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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A Thought-Free Life

If bad thoughts are bad for us, and even good thoughts are bad for us, what options do we have?

How Strength Training Helps Keep Anxiety at Bay

By Linda Wasmer Andrews on March 29, 2017 in Minding the Body
Resistance training may help you resist excessive worry and anxiety. Here's what the latest research shows.

Sticks and Stones Just Break My Bones

Colleges can either give in to "Brittle Self Disorder" or empower students to get past the discomfort of confronting objectionable ideas and teach them to think critically.

Friends in Violent Places

Research says children in violent neighborhoods approach friendship cautiously, with the goal of staying safe. Here are their resourceful–and heart-breaking–strategies.

Most Strangers Are Safe: Learn to Spot Those Who Are Not

As strange as it sounds, most strangers are safe—statistically speaking. Yet in a world of distraction and multitasking, learn how to remain aware of those who are not.

Trigger Warnings and Mental Health: Where Is the Evidence?

By Rob Whitley, Ph.D. on March 23, 2017 in Talking About Men
Recently, there has been a growing push for the use of "trigger warnings" on college campuses. But are they beneficial for mental health? And can they have unintended consequences?

Dealing With Feelings

"Minimize affect inhibition... Maximize positive affects… Minimize negative affects.” — Silvan Tomkins

Radical Self-Honesty

By Tara Brach Ph.D. on March 20, 2017 in Finding True Refuge
We can see in our society how dishonesty poisons our world with cynicism and mistrust. This suffering calls for a deepening commitment to being real with ourselves and each other.

A Profound Experience With the Toilet

By Reid Wilson Ph.D. on March 19, 2017 in All about Anxiety
In any distressing situation, we have only two choices: Accept or resist. You have to find a way to willingly welcome your uncertainty and distress.
Courtesy of Max Pixel

Are We Doomed to Repeat Our Relationship Patterns?

Do the attachment styles we develop in childhood inevitably shape our adult relationships? And if so, can they be changed?

Do You Worry?

Worry is an ordinary part of human experience: a protection from danger, a sign that we care, and a struggle to face the inevitable uncertainties of life.

Here's Your Brain on Trauma

Have you suffered a trauma and wonder why you feel so anxious and out of control? The answers are in your brain. Learn how trauma affects the brain, and how you can take action.
John Hain CCO Public Domain/Used with Permission

Why We Shouldn’t Fear Failure

Why We Shouldn’t Fear Failure. Sometimes success requires not getting it right the first time. By Philip J. Rosenbaum, Ph.D.

War of the Worlds: Common Enemies

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on March 12, 2017 in The I-M Approach
Orson Wells galvanized America with the alternate truth that we were being invaded by Martians. But do we still need a common enemy to feel united?

Poetry Lights Up Your Brain Like a Favorite Song, fMRI Shows

New research on the link between happy or scary musical cues—and the difference between reading poetry or prose—offer new clues about how the brain responds to music and poetry.

Should you trust your gut?

By Marcia Reynolds Psy.D. on March 11, 2017 in Wander Woman
Steps and techniques for listening to both your gut and head to calculate your next best move.

Does "Sully" Reveal How To Cope With Anxiety?

The flight recording of the final 2.5 minutes of Flight 1549 are extraordinary for the coolness and business-like words of its pilot.

What If Your Child Chooses to Do Wrong?

Punishment drives the feelings underground and makes the bad behavior worse. Healing the feelings that are driving the behavior is what prevents a repeat of the misbehavior.

How to Cope With the Trauma of Online Harassment

Have you experienced online harassment? You may be suffering from symptoms of trauma and not even know it.

The Psychology of Hate

Who you hate says a lot about you.

How to Stop the Break Up-Make Up Cycle

The pain of ending a meaningful relationship can be so great that many go back again and again to the same partner. Here are four ways to stop the break up-make up cycle.

Fear-of-Falling... Or Falling-From-Fear?

By Toby Ellmers on March 08, 2017 in Aging Brain, Aging Body
How can modifying our behavior to prevent a fall from occurring actually increase the likelihood of falling?

Avoidant Personality Disorder

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on March 08, 2017 in A Sideways View
How can you best help and understand those with Avoidant Personality Disorder?

Has Disney Lost Its Direction by "Normalizing" Gay People?

There is more than enough conflict in the world. Maybe it's time that people start boycotting fear and hate mongers, rather than peacemakers.

Can I Trust Him? The Psychology and Philosophy of Trust

By Neel Burton M.D. on March 07, 2017 in Hide and Seek
What is trust, when does it pertain, and can it ever be absolute?

HOCD: a Clinical Disorder vs. Pseudoscience

By David J Ley Ph.D. on March 02, 2017 in Women Who Stray
Homosexual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder sounds scary, but isn't caused by porn, and has nothing to do with straight people who get turned on by homosexual stimuli.

Pleasurable Activities Can Reduce Fear After Disasters

By Art Markman Ph.D. on February 28, 2017 in Ulterior Motives
Although disasters are common (there are about 650 reported disasters a year), there is little research on how people deal psychologically with disasters they experience.

Anger: A Misunderstood Feeling

If curiosity, or interest, is the most under-appreciated feeling, anger may be the most misunderstood.

New Insights Into Paranoia

By Molly S. Castelloe Ph.D. on February 28, 2017 in The Me in We
Research reveals that paranoia is a process rather than character trait, one that operates across various mental disorders.

Moving Out of Life as a Lab Rat

"Lab rat living" feels as if you are “doing time.” There is no psychological engagement with the world, resulting in a limited range and depth of your emotional experiences.