Psychology Addict # 45 | Discussing Day-to-Day Fear

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‘I am finding hard to read Emma’s intentions at this point.’ Natan said while I was chomping on my snack. ‘We had a fun time during our last date, but then she went a bit cold’. He sighed. ‘She still sends me messages, though. I just want to know whether she wants to take this, whatever this is, to the next level.’ There was a pause. Then, he continued ‘I want to be able to pick up the phone, call her, and book a date whenever I feel like hearing her voice or seeing her’. He seemed to have said everything he wanted. So, I asked ‘why don’t you just tell her all this? She seems very approachable.’ Natan promptly replied. ‘Because I am afraid of rejection’.

It is common knowledge that fear is a normal behavioural and physiological reaction to physical and emotional threat. As a product of the limbic system 1, this unpleasant feeling has been with us, animals, for over 200 million years 2. And, while fear has played a crucial part in the survival of humans as a species, it has also taken its toll on our existence, as it is one of the foremost aspects underlying our suffering. Fear, as much as sadness, is the most common cause of mental distress reported by people in therapy 3.

The Demands of Modern Life

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Psychologists often discuss how the pressures of modern life itself might have contributed to how widespread fear has become among us. Twenge, for example, discusses that in spite of the unparalleled improvement seen in wealth and physical health in developed nations such as the U.S, a greater number of people currently report experiencing higher levels of anxiety (a manifestation of fear) than 50 years ago 4.

From an evolutionary standpoint, it is often argued that this is due to the fact that the world we live in, nowadays, is exceptionally different from that in which we evolved. For instance, up to only 40.000 years ago our ancestors were still hunter-gatherers living in small clans. But, within this timespan, humans have witnessed far more cultural progress than in the preceding centuries 5. Without a doubt four thousand decades is a huge amount of time. Nevertheless, in terms of biological evolution, this frame of time has not been long enough to ‘match’ our emotional systems to the cultural evolution our species has undergone 6. An explanation for such discrepancy is that from that point to now (40.000 years ago) the cultural progress we have witnessed no longer depended upon genetic changes 7.

This disparity, however, has not done our mental health many favours, because with regard to the neuropsychology of our emotions, we are more similar than not to our ancestors. Or, how psychologists often like to echo ‘modern men are stone-agers in the fast lane’ 8. A mismatch that becomes all the more clear when we learn, for instance, that agoraphobia considerably increased as the industrial revolution took place. Consequently giving rise to a sense of insecurity resulted from the new threatening, crowded urban environments that offered little resemblance to the peaceful rural areas that used to be people’s bases 9.

What Do You Fear?

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But, we don’t need to travel back to the 1800’s to look for the emergence of different types of fear. Just now, in the 2000’s, FOMO has not only made its official appearance in our lives, but also became epidemic amongst the adult population of developed countries 10. I find the fear of missing out an incredibly relatable instance of how our emotions can be destabilized by the arrival of a new cultural phenomenon, and one that is not even threatening per se. We, humans, are paradoxically strong and fragile.

We fear failing, we fear rejection, we fear death, we fear losing our freedom, but we also fear freedom itself. In fact, Soren Kierkegaard, an existential philosopher, proposed that our anxieties and fears are a result of freedom. He posited that these emotions are the actual price we pay for being free 11. Meaning that it is through fear and anxiety that we experience the uncertainty of the choices we make in life. I agree very much with this rationale. Look at Natan, letting Emma know he would like to be in a relationship with her might cost him their friendship. Contrarily, not saying anything may also cost him a fulfilling love story. Which decision to make?

Life is dotted with such dilemmas; to move, or not to move? To be, or not to be? To marry or, not to marry? To invest, or not? To divorce? Decisions of which outcomes all sit at the edge of the unknown, and whenever the unknown makes us feel unsafe or uncertain fear arises. Martin Heidergger stated that rather than a product of development and personality, fear and anxiety are rather inescapable emotions, which are fundamental to human life.

True, although not entirely. Some of us are particularly more prone to feeling more fearsome and anxious than others: those who rate high in neuroticism.

Neuroticism

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Among the Big Five scientific model of personality traits, neuroticism is a primary dimension of negative emotions. This means that individuals who rate high in this trait are more sensitive to emotions such as fear, anxiety and sadness. Further, there are two important aspects to neuroticism that makes the trait more relevant to our discussion, withdrawal (linked to brain systems that regulate behavioural inhibition), and volatility (associated to systems that regulate the flight or fight response) 12

The former is characterized by fearfulness and anxiety, and it is a facet that leads the individual to retreat from what is perceived as possible negative situations. In Natan’s case this would prevent him talking to Emma about committing to a relationship, because he foresees a probable rejection. The latter aspect involves irritability and hostility, and it is also linked to greater focus on negative experiences. Such aspect in Natan’s scenario would tend to fade away the nice, pleasant moments he has been having with Emma making the image of a ‘no’ from her rather vivid. Following this speculation, in the event of Emma rejecting his proposition their entire experience could really leave Natan grief-stricken; perhaps leading him to even regret the whole experience.

Indentifying Negative Thoughts & Situations

High levels of neuroticism are also linked to low self-esteem, especially when it coincides with introversion. Moreover, it can also negatively influence life’s perception in terms of work satisfaction, happiness in relationships, and personal health. All in all highly neurotic individuals are more prone to experiencing fear in the forms of insecurity, jealousy and anticipation.

Having the understanding that you have such traits facilitates to put things into perspective. We all are neurotic to a certain level. Also, there are certain circumstances in life which might push us towards greater scores within this dimension (e.g. dealing with dishonest people), at the same time that others promote calm and inner peace (e.g.working in a field that makes us feel comfortable). Being able to identify them is a huge step forward on the way to properly deal with fearsome expectations as well as to adopt measures that make you feel more stable overall.

Fear Not

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In general, discussions about fear tend to swerve in the direction of phobias, psychosis and other severe mental disorders. As much interest as I have in those I also like to examine our day-to-day apprehensions, as they lay the foundation of our subjective well-being. ‘I am afraid of failing my exams’, ‘I am terrified of seeing her at the party’, ‘I am concerned the project will not succeed’. These are all (automatic) thoughts that pop into our head on a daily basis, we all have them. However, for some of us, such thoughts can really be crippling.

