At the Root of Fear

Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger with strong roots in human evolution. If we didn’t feel fear, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats, which in our ancestral world frequently resulted in life-or-death consequences. In the modern world, we often fear situations where the stakes are much lower, but our body and brain are still treating the threat as lethal. This can trigger an extreme, and oftentimes unnecessary, fight-flight-or-freeze response. As a result, we may find ourselves avoiding challenges that could benefit us in the long run or hanging back during social interactions for no good reason. When people today face deadly or extreme danger, it can sometimes result in lingering trauma. These traumas can trigger a fear response within us that is hard to quell, even when we are no longer at risk.

Moving Past the Fear

In the past, our ancestors feared immediate danger, from volcanic eruptions to hungry predators. Common fears today have more to do with impressions made and how another's judgment affects one's self-worth; this hyper-focus on image is only exacerbated by the rise of the internet and its social media culture. Managing these fears is confusing when they don't necessarily correlate with a clear or obvious danger. In cases of severe trauma, sexual or otherwise, finding wasy to let go of one's fears and pursuing more positivity can help. Plus, exposing the self to one's personal demons is often the best way to move past them.


Anxiety, Psychiatry, Therapy

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