Fear is an emotion that typically occurs when you perceive a threat to your personal well-being. Sometimes, it can prompt action against the threat. Fear is a common emotion experienced by most people at some point or another; it’s considered to be a normal, natural part of life.
At Healing Path Counselling Services, we often see individuals where fear has become a negative impact on their life. Fear can lead people to experience a wide array of physical and mental changes, and irrational or intense fear may interfere with a person’s happiness, sense of security, and ability to function effectively. Fear can also be linked to various mental health concerns such as anxiety.
WHAT CAUSES FEAR?
All people are likely to experience some type of fear. Humans and animals typically possess innate fearful reactions to certain stimuli, such as unexpected or loud noises. The types of fears and intensity can also differ from one person to the next.
New fears are often learned. Fear-inducing stimuli paired with objects or events that are not normally frightening may cause new fears to form.
Some stimuli commonly reported to cause fear include:
- Public speaking
- Flying in an airplane
- Being alone
- The unknown
- Being rejected
- Aggression, violence, or war
A phobia or a fearful reaction that is disproportionate to the possible danger, is a type of fear that may interfere with one’s ability to function. A phobia might develop for no clear reason, but it might also develop after an experience causes a strong fear reaction.
THE PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL EFFECTS OF FEAR
Without fear, an individual’s chances of day-to-day survival would likely diminish. In this way, fear can be healthy; it helps people keep away from dangerous or harmful situations by triggering a “fight or flight” response. Fear often affects people physically and emotionally.
Fear may cause someone to experience an enhanced perception of space and time, or their senses of sight, hearing, and smell may be heightened. In life-threatening situations, fear can also reduce the ability to notice fine detail while increasing the capacity to distinguish large or blurry objects. These adjustments in perception can increase a person’s chance of survival in a dangerous situation.
You may experience a variety of physical responses when experiencing fear, such as:
- Temporary paralysis or an erratic heartbeat
- Stomach pain, head pain, or nausea
- Dizziness or fainting
- Muscle tension, twitching, or trembling
- Erratic sleep patterns
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid or shallow breathing
Psychological effects of fear can include intrusive or distracting thoughts, loss of focus, and confusion. People may also experience a variety of emotional effects, including terror, anxiety, anger, despair, numbness, or helplessness.
Please connect at Healing Path Counselling Services.
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