I was ready to order another tea when a happy looking couple walked in the nearly empty coffee-bar, which caused Natan to say. ‘Look at him. I will never be like him’. Natan looked very disappointed. Then I asked him. ‘How does that make you feel?’, He replied that he felt fearful that he might never be happy, that he might never have someone to love. And this is the thing about automatic thoughts, they are often distorted. Nevertheless we respond to them as if they are the ultimate truth. So, what is the solution for this?

Well, first is to be able to identify them. Then onto evaluate the relationship between them and the emotion they elicit. Because, as you know, what you think impacts how you feel. So, whenever you experience that sort of fear/anxiety, or even sadness for that matter, ask yourself ‘what was going through my mind?’. Oftentimes all we need in order to feel better is a change of thought.

To Fight or Not To Fight?

Of course Natan’s low mood was a huge contributor to that overstatement. But, there was indeed one thing that might have been true. He might never lead a happy life as Emma’s partner. And that is what was bringing him down. Consequently, I presented the following scenario to him: ‘Look Natan, there are two ways for you to deal with this: leave things as they are and cope with the uncertainty for as long as it lasts, irrespective of the outcome. Or, talk to Emma and let her know about your feelings’. He looked pale. I continued, ‘I suspect you are fearing your fear Natan.’ Do you realize that Emma’s rejection doesn’t take away the possibility of you being happy in life, and of having someone to love in the future?’ He nodded. ‘So?’, I gently enquired.

A few days later I learnt that Natan went over to Emma’s flat, where they talked and Emma told him that she didn’t really love him ‘like that’. He said it really stung to hear that, and also that he didn’t remember the last time he felt so embarrassed. Although, when the hurting subsided, Natan told me, ‘I felt stronger for being proactive about my emotions and challenging my fear’. He said ‘it turns out rejection is not as painful as I had anticipated’.

The fears that permeate our daily lives can sure hold us back by limiting what and how we experience in the world around us. There is, however, one thing that we should always keep in mind whenever we feel tempted to refrain from facing our insecurities: as much as mother nature has equipped us with the means to flee from our frights, it has also gifted us with the means to fight them.

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Image Source:1, 2, 3,4,5

Reference List:

1 The limbic system.

2 Our four brains.

3,11 Barker, M. Vossler, A. Langdridge, D. (2010) Understandying Couselling and Psychotherapy, London, Sage.

4 Twenge, J.M (2006) Generation Me, New York: Simon and Schuster.

5,7 Diamond, J. M. (1991). The rise and fall of the third chimpanzee. Radius.

6,8 Stone agers in the fast lane: chronic degenerative diseases in evolutionary perspective.

9 Pilgrim, D. (2017) Key Concepts in Mental Health, London, SAGE.

10 The Home of FOMO

12 Neuroticism and its Associations with Higher Cognitive Functions


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Thank you for taking the time to stop by and read my work once again my dear reader 😊 Today, I have a quick announcement to make. At least untill Christmas time I will be available to post only every other Friday. This time of the year is always very busy for me. However, I want to let you know I will still be around interacting on the platform. Of course!

Also, if you wish to download my previous posts in PDF format, please don't hesitate to visit my website, abigaildantes.com a work in progress.

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A friend of mine once told me that "when I do what I fear, my fears would leave me alone".. And I've come to terms with the fact that life itself is an adventure in risks. But it is even riskier not to take those risks.

Fear of unknown; for example; has beclouded some people's courage to take these risks. They would think "what if I try and fail?".. Just like it's been a popular saying in this part of the world that FEAR is nothing more than:
F - False
E - Evidence
A - Appearing
R - Real

Most times, what we call fear is just a reflection of our thoughts. And not until we've mastered our thoughts over matter; we may not overcome these fears within.

Nice piece again Abbey.

Resteemed.

Have a blessed day

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Oh Gosh Sammi! What a most wonderful comment 😍

The acronym is as incredible as what your friend told you! I have already written them down on my notepad :) Thank you for sharing it with me.

I suppose that from the moment one learns how in charge of our emotions we are life, from a psychological perspective, could become less overwhelming. But, of course, this is something it takes incredible discipline and awareness.

For people in general, it seems a lot more 'fun' to spend time doing anything other than stopping to reflect on their own thoughts, actions and internal peace.

You're so lovely Sammi.
Thank you for stopping by once again :*

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It's really an honour dear Abbey. Stay cool.

Remember our Friday night hangout in stemng 😂😂

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How can I possibly forget that Sammi?? I am getting organised to come around next Friday (21/09). Sadly, today is pretty impossible! 😕

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Alright Abbey. We'll have fun on your behalf today. But we would be waiting for you next Friday 😂😂

Hey, Abbi! :)

Some CBT concepts again, heh? :)

Fear is a very good friend of mine :) It follows me everywhere I go :) But as far as I know it is like that for most people. A mentor I had, once told me: "Please, promise me that you will never base your decisions on fear". I remind this myself every time I face a challenge and try to follow her advice. Although, it is not easy to stay rational when it comes to emotions. D. Kahneman described the process of making a decision quite well. I know you are aware of his work :)

Well, what can I say? I think Terence put it great: "I am a human and I think nothing human is alien to me."

Cheers!

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Oh! It is wonderful to see you around again :) I tagged you on my previous post, right at the end. I wanted to inform you about this just to let you know your work is inspiring me ;)

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Oh, I wasn't aware of that. I didn't have the chance to read it, although I put it in my bookmark menu the other day :D

I am so honored to know that something I wrote inspired you! Your work is always a huge motivator to me! <3

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Okay, this is getting really creepy, Abi and I mean it!

I have a draft on my desktop since more than 3 weeks discussing 'Fear'. I went on vacation and was unable to finish it. How is that possible that we cover almost the same topics at a relatively same time period?! I am serious!

You did a great wrap-up of the topic and it's needless to say you did it with style. Since my initial goal here is to create various content about psychology topics in order to contribute to the whole community I would now discard that draft I have, because you did it already :)

I could only add that despite being one of the most ancient human emotions, fear today has evolved in a way which brings more questions than answers. Everyday stress sometimes turns into anxiety, which becomes a phobia or even worse - panic attack. Traumatic experiences from our childhood become ghosts of our present - interfering with our everyday routine, our views of the world and our connections with others. Some of the issues fear causes in our psychological world remain unsolved throughout our whole life, sometimes being transferred to our partners and even worse - to our children, repeating the process again.

