How to Handle Fears

Everyone has times when they're afraid of something. Fear has a legitimate function for us because it alerts us to something which could possibly be harmful to us. Usually, we are able to evaluate the situation and see if there is any real danger, then take steps to deal with it. Sometimes, however, our fear gets in our way and interferes with our daily living. This is often frustrating because we think of our fear as unrealistic but are still hampered by it.

It is often helpful to talk to a close friend about your fears. It's amazing how a fear can sometimes disappear after a conversation with someone you trust.

Abnormally fearful?

Many fears are caused by ignorance because people are scared of what they don’t know. The reason for this is simple.

When your brain is only given a few pieces of information it tends to fill in the rest of the details by itself.

For example, when you look at a picture on a computer screen, what you are actually seeing is a series of tiny dots. However, because the dots are so small, your brain fills in the gaps and you see it as a complete picture.

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Fear Factors

A 2005 poll of U.S. teenagers revealed the power that emotion can have in searing fear-filled memories deeply; despite the teens' limited direct experience, terrorist attacks, war, and nuclear war held top-ten berths in a list of fears.

This finding hints at a phenomenon that Hadjikhani and her colleagues study: the contagion of fear. In her research, Hadjikhani has found that humans, like other animals, can experience fear indirectly, the result of another's glance or muscle tensing, or, on a larger scale, that electric connection that turns a milling crowd into a stampeding throng.

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Our brain on fear

People are hard-wired to respond to danger. It's actually an ancient system, often called the reptilian brain, honed over centuries to keep us safe.

We hear a scream and instantly, without conscious thought, our autonomic nervous system sends a signal from our senses to the fear center of the brain, the amygdala.

Hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline jump-start our body -- the heart starts to race, breathing comes more quickly and sweat breaks out. We're ready to flee or fight.

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Alfred Adler on why we fear public speaking
Amygdala - the center of Fear
Amygdala is a brain's alarm system

Anti-fear hormone oxytocin transported directly to target sites in the brain
Anxiety and Fear Are Controlled by Different Brain Circuitry

Anxious Children have Bigger Fear Centers in the Brain
Are You More Fearful Than You Should Be
Attention to the signals of fight or flight

Blocking a New Neural Circuit for Fear
Bodily Responses
Brain Circuit Behind Third Fear Response

Brain circuit that controls fear identified
Brain Circuit That Erases Bad Memories, Key To Cures For Anxiety & PTSD
Brain Circuits Underlying Freezing In Fear

Brain on Fear
Brain Region for Overcoming Fear
Brain's 'hate circuit' identified

Brain's fear centre
Carl Jung on human frailty and public speaking fears
Carl Jung on human frailty and public speaking fears

Common Causes of Fear in Children
Control of fear in the brain decoded
Curry could help erase bad memories

Dealing With Fear
Desensitizing the Fear
Diagnosing Fear

Difference Between a Fear and a Phobia
Different brain regions process different types of fear
Emotional Control Circuit of Brain's Fear Response Discovered

Erasing traumatic experiences
Evolutionary Survival Mechanism
Expression of fear may create phobias

External Fears
Face it
Fear - Definitions
Fear and Learning Don't Mix

Fear Conditioning - How the Brain Learns about Danger
Fear Conditioning
Fear Factors

Fear in the brain
Fear is caused by a small organ in our brain called the amygdala
Fear Is Hardwired Into The Brain
Parts of Our Body's Fear System
Patterns in the brain reveal our fear of the unknown
People who fear pain are more likely to suffer it

People without brain's 'fear centre' can still be scared
Physical Reactions to Fear
Psychopaths Feel Fear But Have Difficulty Detecting Threats

Raising the Dread
Rare Brain Disorder Prevents All Fear
Researchers Identify Fear Circuit In The Brain

Rewiring Your Emotions
Science Behind your Fear of Public Speaking
Scientists test a way to erase scary memories

Signs that our fight or flight response has been activated
Stage fright
Startle Response

Step by Step Instructions to Rewire Your Brain and Overcome Fear and Anxiety
Stress Hormones and the Fear Response in Survival
Stress levels can make brain flip from desire to fear

Subconscious Avoidance
Terror & Horror
Thank Your Brain If Your Fear Response Is Embarrassing

Threat vs fear
To unlearn the fear
Train Your Brain to Overcome Fear

Triggering fear
Two ways of reducing fear
What are the saber tooth tigers of today and why are they so dangerous

What Causes Fear
What Happens In Our Brains When We Get Scared
What is our fight or flight system designed to protect us from

What is the natural conclusion of our fight or flight response
What makes you anxious
What Makes You Feel Fear

What Scares Us and Why
What we fear
Why Are You Afraid To Drive

Why You Must Confront Your Fear
X Factor

You have to question the basis for your fear
Your Amygdala at Work - A STEM Activity
Your brain can misinterpret things