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

Primary Affects

We have been exploring how our earliest, innate feelings work – Distress, Anger, Fear, Shame, and Dissmell. This month we look at Enjoyment, Shame, Disgust, and Dissmell.
Photo by Kristin Meekhof

5 Things Care Givers Want Hospice Workers to Know

Hospice care giving is especially difficult because of these 5 things

Proclaiming Your Wabi-Sabi Is a Cathartic Antidote for Shame

By Christopher Bergland on August 27, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
You don't have to be a Zen Buddhist to embrace the power of "wabi-sabi." Publicly acknowledging your imperfections can make you immune to the isolation created by shame.

Don’t Bee Afraid

By Jeffrey Lockwood Ph.D. on August 26, 2016 in The Infested Mind
Not only are bee stings painful, but they can be deadly—and we all know this! So why would a beekeeper wear shorts and work without a veil?
Mike Johnston/Flickr

How to Overcome FOMO

Fear of missing out got you down? Not for long with these 5 tips.

Who Am I? Someone? Or Nobody?

By Tom Bunn L.C.S.W. on August 24, 2016 in Conquer Fear Of Flying
Celebrity is competitive. The outrageously competitive have no limits on what they do to get noticed. Winning often means being a bigger jerk than anyone else is willing to be.

The Art of Letting Go: How to Make the Most of Sacrifice

By Gregg Levoy on August 23, 2016 in Passion!
To sacrifice means to “to make sacred,” and it's about liberation, not defeat. Here's how to reframe sacrifice so it serves your growth and unfolding.

Dissection of a Food Binge

By Frances Kuffel on August 23, 2016 in What Fat Women Want
I wanted more than practicing normal. I wanted more than I had at hand. I wanted OUT – out of my apartment, out of my anger and resentment and loneliness.

Deconstructing Ryan Lochte's Shame and Fear of Vulnerability

By Christopher Bergland on August 19, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Ryan Lochte is in the hot seat for his shameful after-hours behavior in Rio last weekend. Is his apology for "not being more candid and careful" enough to appease his shame?

The Fear Behind Women in Power

By Kimberly Key on August 19, 2016 in Counseling Keys
With a woman running for president, what kind of differences do women bring to leadership? How far have women come and where are women's rights headed?

Repairing the Damage of Abstinence-Based Sex Education

By David J Ley Ph.D. on August 17, 2016 in Women Who Stray
Only through good, real-world, holistic sex education can our country recover from the damage we've done to teens by promoting abstinence.

Being Dead

Professor Andrew Stark searches for ways for those who do not believe in an afterlife to accept mortality. But in the end, he is unable to escape stark psychological realities.

Helping a Friend Whose Loved One Is Seriously Ill

How can you best help your friend during a very stressful time? Your greatest gift can be providing support in ways tailored to what your friend needs.

Are We Living in Salem Circa 1693? Lessons for America 2016

By Leon Hoffman M.D. on August 14, 2016 in Beyond Freud
A great deal has been written about the dangers of ultra-nationalistic leaders in today's world. But only recently, have we begun to talk about the potential dangers of groups.

Primary Affects

What science is really intrigued with is how feelings work. For ages, Tomkins and others grappled with the following question: How are there only a few discrete responses?

Attenuation of Arousal: The Linchpin of Emotional Regulation

By Tom Bunn L.C.S.W. on August 10, 2016 in Conquer Fear Of Flying
Stress hormones grab our attention and prepare us to run or fight, in case action is required. Thereafter, arousal needs to be sharply reduced so we can assess the situation.

Finding Strength in Vulnerability

By Michael F. Kay on August 09, 2016 in Financial Life Focus
Strength is admired and respected as a trait of winners; the weak are cast aside as not having what it takes. We need to reexamine what strength really means.

Is Anxiety Psychological or Physical?

By Neel Burton M.D. on August 08, 2016 in Hide and Seek
What is anxiety, where does it come from, and when is it a problem?

5 Ways to Deal With Feelings You'd Rather Not Feel

By Rolf Reber Ph.D. on August 07, 2016 in Critical Feeling
There are five ways to stop an undesired feeling when we experience it. But be wary one obvious method, which can be poisonous.

A First-Hand Report on Stage Fright

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 07, 2016 in How To Do Life
I'm doing a one-man show tonight...for the first time.

The Cost of Cynicism

President Obama has challenged us “to reject cynicism and to reject fear, and to summon what is best in us…” It may be the biggest choice we ever make.

4 Expert Tips on Emotionally Preparing for Divorce

Many people I talk to want to know how to best manage the psychology of divorce. Direct your attention on these four key areas—financial, parental, emotional and social.

What’s the Most Powerful Way to Raise Your Self-Esteem?

Most advice offered to raise self-esteem eventually falls flat. The truth is, to raise self-esteem, you must cope with what you now avoid.

Different Core Vulnerabilities in Intimate Partners

Your core vulnerability is the emotional state that is most dreadful to you, in reaction to which you’ve developed the strongest defenses.

How to be Resilient During Election Season

Are you upset by this year's presidential campaign rhetoric?

The Social Cues that Lie at the Heart of Fear and Anxiety

Fear is becoming an increasing reality of daily life, but you don’t have to be overwhelmed by this highly negative emotion. New research shows how to prevent it in the first place.

How Fear & Anxiety Drive (Some) Narcissists to the Internet

Fear of rejection and low self-esteem pushes vulnerable narcissists to prefer online interactions over in-person socializing.

5 Questions for Kids Fearful of Trying New Things

"Fear of failure" preventing your kid from thriving? Here's the encouragement your kid needs

Should We Torture Suspected Terrorists?

By Paul Ekman Ph.D. on July 29, 2016 in Face It!
Weighing in on the use of torture as an interrogation tactic for suspected terrorists.

Curing Fear of Flying in 140 Characters or Less

Sam was insistent. If I wasn't using Twitter to help people fly, I was missing something big.