There is actually a lot to say but I would stop here. I really like your perspective and angle on this topic.

Take care, dear ! :)

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Well @dysfunctional, what can I say? No wonder why I nominated you as my Steemit Angel, twice!! 😍 Your blog is one of my top 3 favourite here. So, please, please, please don’t delete your draft - if you haven’t done already. I am very interested in the angle you would explore this topic. And, by the way, my next post will be about personality (inspired by yours). What can we do if we think alike? 😊🌷

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What? I didn't receive any notification about these nominations :o Maybe I should use more busy.org, as on the classic platform there are no notifications about mentions.. I feel really bad that I missed these.. Thank you so much!

Okay I would post the article but would try to present it from a different angle and try to somehow contribute to what you already discussed on the topic :)

Thanks once again, your opinion means a lot and I am really glad that you support me also!

All the best to you, as always ;)

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Ahahahah ... don't feel bad! It was a fun contest that took place while you were on holiday :)
Looking forward to your post!

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You mean I didn't win?! :( :D

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Ahahahah !! Actually, no! The bugs caused by the HF20 delayed the results. I think it will be released on Sunday :P

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Hahha, now I am excited! :D

Hi @abigail-dantes

Finally able to catch up on the weekends posts, and of course I have your weekly contribution on my must read list. Another interesting topic to set the mind into action :)

An explanation for such discrepancy is that from that point to now (40.000 years ago) the cultural progress we have witnessed no longer depended upon genetic changes

I have to agree here, we've hardly changed genetically, but the world around us and our place in it is totally unrecognizable to that of the past.

crowded urban environments that offered little resemblance to the peaceful rural areas that used to be people’s bases

This sounds beautiful, take me back there please!

All in all, highly neurotic individuals are more prone to experiencing fear in the forms of insecurity, jealousy and anticipation.

Personally, I would say I fall fowl of the 3rd in the list above. I've never felt insecure or jealous to the point of fighting or taking flight, but can become 'overly' worry in the anticipation of events, deemed good or bad, that I cannot get a handle of the outcome of. Such things like public speaking rate high on this list.

Overall though, I think i'm in a reasonable place with regards to fear - throw me in a pit with tigers and that would change pretty quickly though!

Great stuff as always!

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Thank you for stopping by and never failing to support my work my dearest Asher :) It sounds like you prefer calm, natural environments then! I do prefer this sort of surrounds nowadays. I never thought this day would come! When I was younger (I'm 36 now) I was just in love with the hustle and bustle of the big cities I lived in!

All the best to you :)

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It's my pleasure to support a shortlisted Steem Angel and producer of quality content :)

Wouldn't it be great to have a both when you felt like it? I do enjoy piece and quiet, but also the 'hustle and bustle' appeals from time to time too.

Take care Abigail :)

At first, Natan's heartbreak, saddened me... But at the same time, I admire him for facing his fear, atleast now he could be able to move on and wait for the perfect girl for him, if he didn't face Emma, he might still holding his feeling for Emma and still hoping for Emma to fell for him,

Fear for me is really something that is hard to deal with, my biggest fear before is with my career, I really love to finish a degree with title before like, doctor, lawyer, accountant... But because of my fear that I might not be able to pass the licensure exam, I just took a business course that doesn't need exam to practice or to get a job, but now i regret that, I believe that if I pursue it, I have a title now, 😔
Hi Ms. Abi, thank you for an informative post once again, and always thank you for your undying support, so you'll be posting every other Friday again, I hope that I'll be on time next time on reading you post...

God Bless always Ms. Abi...

Much Love,

AVHY💞😘😊

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Hello my dear @avhyaceulip :)

Thank you for stopping by once again. I am sorry to hear about how you past fear held you back on your studies. I wonder what you have learnt from that experience? Yes, Natan was heartbroken and felt many other painful emotions for a few day. Nevertheless, he now knows he can survive disappointment, that has really encouraged him to be brave!

Yes my dear, I am going to be very busy until Christmas. But, that is life, isn't it? :D

I wish you and your entire family all the very best! :)

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I learned that fear will not let you go somewhere and based on Natan's experience I've realised that facing your fear will let you grow and improve more....

Yeah busy life is happy. Life 😁😁😁 so grateful for you Ms. Abi...

Much love,

AVHY

‘I am afraid of failing my exams’, ‘I am terrified of seeing her at the party’, ‘I am concerned the project will not succeed’. These are all (automatic) thoughts that pop into our head on a daily basis, we all have them.

I can be pretty sure in saying that I have never had any of those...mmmmm.
(is this a psychopath gene kicking in?..oops..)

I'm sure you can work out from my life style and choices, that I'm not the type to not face my fears. Mostly.
(I was always scared of sharks, so I went diving with 5 of them in OZ, for example! lol..)

Anything that held fear for me personally, and I faced it, and has never worked out badly. Far from it, it makes you grow - and know yourself.
(I think a wide range of real life experiences, is the best teacher in 'knowing thyself')

Or, how psychologists often like to echo ‘modern men are stone-agers in the fast lane’

That comparison applied in pre digital times.
Now it's more like stone agers in hyper space travel..and hence the increase in anxiety.
...I also wonder (I just thought of it because I just wrote a post about it..)... if children not having as much imagination today incites more potential anxiety as adults?
If they have never really thought about things, (use their imaginations) then more things will bring on the anxious feelings as adults, when they actually experience life...?

I'd love to tell you all about my fears - but I'm too scared..
😂 😂 😂😂 😂 😂

(I can't berate you for anything, this week - I've had 2 days off! lol)

edit:https://steemit.com/blog/@lucylin/the-quiet-weapon-against-freedom

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hat comparison applied in pre digital times. Now it's more like stone agers in hyper space travel..and hence the increase in anxiety

I SO agree with this 😅

I have never come across anything (e.g. studies, hypotheses) indicating that low levels of imagination in childhood correlates to anxiety in adulthood. Plus, don't forget that one of the characteristics of highly anxious people is that they overthink, ruminate etc... But, since we are in this discussion, recent research has demonstrated that children who have less toys are more imaginative than those who have loads. One suggestion for why this is so it's that children with less toys spend more time with a particular one elaborating more story lines around it and so forth. Unlike kids with 100 different toys, who are more likely to switch from one to another and than another.

