle Ph.D. on May 15, 2015 in Play in Mind
Play is a moving target. We may know it when we see it, but pinning play down is quite another thing.

GMO Labels May Encourage Sales, Not Scare Them Away

Mandatory GMO labels on food, by giving consumers choice, may not scare buyers off as much as GMO opponents hope.

What Is Separation Anxiety?

Some kids beyond their toddler years have a terrible time separating from parents. They may refuse to sleep alone, go on play dates, or attend school. Any attempts at separation may trigger intense fear and tantrums. This situation can be a nightmare for parents. The good news is with early identification and professional guidance treatment is usually very successful.

Break the Self-Betrayal Habit

By Kimberly Key on May 12, 2015 in Counseling Keys
People generally fear the disapproval of others—society, family, a first crush, bullies, or fear being different and alone. To compensate, sometimes people will work harder to acquire money and possessions, sex, love, food, alcohol, drugs, constant relocating and starting over, and/or isolating. Here is what you can do to identify and heal the source so many bad habits.

Can Psychological Screening Prevent Pilot Suicide?

For every intentional crash there are hundreds of unintentional crashes. The money spent on a wild goose chase trying to keep a suicidal pilot from intentionally crashing would be better spent on training non-suicidal pilots to prevent unintentional (pilot error) crashes.

Neurofeedback: Book Review, "Calming the Fear-Driven Brain"

A review of Sebern Fisher’s book, Neurofeedback in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma: Calming the Fear-Driven Brain.

Discipline Rooted in Nurturance and Living Example

Discipline is pointing the way. Living example demonstrates the message in vibrant color impacting a child even more than words.

Finding Your Emotional Sweet Spot

By Gregg Henriques on May 07, 2015 in Theory of Knowledge
The emotional sweet spot is the place between emotional awareness and attunement on the one hand and the adaptive regulation of feelings in accordance with long term goals on the other. This blog articulates key do's and don'ts for finding your emotional sweet spot.

6 Signs That a Passion or Calling is "True"

By Gregg Levoy on May 06, 2015 in Passion!
The critical challenge of discernment—of knowing whether your calls and passions are true or false, how and when to respond to them, even whether they belong to you or not—requires that you know what to look for to signal their "integrity." Here are six ways to tell.

Who You Calling Phobic?

Fears about unstable ground are real, say researchers. And that's particularly true after a major quake.

The Best Way To Handle Children’s Nightmares

An automatic response for many parents after their child has a nightmare is, “It’s not real, so you don’t need to feel scared.” The problem is, while the bad dream isn’t real, the emotions that the child is experiencing are intensely real and can’t be ignored.

Why We Don’t Speak Up!

Being rejected, thrown out, or having my voice suppressed has been one of the top three ‘fight back’ themes in my life. Since fear of rejection is hardwired into all of us I’ve been compelled to study, research, and experiment for three decades looking for a new approach.

10 Keys to Making Up Your Mind

Stuck in a seemingly impossible dilemma? Consider these 10 research-based strategies for better decision-making.

Why the Germanwings Tragedy Couldn't Happen in the U.S.

Can a flight attendant in the cockpit keep a deranged pilot from intentionally crashing a plane?

Our Fear of the Envy of Others

Our fear of being envied by others can stifle us in our development and creative expression. Sometimes this envy comes from those we think should love us the most.

Don't Just Ask Bruce Jenner for Answers, Ask Yourself

The more we understand our own relationships to gender, the more room we have to live with freedom, with authenticity, with a sense of integration, and the less we scapegoat our marginalized sisters and brothers who are targeted, discriminated against, and attacked.

Embracing Death

We all know Death, the Detroit rock band that was "punk before punk was punk." But Death is something else: It’s a living, breathing monument to how one can live, create, cope with adversity, and thrive if one does not fear dying.

Optogenetics Allow Neuroscientists to Turn Fear Off and On

Neuroscientists at MIT have discovered how to turn the neural circuitry of fear conditioning on and off. This could lead to better treatments for PTSD, anxiety disorders, and avoidance learning.

Getting to the Goal

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on April 29, 2015 in The Dolphin Divide
How focusing on the positive helps us overcome obstacles. What we want is often more powerful than what we fear. But if we’re not careful in how we frame our goals, we may be setting ourselves up for disappointment—and inadvertently turn our fears into reality.

The Deepest War Wound May Be the Anguish of Moral Injury

By Nancy Sherman Ph.D. on April 28, 2015 in Afterwar
That the military code—never abandon a buddy, bring all your troops home, don't put innocents at risk—is impossible to meet doesn't always register deep down. The result may be shame, and all too often suicidal shame.

Please Keep Your Mind in Your Body

By Hal Mathew on April 28, 2015 in Unagoraphobic
The look of being present

Why You Shouldn't Fear Going Solo

By Sophia Dembling on April 27, 2015 in The Introvert's Corner
Some people fear they'll be judged and pitied if they do things alone, but it's also possible people will be impressed.