x-ray picture of brain inside a skull

Fear: It’s All In Your Head

According to Webster, fear is a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

Physiologically, fear triggers the amygdala in the brain. It then causes a series of chain reactions ultimately triggering the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). Once activated, the SNS releases hormones throughout the body. One hormone we are all familiar with is epinephrine, more commonly known as ‘adrenaline’. Adrenaline causes our pupils to dilate, our heart to beat faster, and stomach to feel like it turns into knots! All these actions (and more) occur in order to help us escape the eminent danger.

When there is no real danger, our emotions or stress may still innervate these responses.

What does this mean? It means fear is a defense mechanism, we should be thankful for in emergencies (it may just keep us alive), but we need to acknowledge there are times when overcoming our fear teaches us how powerful our lives can become. Ultimately, we must recognize these internal responses for what they are but not allow them to rule our lives because it’s really all in your head!

So… the next time you are nervous about giving a speech, or asking that beautiful someone on a date or going to bungee jump with Bungee America, thank your body for working properly, know that everything is actually going to be ok, and…

Go For It!

Written by Bryce Jensen Revised by Ron Jones