Can you imagine this? I have friends whose child's room look like a toy store! Oh well ...

Have a wonderful week ahead!:)

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But, since we are in this discussion, recent research has demonstrated that children who have less toys are more imaginative than those who have loads.
One suggestion for why this is so it's that children with less toys spend more time with a particular one elaborating more story lines around it and so forth. Unlike kids with 100 different toys, who are more likely to switch from one to another and than another.

More evidence that decadence leads to the destruction of a successful society - as seen throughout civilizations...

Can you imagine this? I have friends whose child's room look like a toy store! Oh well ...

....I never fit into that category myself, so not really.
( my box of soldiers, an air rifle and fishing rod was about it!- a regular huckleberry finn, I was, growing up!)

You have friends?
😂 😂 😂😂 😂 😂
(Reg, Derek and me don't count in this census.)

Have a great week, yerself!

Very interesting to read @abigail-dantes
Unfortunately, I lack the psychological background, but I still consider fear to be quite meaningful today. It prevents us from doing ill-considered and dangerous things.
However, there are also fears, which are actually barriers that we have set in our heads. One should learn to circumvent these so that we can unfold freely and do not obstruct ourselves by these fears we have talked into ourselves.

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Oh! I am so glad to hear you found this post interesting @astrophoto.kevin.

Fear is, without a doubt, an important regulator of our actions. Fear draws our attention to what needs to be changed, it forces us to make plan and strategize things. It is an emotion that deserves our utmost attention.

It is precisely this attention I invite people to invest in their fears. As we make it a practice, we quickly learn to differentiate when our fear is on our side, or against us :)

Thank you SO much for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment!
It means a lot to me :)

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Thank you very much for your kind answer.

That's right. Knowing our fears, being able to deal with them and get it on our side is important.

Nothing to thank for @abigail-dantes :-)

How can a blog be both general and personal? Informative and compassionate? You show us how. I've looked up your website. Generous of you to offer these articles for download because they can help people.

This one hit home. Began to read, of course, and have already discovered a new word, cremnophobia).

I was really interested in your discussion of fear and culture. As you described rapid social changes that outpace genetic evolution, I thought of diet. It is suggested by some that 'gluten intolerance' is really a case of biological evolution not keeping pace with the rapid cultural change that occurred after the Neolithic Revolution.

And as for freedom and fear: in the Middle Ages we didn't have Natan's angst about choosing to call or not call, because so much was decided for us by family and culture. The modern world has given us freedom, but I guess there's a price.

Finally, I love your last line. I have not been able to overcome all my fears, but confronting them has made me stronger person. I may have fears, but I am not vanquished by them.

Thanks for a wonderful blog. A rich resource, as you can tell by the responses. I hope your pre-Christmas rush is for all the good things the season can bring. rainbow.jpg

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Yes, diet is a great, great way to illustrate the disparity between the evolution of our biology and environment :)

Four years ago I went through a huge amount of material that specifically covered gluten intolerance, and gave it a go. I went on a gluten free diet for 3 months, and one interesting (coincidental?) improvement I noticed was that on the second month, my hair was falling out wayyy less! That was the only time I managed to go without pizza and cake for that long. Currently, I haven't had gluten for three weeks, but I am already planning to buy some fresh chocolate croissant this week :P

Cremnophobia, huh? Thank you for the curious information! I feel compelled to bring you something back in return: mnemophobia I found this one particularly interesting!

Thank you so much for your constant kindness, motivation and encouraging words my dear friend. They truly make me smile! 😊

I wish you all the best always and forever :*

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That's an interesting word. I bet you run into it a lot, as a psychologist. Cremnophobia is my personal challenge, but I never had a word for it before. This is a very specific and unshakable fear. When I was oh so very young, my brothers pushed me off a high cliff. My only hope was to hang onto a vine. I did that, but just barely. I'm OK, as long as I stay away from cliffs. Ha Ha

Gluten free was recommended some time ago by my rheumatologist and it seems to be the better way to go, for me. So many options today, it's easy to avoid gluten. Unless, of course, you want chocolate croissant:)

Thank you for your kind wishes. I wish the best life has to offer for you, also.

If you ask me, I used to fear a lot until I stood against it. I actually took out time, faced the mirror, and start talking to myself. 'What is it that you fear, why do you fear them? What would happen if you didn't fear this or that?'

I knew it was certainly becoming unhealthy for me. Imagine yourself delivering a speech and you see that bully and you start stuttering... That's a big problem. But then, I thought to myself 'Who is he? What do I owe him? This can't keep going this way' and the next time he came around, I looked in his face and talked to him. It was then I realized, there was nothing really worth the fear...

Most times, fear is a deception from our minds. Our minds make us feel them towards some particular things which aren't really worth it. You fear something?? Do it!! That's the only way you can overcome it. Once you do it, you're free for life, the fear is gone.

Nice being here, @abigail-dantes

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This is truly a very inspirational account Pearl :) Thank you so much for sharing it here with us, as I am certain it will help people in a practical way. I appreciate very much when someone takes the time to share they experiences, and feel particularly happy when they can inspire others :)

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Thanks, abii

I think the only thing we need fear is fear itself. Opportunities may come and go. The major thing according to a book I read that most people regret at the point of death is the opportunities that could have taken but been afraid it wouldn't pan out or that they'd get rejected did not give it a try. I think we would be better if we live our lives with the what-is-the- worst-that-could-happen attitude. If we know failing is an option, then the worst that could happen is just that :)

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Good morning Green 😊

what-is-the- worst-that-could-happen attitude, I am a fan of this attitude too Green. Even more so for those of us who don't live with specific phobias or severe levels of anxiety. I have learnt over the course of my life that people truly fear being judge, failing; but, perhaps, what hold them back the most is their 'fear of fear'. Maybe that is because we live in a world where we meant to be always 'happy'.

