Thursday, October 9, 2008

What is Fear?

Fear n.
1. A feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger.
2. A feeling of disquiet or apprehension: a fear of looking foolish.
3. Extreme reverence or awe, as toward a supreme power.
4. A reason for dread or apprehension: Being alone is my greatest fear.

What is Fear and what are the causes of Fear? In what ways can Fear be constructive and destructive? How to cope with Fear? How is human Fear different from that of animals?

We all fear, which makes Fear about the most common and the most natural emotion we experience.

Fear is based on the instinct of self-preservation and is therefore, a defensive reaction. The sensation of Fear starts with changes in your nervous system, resulting in changes in heart rate, blood pressure, secretion of stomach acid. In the most general sense, the feeling of Fear is a reaction to a threat.

On the surface level, Fear is a rather uncomfortable experience that often upsets people, paralyses them and may cause psychological disorders. Some scientists believe the emotion of Fear was first generated in the process of evolution as a defence mechanism against threats from the nature.

Another function of Fear is in the strong negative emotions caused by pain or other unpleasant experiences. There is a well known experiment on mice that proved Fear can be easily manifested by putting live beings, whether animal or human through such unpleasant experiences that the memory of acute pain stamps itself on the subconscious of the being essentially serving as preventative measure against encountering the cause of the pain again.

Finally, when Fear can be created in situations when not enough information is available for one to make a weighted decision Fear dictates the strategy. Fear in this case protects the individual from both possible biological and social threats.

In short people say “Fear” like it’s a bad thing – but is it?

1 comment:

M. David said...

Excellent blog entry! It was a fantastic read!