One of the most strong emotions is fear. It has a significant impact on both your mind and body.
When we are in danger, such as if we are caught in a fire or are being attacked, fear can cause us to respond with powerful signals.
Exams, public speaking, a new job, a date, or even a party are all examples of non-dangerous circumstances that might trigger it. It's a normal reaction to a threat, which might be imagined or genuine.
Anxiety is a term we use to describe a variety of fears, most of which are related to the possibility of a threat or something going wrong in the future rather than right now.
Fear and anxiety might stay for a brief period of time and then disappear, or they can endure much longer and keep you stranded. They can take over your life in certain situations, interfering with your ability to eat, sleep, concentrate, travel, enjoy life, or even leave the house or go to work or school. This can prevent you from accomplishing things you want or need to do, and it can also have a negative impact on your health.
Some people are overcome with dread and want to avoid circumstances that could make them fearful or nervous. Breaking the pattern might be difficult, but there are several options. You may learn to be less afraid and manage with fear so that it does not prevent you from living your life.
What makes you afraid?
We are frightened of a lot of things. Fear of some things, such as flames, may keep you safe. Fear of failure can motivate you to do your best so you don't fail, but it can also prevent you from doing your best if the fear is too great.
What you're frightened of and how you react when you're terrified might differ from person to person. Knowing what makes you frightened and why might be the first step in resolving fear issues.
What makes you anxious?
Because anxiety is a form of fear, the same principles that apply to fear apply to anxiety.
Worry, or dread that is nagging and continues over time, is sometimes referred to as anxiety. It's utilized when the worry is about something that will happen in the future rather than something that is already happening.
When it comes to persistent dread, health practitioners frequently use the term anxiety. Because the underlying feeling is the same, the ways you feel when you're scared and anxious are extremely similar.
What do fear and anxiety feel like?
When you're scared or worried, your mind and body both operate incredibly rapidly. The following are some of the possibilities:
Your heart beats very fast – maybe it feels irregular
You breathe very fast
Your muscles feel weak
You sweat a lot
Your stomach churns or your bowels feel loose
You find it hard to concentrate on anything else
You feel dizzy
You feel frozen to the spot
You can’t eat
You have hot and cold sweats
You get a dry mouth
You get very tense muscles
These things happen because your body interprets fear as a danger and prepares you for an emergency by increasing blood flow to the muscles, increasing blood sugar, and giving you the mental ability to focus on the threat.
In the long run, you may experience some of the above symptoms as well as a persistent sense of fear, and you may become irritable, have difficulty sleeping, develop headaches, or have difficulty getting on with work and planning for the future; you may have sex problems, and you may lose self-confidence.
Why do I feel like this when I’m not in any real danger?
Fear was necessary for early humans because they were frequently in circumstances of physical danger; however, we no longer confront the same risks in modern life.
Despite this, our minds and bodies function in the same manner as our forefathers', and we react in the same way to modern-day anxieties about money, travel, and social settings. We can't, however, run away from or violently combat these issues!
Fear may be frightening in and of itself, especially if you don't understand why you're feeling it or if it seems out of proportion to the circumstances. Fear or anxiety can kick in for any perceived threat, which could be fictitious or small, instead of alerting you to a risk and preparing you to respond to it.
Why won’t my fear go away and leave me feeling normal again?
When confronted with something unknown, fear may be a one-time sensation.
However, it may also be a daily, long-term issue — even if you can't pinpoint why. Some people experience anxiety all of the time, without any specific cause.
Fear may be triggered by a variety of things in everyday life, and it's not always easy to figure out why you're afraid or how likely you are to be hurt. Even if you can see how irrational a fear is, your emotional brain continues to send danger messages to your body.
When dealing with fear, it's sometimes necessary to use both mental and physical methods.
What is a panic attack?
When you are overcome by physical and mental emotions of dread – the indications described under ‘What do fear and anxiety feel like?' - you are having a panic attack. People who suffer from panic attacks say it's difficult to breathe, and they may fear they're having a heart attack or losing control of their bodies.
What is a phobia?
A phobia is an intense dread of a certain animal, object, location, or scenario. People who suffer from phobias have an overpowering desire to avoid coming into contact with the source of their worry or dread. You feel nervous or panicked at the prospect of coming into touch with the source of your fear.
How do I know if I need help?
Fear and worry can strike any of us at any time. Doctors classify it as a mental health condition only when it is severe and long-lasting. If you've been worried for several weeks or feel like your concerns are taking over your life, see your doctor or call one of the websites or phone lines provided at the back of this pamphlet for assistance. The same is true if you have a phobia that is interfering with your everyday life or if you are having panic episodes.
How can I help myself?
Face your fear if you can
You could cease doing what you want or need to do if you consistently avoid circumstances that fear you. You won't be able to test if the situation is always as awful as you think it is, therefore you won't be able to figure out how to deal with your worries and worry. If you fall into this cycle, your anxiety problems are likely to worsen. Exposing yourself to your anxieties might be a good approach to get rid of your anxiety.
Learn as much as you can about your fear or anxiety. Keep an anxiety diary or a thinking journal to keep track of when and what happens. You might try to confront your anxieties by creating modest, attainable objectives for yourself. You might have a list of items that will help you when you are afraid or worried with you at all times. This might be a good method to deal with the underlying ideas that are causing your worry.
Try to learn more about your fear or anxiety. Keep a record of when it happens and what happens.
Increase the amount of time you spend exercising. Exercise necessitates focus, which might distract you from your fears and anxieties.
Learning relaxation methods can assist you in dealing with both mental and physical fears. Simply lowering your shoulders and inhaling deeply can help. Consider imagining yourself in a peaceful environment.
Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and limit your sugar intake. The resulting drops in your blood sugar might make you feel uneasy. Caffeine might make you feel more anxious, so try not to consume too much tea or coffee.
Avoid alcohol, or drink in moderation
When individuals are worried, it is quite usual for them to drink. Although some people refer to alcohol as having "Dutch courage," the aftereffects of drinking might make you feel even more fearful or nervous.
If you're religious or spiritual, this might make you feel like you're part of something greater than yourself. Attending church and other religion organizations may link you with a crucial support network, and faith can give a method of coping with everyday stress.