Oftentimes people come to me and tell me how afflicted they are feeling, and go on to describe a difficult family situation, or work issues etc... then they ask 'what is wrong with me?'. I say, 'you are appropriately, emotionally responding to a stressful event'. It is as if some people don't know that, which causes them to fear sadness, to fear feeling down ... and the cycle starts again!

Thank you for stopping by my dear Green.
I wish you a wonderful Friday ❤

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I wish you an amazing weekend too. Most normal behaviour is now termed strange.

It seems to be a kind of economic thinking, doesn't it? What causes me to lose more?

Where evolutionary survival was concerned, such as "Am I approaching the buffalo and perhaps losing my life in the process? Or do I try this unknown fruit and possibly get stomach cramps?", today's considerations are far less life-threatening. ... But what does one know?

A self-questioning would probably be good, instead of giving the sole power over us in the answer of the other.

Instead of considering the situation according to its cost, Natan could ask himself first: What do I win? And: Are there two possible answers for me, "yes" or "no"? The answer would be: I gain an experience. In any case, there would also be a win on the other side, that of the woman: Also an experience.
If I am of the opinion that both can only win, she and I, then there is nothing threatening about a question anymore and I dare my luck.

As a friend of mine said, the fears of modern people are luxury fears. I would even say they are evasive fears. You just have a lot of (thinking)time to get scared. Just as there are high specializations in the professions, there are also more and more subcategories and new diagnoses in the phobias :-)

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Erika! 😃 Nice to see you around :)

I like the question 'What do I win?' very much. It provides an entire different perspective to the outcome. And, in the end, I believe it was this sort of thinking that pushed him to make the decision to go and talk to her.

I was worried about how he would react in case Emma rejected him. But, despite feeling pretty bue for a couple of days, he dusted himself off and accepted the whole experience as a step towards getting to know himself better.

It is incredible how just deciding to look at something from a positive or negative angle changes how we feel not only about ourselves, but about an entire event.

You take care.
Much love to you always :*

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Thank you! :) Encouragement is the best we can do for each other.
We all need support from the people we deal with and helping friends to take up courage is always good. Perspective changing I find myself difficult when I deal with a difficult situation and I am so glad that I got people who help me finding other perspectives I myself wouldn't have come up with.

I send you my love, too!

Nice post. Whenever I try to objectively analyze my fears, I usually find that they usually are irrational. Still, knowing they're irrational still doesn't alleviate the twisting in my gut.

Poor Natan...He should really try Tinder or something.

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knowing they're irrational still doesn't alleviate the twisting in my gut

Because despite being unfounded they are real to you. It is this sort of 'symptom' that leads some people to being house bound. For example, the person goes outside, their gut twists, the heart begins to race and so forth. Then, they come back home where they feel safe and the symptoms go away.Next thing a sort of social phobia sets in. Women are more suceptible to this.

When Natan is feeling a bit more confident about himself I am going to get him on a dating website ;)

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Thank you for the article, as a somewhat neurotic introvert I have a particular appreciation for it :)

Our rapidly changing environment and the introduction of socially disruptive tech is why we should be seriously re-thinking our education programs -- we must start teaching the basics of mental self-care on a mass scale before it's too late. Just starting with meditation and relaxation techniques could be a great step.

There's never enough psychiatrists to go around and a lot of folks are either ignorant of their mental condition or averse to getting help. Here we should think not just about the care for an individual -- the society at large will reap the results of its neglect. There's no shortage of tragic examples in the news these days.

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Hello @eccles :)

This is a wonderful comment you left me here. Thank you.

Whilst reading most of it, it was as if I was listening to my own thoughts (particularly the second paragraph).

My modest 'mission' here on Steemit is to raise understanding about psychology. I am always careful with trying to balance the science behind it with self-help, which in my hopeful dreams might lead some people to being proactive about their own mental self-care, as you so wisely put here :)

All the best to you.

Over time, i have discovered that the best way to overcome our fear is to face the uncertainty and get over it. I think an average individual did not understand neuroticism model, and i just got to know about it from this post. Such a model that elucidate human negative emotion should not just be left for the psychologist alone to know in my opinion.

Here is my question, can i test for the level of my neuroticism?, then is there any way that we can reduce the level in human such that the level of our phobia will reduce?. Thanks @abigail-dantes for this beautiful piece this morning. It took me two hours to finish up reading it cause am in the office working and also trying to digest everybit of this post, and i caan tell you that it worth my time.😘👌

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Oh my dearest @steepup you never fail to be kind to me and motivate me to keep my work going. You have a good heart! ❤

Your comment is filled with interesting observations and deep thoughts. Let's address them one by one, shall we 😊 ?

a) Can i test for the level of my neuroticism?

Yes, strictly speaking you would have to do this with a psychologist, who would give you a psychometric 'test' called: IPIP Big-Five Factor Markers.

However, there is a reliable version of it that you can do, which is part of an open source psychology project. You do it anonymously just by carefully answering a series of closed questions. Please find the test here It is a bit lengthy. So, in order to obtain the most accurate results please do when you are not so tired and when you are not going to get distracted. It should not take more than 20 minutes.

It will also measure the other 4 dimensions as well: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion and agreeableness. They are measured in percentage.

b) There any way that we can reduce the level in human such that the level of our phobia will reduce?

Of course there is! :D And the first step is precisely the one you are taking 'to learn what is your measure in the dimension' :) Like I said here on my post, learning to identify the automatic thoughts that make you anxious is a good way to slowly start to rationalize things.

Would you be interested in a post exclusively discussing personality traits my dear? Do you think people would be interested in reading about it?

Please let me know :*
Have good day & thank you SO much for taking the time to read and comment once again! Much love to you.

the only thing you shoulf fear is fear itself ,i think i got that from one of the lines in Car3 movie , Lightning mcqueen has this fear of loosing his fame and position as the best racer in the movie , but then again he get over this fear by teaching a younger racer to race and did won. point is , for me fear is just there , i admit i got lots of fear , but i do not let fear eat me , i just always think that i can and that God is always with me

Hiw are you miss Abi , thanks for informing about your postung sched, and again my super thank you always for un-ending support for us , i hope you are always well , God bless you more and more , we love you miss @abigail-dantes 😘❤️❤️❤️

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Oh, my nephew loves Lightning Mcqueen! :D I am glad to hear this is the sort of message they convey. What a lovely quote: "the only thing you shouldfear is fear itself" :)

Fear can really hold us back; but it won't do so when, like you said, we believe we can, when we believe we are capable! I am so pleased to hear that is the sort of mentality you nurture my dear. Well done!

