Everyone knows what it feels like to be afraid of something. Fear can stop a person dead in their tracks, it can make the heart pound and it can make the palms sweat. You feel like you are going into or having a mental breakdown. But, what is fear exactly?
Is it a life-preserving instinct? Is it something that evolved when human beings were just becoming part of this world in order to give them the power to fend off animal attacks?
In the modern world, fear is more personal and often leads to severe depression. Individuals experience fear not because a tiger is about to pounce on them and threaten their very being, but because less tangible things are frightening them. A cancer diagnosis, for example, can elicit strong fear, but there are also fears of losing a job or being late for an appointment.
What is it exactly, and can it be overcome? The answer is that fear is a heightened, unpleasant emotion which is a reaction to something that is perceived as a threat. When fear is generalized and someone experiences it without there being a tangible antagonist, it most certainly can be overcome. There are some situations where fear is warranted and the ability to overcome it will occur when the situation resolves itself.
Fear is closely related to anxiety. Today, anxiety ranks about as high as depression does. Most people suffer it from time to time. This type of fear requires some practice and mindfulness in order to be overcome. This is because most people who feel fear even though nothing dangerous is imminent are feeling it almost as an impulsive reaction to an image that they have in their minds.
They can eventually learn to control those images and the reactions they have to those images. They are able to get these images under control because have leaned to recognize the nervous breakdown symptoms before they get too severe. Many people can overcome fears of things like spiders or heights by exposing themselves to the thing they are afraid of. When they realize that they can survive the experience they usually find that their fear dissipates.
If a person has been through something traumatic they may need more time and more techniques to overcome their fear. In some cases, medication may be useful to help a person overcome the images that frighten them so much.
In some instances, fear comes from something tangible and the fear can then be overcome when the situation resolves itself. For instance, a person driving nearly gets into a head-on collision. Their heart pounds, their palms sweat and they find it hard to breathe for a moment. These feelings of fear, however, subside once they realize that they are all right and the danger has passed.
No matter what causes the fear, a person should never feel ashamed. It is not a sign of weakness to be fearful. It is a part of being human.
There are several answers to the question of what is fear? It can be answered in a physiological way, a psychological way and an emotional way. The important thing to know is that even though fear exists, it is something that can be overcome.