Fear is one of the strongest responses our physical bodies possess. When you fear, your heart begins beating faster, your blood pressure rises, your palms start to sweat and you may feel intense anxiety. This physical response is part of the “fight or flight” mechanism that our brain and body uses to deal with danger. This extreme response is warranted if, say, we were being chased by a saber-toothed tiger. In today’s world, we rarely experience life-or-death situations such as these, but still, our bodies have held on to this response.
Many times, our negative cycle of fear and worry can bring about this response, and it can be miserable! It can last just a short period of time, or it can last for many years. Experiencing a high level of fear and worry over an extended period of time can actually change the very chemistry of our brain. For this reason, it makes sense to learn skills and techniques that can help calm our mind and body when we get too far “in our head.”
Aside from the negative physical and biological effects of fear and worry, there are myriad psychological effects as well. For instance, worrying about the future and worrying about things you simply can’t control can eliminate any positive feelings about the life you’re living right now! You get so worked up about what could happen, that you miss what is happening right before your eyes. This will greatly reduce the happiness, joy, and peace that your life should entail.