I am very well thank you so much for asking. I just have an extra load of work that I have to address till Christmas time. But it is all good! :)

I trust you and your family are all healthy and strong too!
Sending you all lots and lots of love from Portugal 😘❤️

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i know you got much work to do , but please don't get over work ,your health is important too. Thanks very much for being so very kind to me and up ti now i am still flatterd that miss @abigail-dantes of steemit is replying on my comments and messages , i love you always
tomorrow at very early morning a super typhoon is expected to have it's landfall in northern part of PH hopefully it won't happen and will all be safe 🙏❤️❤️❤️

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Oh my @zephalexia 😳

I will be thinking of you & all your family! I trust you'll all be safe.

❤️

Soren Kierkegaard, an existential philosopher, proposed that our anxieties and fears are a result of freedom. Meaning that it is through fear and anxiety that we experience the uncertainty of the choices we make in life. I agree very much with this rationale

I think that depends on the case. Ofc freedom provide us the fear of the choice but let's take a dictatorship for example or in general countries now and then that basically give no freedom to its citizens. I bet those people have extreme fears too :P even if they say "the government sucks" they can be in big trouble!

Also as you said the hard part is to identify them and also where exactly that fear is coming from. For instance Natan may seems to believe that his actual fear is to basically die alone but in that particular case (to express his feelings to a girl that probably friendzoned him) the fear may lie due to the image that's know outside "that women are harsh when you try to express your feelings etc etc" so in the end he may afraid more the way she will answer him that the actual answer!

What really fascinated me and was unaware of till i read the whole post is that you mentioned the word insecurities and at that point BOOM! i thought fears and insecurities are completely different categories although they have some common grounds!

awesome post as always!!!

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Hey @filotasriza3 😃 how wonderful to see you around today!

Ofc freedom provide us the fear of the choice but let's take a dictatorship for example or in general countries now and then that basically give no freedom to its citizens.

Of course my dear, this is precisely why I have also said(just prior to the extracted you quoted):

"we fear losing our freedom"

I like your rationale here about what might truly have underlined Natan's fears. The tricky part is definitely in finding exactly what is holding us back, but that is understandable, because whenever we are afraid or sad our thoughts do get a little clouded :)

I am so pleased to hear you liked this post and that it brought some new insight to you!

Lots of love from Portugal!

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You said it all. Fear in the "fight or flight" is the base. That fear is based on "might I die", a strong survival instinct. That fear got dragged into situations that have nothing to do with this primal fear, mental agony.
I would not fear to ask you if you want to 'fill it in, whatever' with me unless your partner might be the emperor or a well trained warrior that might make it a thread to my life. Ok, honestly, even that would not stop me :-) but point made, people should just fall back to that basic survival question and all the other thinking is just part of these mental constructs where the "I" = mind. We seem to become all - except me off course :-) - victims of that. OMG, did I just say that? A bit of mental fear might suit me.
Just saying hello, long time ago, much love

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Hey @bubke :)

How nice to see you around. It has been a loong time indeed. I trust you and your family are all doing great!

"Out primal fear has evolved to mental agony". Nicely put!

Thank you for taking the time to stop by & say hi. I appreciate it very much. Lots of love :*

Man is intermittently paradoxical and this is because of the sophistication of the enigma behind man's nature, I won't say fear is a bad thing, sometimes my fear has kept me alive as a result of the fact that I followed my instincts on what I fear.
However fear has been known to be damning as well, the world may have been different if fear doesn't exist to man.
However this is definitely the opposite. Like Nathan here who was rejected after all, love sometimes can be a very strange kettle of fish.

I'm definitely in the same shoes as Nathan but the truth is even when I know I should conquer my fear and ask a woman I love out my mind always fading, "what if I'm not in her league"? What if I'm not good-looking enough? What if I'm not rich enough? "if she rejects me, will I still have the friendship"?

My point is love is a complicating stuff, feeling it makes one abnormal that's why I still have fears when I know I shouldn't.

In a nutshell this is a beautiful read and above all I've learnt that fear will not prevent the inevitable.


I'm so glad to read through from you today, I hope you're fine?

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Hello my Dear @josediccus :)

the world may have been different if fear doesn't exist to man

Perhaps different to the point we, humans, wouldn't even be around! 😐

In general, fear does get entangled with other emotions, in yours and Natan's case (almost typed his real name here 😅) that other feeling is 'love'. Without a doubt it makes it all the more complicated!

All the questions you raised here are very similar to those that crossed Natan's mind. And, unfortunately, Emma is not as close to him nowadays as he used to be. But, this is one of the things he also prepared for when he decided to talk to her that evening.

You once told me that you missed out on having a romantic relationship with a nice girl because you hesitated to make the first move. Are you willing to experience that again? Have you weighed things out properly? :)

I do hope you think this one through as carefully and bravely as you can my dear.

I wish you all the best always and forever :*

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I won't be willing to miss out on a good relationship with a girl again, well I guess it's true it's quite better to take one's chances just like Nathan did and well it didn't quite turn out very well for him with her. But I guess it's still better irrespective of the outcome.
Thank you so much @abigail-dantes I'm sorry I replied late really it's always amazing to read your content, I guess I have a decision to make 😀😀

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Good luck! 😉

I was just going over the topic of fear the other day with my hubby. Fear can be crippling in the sense that it tends to stop us from doing what we ought to do, rather than stopping us from doing what we shouldn't be doing. It creates in me the "ostrich with head in sand" syndrome. I find that when I'm stopped, I know it's most likely unfounded fear that keeps me from moving forward, and acknowledging that it's unfounded removes the power that fear had, and on I go. So, yes, as you highlighted in the paragraph above, identifying it is the first step. It's a crafty foe in the sense that it knows how to disguise itself with relevance. Anywho, love you and miss you my sweet sista!

