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

Turning Point in Trust

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on July 02, 2015 in The Pacific Heart
Trust vs. Mistrust is the first Eriksonian developmental stage. America has been in the grips of mistrust socially and politically for decades. The last two weeks have brought a meaningful sign of hope, as we've stood for equality and against bigotry. This coming together marks a historical turning point in trust. There's work to be done, but there's reason to hope.

Feelings: How and What Does a Baby Understand?

The three pillars of development: Feelings (affects), language, and cognition.

Tongue-Tied: The Cost Of Silence

By Katherine Preston on July 01, 2015 in Out With It
What Orange Is The New Black and Humans of New York teach us about the sadness of choosing to be silent.

Coping with Adversity from "Inside Out"

This film effectively and hilariously shines a light on the inner workings of our emotional brains and why we struggle at times. Most powerfully, its metaphor of "Emotions at Your Central Control Panel" offers a useful way to reflect on our own feelings and how they can push us to react, sometimes to our disadvantage. Required viewing for anyone operating a human brain.

On Turning 65

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on June 30, 2015 in How To Do Life
My thoughts on reaching the traditional retirement age.

Paraphilia: Insects as Sources of Sexual Arousal

For many people, insects evoke a sense of fear or disgust—not lust. So how and why do some people use these creatures with sexual excitement? The answer lies in the ways in which our bodies respond to lions, cockroaches and foreplay, along with the capacity of the human mind to interpret physiological states in rather remarkable and creative ways.

The Cure for Fear, Grief, and Death

When Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s infant son was kidnapped and murdered, only this story helped her.

Evolutionary Marketing

By Jesse Marczyk on June 27, 2015 in Pop Psych
There are plenty of thought in psychology about misplaced arousal or the general affects of arousal on thought. Unfortunately, plenty of that is incorrect thinking...

Who Do You Fear, and Why?

Being afraid of another person, except in very rare cases, doesn’t really make sense. It’s time to sort out how much of your fear of others is based in reality and how much is based on your own preconceived notions. Overcoming those fears will help you improve both your relationships and your well-being.

Why Are People So Defensive?

Why are we so quick to fight, to defend our positions? What are we really afraid of?

Will Valuable Lessons Continue with Violence?

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on June 26, 2015 in Screen Time
See the Mocking Jay's World Before it Rest - The Hunger Games: The Exhibition will open on July 1. The exhibit will provide fans with an insider's view of Panem everything from costumes to hands-on interactions. The level of violent content within is cause for discussion on its continuance. Will a similar level of violent now become commonplace in young adult media?

How to Be Courageous

Notice every time you do something that you’re scared to do—something your body is telling you not to do. You’ll start to realize that you do these things all the time. You’re already much braver than you think.

The Worst Thing That Can Happen When You Panic

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on June 25, 2015 in Think, Act, Be
The catastrophes we fear aren't real.

Inside Out—And Beyond

It could have been awful. A movie that teaches kids about emotions could have been dry and preachy. Instead, Pixar’s Inside Out is an exciting and compelling tour of inner life that’s grounded in science plus an authentic understanding of how kids feel. Here are three lessons about emotions from the movie--plus one more.

Headquarters? What Headquarters? Behind Pixar's Inside Out

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on June 22, 2015 in The Pacific Heart
Inside Out is a fantastic movie, highlighting the inner life of a girl, with plenty of positive female role models in the form of emotions. Sadness is the unlikely hero. We learn a lot about childhood vulnerability, emotional regulation, and adaptation. But emotional regulation, and the idea of a “Headquarters” in our mind, bear a closer look.

The Dark Side of Dreaming

By Michelle Carr on June 21, 2015 in Dream Factory
Lucid dreamers may unearth powerful unconscious fears or memories, turning their experience into a lucid nightmare. Techniques can help to confront and overcome these lucid nightmares.

Identifying The Next Mass Murderer—Before It’s Too Late

By Joe Navarro M.A. on June 21, 2015 in Spycatcher
We average 20 mass murders a year—what can be done?

How to Face Your Fears, One Step at a Time

Whether you’re terrified of shaking hands because you’re afraid of germs, or the thought of public speaking makes you weak in the knees, it’s possible to overcome your fear once and for all.

Feeling Stuck in the Relationship

Research shows that people with higher self-esteem tend to find more satisfaction in their relationships. Find the power and strength within yourself to make a change your life for the better. No one besides you can fulfill you and make you happy, so only you have the power to do so.

How We Can Face and Even Conquer Fear When Cancer Strikes

By Gregg McBride on June 13, 2015 in The Weight-ing Game
When medical challenges including cancer or other frightening prognosis strike those we care about or even ourselves, our positive attitudes just might make for the most healing prescriptions.

The Envy of the Collective

Our fear of standing out from the norm is often our fear of the envy of the collective. "What will the neighbors think?" is often another way of saying "I don't want to stand out because I'm afraid I'll be struck down by someone else's envy."

5 Ways to Leap Courageously Toward Your Goals

Courage is a widely misunderstood concept. It is more than facing fears and confronting physical danger; it is a subjective and personal experience. Courage can be enhanced to make dramatic leaps toward desired goals.

Don't Let Fear Stop You

You, like many people, may criticize yourself for being stopped by your fears. If you are tired of feeling beaten down by this, there is another option. You can kindly, but firmly, encourage yourself to face them. This compassionate approach can help you overcome your fears as it also helps you to feel good about yourself.

Hippo Love

With a reputation for aggressiveness, the hippopotamus is not usually thought of as "loving." But in a new book, "A Hippo Love Story," a more nuanced picture is revealed about these freshwater giants. The key to love, it seems, is good communication.

Aerobic Laughing: A New Weight Loss Plan

Just like all of us, I've been captivated by Caitlyn Jenner's courageous transformation. She inspired me to take a look at my own body and finally find a way to become the skinny person I've always wanted to be—via laughter.

Pain, Fear, and Death Documented at Monkey Breeding Facility

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 02, 2015 in Animal Emotions
Videos and pictures documenting the horrific and unspeakable abuse of monkeys have generated a USDA inspection for violations at a primate breeding facility. If you have the stomach for it, you can see a video and some photos online. You can do something about it by filing a petition that already has more than 15,000 signatures. These monkeys really need your support.

BA's In-Flight Meditation: Good PR. Bad Psychology

Meditation can help a person keep anxiety-producing thoughts out of mind. It works only if the flight is smooth. If turbulence begins, no matter how deep the meditation, when the plane drops, stress hormones are released that push whatever is being focused on out of awareness, and refocus the person on thought of possible danger

Happiness With Life 9: Making Friends With Death

Death can be your friend or your enemy. If you fear your death, you will create for yourself anguish and dread. If you embrace it as something you are inevitably moving toward, you use it to spur yourself to exult in each day as if it were your last.

Regret And Worry: A User’s Guide

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on May 31, 2015 in Ambigamy
Regret and worry have their place. Here's some background on them, helpful to keeping them in their place.

Superhero Therapy: Fears Do Not Make Heroes Any Less Heroic

Superhero Therapy star Dr. Janina Scarlet looks at heroes who feel fear. Storm of the X-Men often experiences crippling episodes of claustrophobia. As boy, Bruce Wayne becomes afraid of bats. Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter stories endures crushing arachnophobia. How do these heroes cope with their own fears and find the courage to do the right thing nevertheless?