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OH Gosh! How wonderful seeing you here on my feed my dearest @karencarrens I have missed you and am so glad you felt the same too! I love how you shared your very own experience of fear here with us! Denial can indeed come with fear, more often than not. But, then, things only tend to escalate!

All the best you and your husband always.
Much, much love from Portugal to you :)

I often wonder how the human race has made it this far. This uncommunication between them seems to exist in all walks of life and in all forms. I have witnessed so many friends stir up an anxiety scenario of epic propotion based soled out of extropolating ideas of what a person 'might' think of them 'may' have said or 'could possibly' be doing. All of which could be quelled with one simple act:Communication. Just saying' what do you think' or else saying 'this is what I think'.

I often speak my mind but this has made my own collaberation with the human race a bit uneasy. I am possibly even more of an introvert because often I just don't understand the human animal. The layers of sublte lies and nuances used to hold society together seem to be fabricated on a network of assumptions, misunderstandings, and hope. Odd.

Also, it's interesting because in many ways I'd say the health and comfort of the US has greatly decreased in the past 50 years. Food might be cheaper and clothing but everything else is much more expensive, housing, etc and there are far more taxes that exist then did in 1950 say. So that also adds stress. It is an odd time in the US where we seem to be slowly moving to an odd 3rd world. Look at cities where old industry left in the 80's and it looks the way we were always told soviet Russia looked, but I digress. Yes, communication seems something very hard for the human animal to get their heads round and it makes sense it is fear based, as fear is the main impetus to biological survival, the little animal that isnt' afraid of the bigger one doesn't last long enough to pass on it's DNA.

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This is a wonderful comment @donnadavisart :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts here with me.

Despite being both emotional and thinking animals, the former aspect of our nature often overrides the latter. I suppose that is because evolutionary speaking our thinking and rational abilities are younger, this doesn't help communication to take place efficiently. It causes us to automatically react to our instinct often crippling our capacity to talk, to listen ... It is complex. At the individual and social level!

I wish you all the best and a great Saturday evening :)

Fear is possibly the emotion that I’ve become most aware of in my life. In particular fear of being wrong and someone starting as sentence “actually I think you’ll find…”, and I’m wrong all the damn time so this is such a pain! Sometimes the fear becomes decoupled from an actual event, this is anxiety to me. I can be sitting down having dinner with a friend and my stupid monkey brain will just read the whole situation as a threat. So I did a lot of nodding while reading your post today!

Being able to identify them is a huge step forward on the way to properly deal with fearsome expectations as well as to adopt measures that make you feel more stable overall.

To this point, I think an emotional intelligence, identifying our own emotions and the emotions in others, is such an undervalued skill in our education system. It sounds a bit fluffy but it really is a concrete skill that can mean the success or failure in many jobs and life relationships in general. I’ve gained more on this for an afternoon of group work at a retreat than I did throughout the whole of my formal education.

This is the first time I’ve read one of your posts (feeling slightly guilty about that as you’ve left such lovely comments on my) you have such a beautiful writing style, it really was a pleasure to read!

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Oh! @nonzerosum 😃 What a lovely surprise seeing your comment on my feed :)

You sound so much like my brother. If these sort of thoughts and emotions have been with you for a while I am confident you have managed to deal with them successfully. You sure demonstrate an acute level of awareness of them.

I look forward to the days when people actually begin to be proactive about their emotional well-being, when people start to take measures not only to look after their emotional issues, but to prevent them. Retreats like the one you went to are excellent means to raise awareness about this.

Particularly in times like these, when individualism it's reaching its maximum levels, emotional intelligence becomes more and more necessary.

Thank you so much my dear, for taking the time to read my post, and leave me such a meaningful comment ❤



This post has been voted on by the steemstem curation team and voting trail.

There is more to SteemSTEM than just writing posts, check here for some more tips on being a community member. You can also join our discord here to get to know the rest of the community!

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Oh! Just as I was about to turn off. Thank you very much @steemstem ❤ 😊 I wish you guys a wonderful time next week in Italy :)

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‘I am afraid of failing my exams’

Hehe!! I was scared of checking my 2nd semester result and even the thought that it'd be released, because I heard a rumor from a trusted source that I had an F(which was possible because the lecturer requested bribe to pass students). Results came out and it was so. Among those who didn't succom, only few scaled through with a pass mark (45-50). I didn't know how to relate this to my parents especially my dad. The luck I had was that the rest grade were okay and I had already told to my mum that such a cruel man existed in my department. Both of us prayed but this was still the outcome. I was scared but a friend with same issue said to me "forget it and face the next campaign, because this feeling of downcast could lead me to more failures" Then I thought "what's the worst that could happen". My parents trust and love me and I've never had such before, they can't withdraw me from school. NO. And I wasn't the only one with such case, It wasn't enough for me to probate. I decided to tell them, receive any form of reaction and redo the course without succoming to such practice and I was lucky.


Fear itself is the bad thing and not even the circumstance, because sometimes we can handle them(little or no hurt), but it confuses us as a result of the possible succeeding consequences. But so long it the situation can't kill us at a young age or destroy our complete personality(which I suppose is the worst possibility), then we just have to face it.

What else do you think I could've done or shouldnt do Abigail?

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the lecturer requested bribe to pass students

Oh! 😳 What a situation @synick. Well, it appears to me you have not reacted better to all of this. Of course fear arises in such cases, we don't want to disappoint our loved ones, we feel the weight of unfairness. But what are we left to do if not fight it all? Or, are we going to give up? Of course not!

What your friend said is very wise and appropriate. If we are not proactive about our emotions, and face our fears courageously we are in danger of getting 'stuck' in a pattern of negative thinking. This is the first step for thing to start going wrong in terms of our mental stability and, consequently, our actions.

You did great! Thank you for sharing your experience here with us my dear. It is very relevant to our discussion :)

Take care ❤

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You're welcome and you take care too❤
Have a lovely weekend

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It seems I was quite tired when I replied. I can see some typing errors. The body has its way of getting what it wants.

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You need to not to worry ;)

I guess it's never too late to comment on a good post.
Poor Natan, he could have saved himself of the distress that the fear might have caused him. I have come to realize that when we face what we fear we often become stronger to face even greater things than that.

The preacher said to us in church last week that everyone wish to go to heaven but they are all scared to die. He said if we cab embrace the reality that we are going to die one day, we will live the short life we have happily.

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Ha! That is an interesting insight you shared with me @mr-aaron (from your priest). Actually, one of the things that Kierkegaard (the philosopher I mentioned in the article) states is that our anxieties are founded in our constant awareness that one day we are going to die. He would have appreciate very much to have heard the thought process you shared here with me :)

All the best to you and thank you so much for stopping by my dear!

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Thank you very much

It is easy to ignore fear and hope that fear goes away. Unfortunately, that rarely happens. When fear begins to affect your daily life, you have to do something.

Realize that you are not alone. There are thousands - maybe even millions of people who face samda fear with you. For example, more than 50 percent of Americans are afraid of creeping animals (snakes, spiders, insects)! Feeling ashamed of yourself will not help you conquer your fear, but recognizing fear is a normal thing from humans can help you to find the power to conquer your fear
You can also search online for groups that have the same fear as you. How do they conquer that fear? What can you learn from them? And, of course, there is always a wikiHow.

Make a list of your fears. Right now, take a piece of paper and pencil. Write about your fears. What is that? Where does it come from? How can your fear exist? When did that fear begin to appear? When does fear feel so bad? What do you feel from that fear? Stay away from fear and yourself - seeing yourself on paper - will help you become somewhat more logical, a little more objective about your fears.
You may need to compile similar fears, especially if you are afraid of many things.
It is a good idea to start a journal. Whenever you feel you have conquered your fear, take your pocket notebook and start journaling. This is not only good distribution, but also can sharpen you and help you realize that you are in control of the situation after all.

Separate between rational and irrational fears. In some situations, fear on several different levels is natural. A healthy response to fear is an advantage that helps humans to survive for thousands of years. However, some fears may be irrational, and fears like this usually cause difficulties and stress.
For example, if you are climbing a mountain and meeting a wolf, feeling afraid is a very normal and healthy response, because you are in a dangerous situation. On the other hand, if you refuse to travel by plane because you are afraid that the plane will fall, this fear is arguably quite irrational. Floating is statistically safer than driving your own car. Understanding when your fear doesn't make sense will help you conquer your fear.

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Thank you for this overview and all the tips you left here offering guidance on how to deal with fear Jamal. I particularly like the one you suggested keeping a journal. Writing down our thought is definitely an efficient way to put them in order and get things into perspective.

I wish you all the best.

Low self esteem, being introvert and inferiority complex are the chief ingredients of fear. You make so much sense in this article that I don't even know where to start commenting. Hahaha

The fears that permeate our daily lives can sure hold us back by limiting what and how we experience in the world around us.

Thanks for advice in tackling this malaise. I am actually tormented by it in some respect.

Respect

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Well, dear @olamseu I hope this post has brought you some insight of how to address your personal fear and overcome them :)

Thank you for stopping by once again!

Great article as always. I like it how you often view the topic through an evolutionary lens (to some degree) because I am also very interested in how evolution impacts our species. I do not have a lot to say on the subject of fear but I do find it interesting how our fear of a perceived/imagined outcome can often stop us from doing something, which in turn has the same effect or consequence as what we fear (i.e. not talking to someone for fear of rejection - which ultimately leads to not being with a person anyway). I'm glad to hear that Nathan ended up talking to Emma though.

Whats is it that you do @abigail-dantes, if you don't mind me asking. I'm curious. Are you a psychologist, a therapist, a researcher or simply a psychology enthusiast? You do great research and are obviously very knowledgeable in psychology. I noticed some principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in the article as well. Unless thats just my own interpretation. Anyway just curious :)

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Hey there @leaky20 😃

Yep, evolution explains many, many things about us. I am fascinated by it (as you noticed!).

I am an eternal student Leaky, I have formally and informally studied many things (language, philosophy, history, piano). At the moment I'm currently finishing my BSc (Honours) Psychology with Counselling, and wondering whether I do a third one (in social psychology), or step up to a masters :)

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Yeah evolution is very fascinating.
Awesome! That is great. Well you would definitely make a great psychologist, counselor or researcher.

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Thank you :) You're too kind!

@abigail-dantes, Every aspect hold two sides and for sure, we have two Categories of fear as Natural Fear and Man Made fear, but most hold the confusion between both.

Natural fear is beneficial for us and by that i mean it's an Signal from potential harm or pain, and that's why many times we see that we naturally fear about something but at the same time we realise that we are protected from an event.

Man Made fear is an fear which is created by the Human Beings, for example like, Monetary Systems where people hold the fear of Lack Of Finances.

And for sure Man Made fear should be discussed because we not need this fear because it's not natural but it born due to the Perceptions which we hold.

Wishing you an great day and stay blessed. 🙂

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It is incredible how our perception can often hold us back, right?

Thank you for commenting @chireerocks :)

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Absolutely true and welcome. 🙂

I was always afraid of many things. Then I watched a YouTube video of a guy who said you should stop being afraid.
Now I know why heroin is considered to be a bad idea.

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Well, I'm glad to hear you found that out!

Fear arises due to lack of confidence or uncertainty of what is to come but, the main solution to overcoming it is by renewing your mind with the Word of God (Bible). That is the only way we can live above every day.

bible-1868070__340.jpgfear!

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The Bibble indeed has some beautiful passages @henroo84. Thank you for your input.

I gave you a vote!
If you follow me, I will also follow you in return!
Enjoy some !popcorn courtesy of @babnik07

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Thank you for the popcorn @babnik07 and for the vote too.

Based on your reputation I am guessing you are new around here? You see, people are more likely to take an interest in your blog and, hence, follow you if you leave meaningful comments on their comment feed. The 'I followed you, follow me' approach it's frowned upon, ok?

Good luck to you on your Steemit journey.

Hi @abigail-dantes!

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Thank you very much @utopian-io.

Hello friend @abigail-dantes when one faces the internal fear that makes us stronger and helps us to say and be honest with the person to whom we are afraid to tell him the reality, the fear of the day to day is only overcome when we face that fear. regards

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nice work!

fear has been increasing because we dont understand the laws of nature anymore. we are disconnected from nature and hence our comprehension is limited. we don't trust our body, our place in this universe and the universe itself. we want to be in control and this spells trouble.