What Is Fear?

Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. It's that thing that gives you the chills and makes your palms sweaty. The thing that makes your heart race and makes you hold your breath. People will do anything to get rid of fear. But unfortunately that's not possible. Yeah superheroes like Captain America and Batman who's literally called "the man without fear" act like they don't fear anything but those stories are fiction for a reason. Because scientists have, with 100% certainty, have proven its impossible to have no fear.

What Are You Afraid Of?

Is It snakes, spiders, heights, public speaking? Do you think that no one know how you feel? You're wrong. Everyone in the entire world has felt fear. The amygdala, an almond-shaped structure in the limbic system, is considered to be the seat of fear in the brain (as well as other emotions). But fear is processed differently than other emotions, bypassing the sensory cortex on its way to the amygdala. That process happens in everyone.

Why Are People So Interested In Fear?

Fear is the most researched and best understood of all emotions. It's the easiest emotion to study because it has the most measurable physiological response, but it's also the most important emotion we have from an evolutionary standpoint. Learning to fear something dangerous that caused pain in the past, like a snake or a spider, most likely helped our ancestors to survive. And proving its evolutionary importance, the fear circuit in our brains is actually a shortcut that allows dangerous stimuli to bypass parts of the brain normally involved in sensory processing.

Why Are We Afraid Of Things?

People say that they were born afraid of ________. Actually that's wrong. When we're born the only things we are afraid of are sudden loud noises and heights. We only fear things because of our own experiences or someone we trust tells us we should. Fear is adaptive because it protects us. More importantly, it protected our ancestors. Our distant ancestors who were afraid of heights didn’t fall off cliffs, those that feared wild animals didn’t get eaten by a tiger, those that ran the fastest left the rest behind---and they survived. So, it is natural to be afraid of many of the things that we are afraid of.

How To Beat Fear

Everyone gets afraid, and that's okay. It's all about controlling your fear and not letting it control you. The thing about fear is it's healthy for you. If you're in a dire situation and you need a little boost to help you get out of it, your body releases a chemical called adrenaline. It heightens your senses and in emergencies give you enough strength to lift an entire car! When you see something suspicious your brain sends a signal to your body saying, "Watch Out!" But the key to beating fear is responding to the signal. Acknowledging you could be in danger, wether emotionally or physically, and finding the best path out.

It's All In Your Head

Some scientists and doctors recommend medication for fear but they don't actually work. They make you think that this medicine will stop fear and if you believe that you won't be afraid anymore. And yes, they have developed ways to wipe memories but most methods aren't that safe. In an experiment scientists put a baby in the room with a petting mouse but every time he tried to pet it, a loud scary noise would go off. They did this over and over until the child refused to even look at the mouse and to this day the child doesn't like anything furry or fluffy. I know, kinda sad. More like really sad.

Can You Have "No Fear"?

Not really. If you have ADHD, learn more by asking Seth about his project, you have a higher tendency to ignore the fear signal I was talking about earlier. As far as I know people with ADHD will go to far extents to ensure the loss of boredom. And for the other question I'm sure you're asking, Yes, you can get ADHD. I'm not recommending this as a way to lose fear, but it's just a fact.

Why Is This Important?

This is important because knowing how to deal, and I chose the word deal specifically, with your fear is good knowledge to have so that fear doesn't affect your everyday life. When fear starts controlling you, that's when you know you need help. Talk to someone about it. Someone you can trust. So you know you at least tried to get help and so you can live normal life.


You can't live without fear, it's essential to survival, heightens your senses, is okay to feel, is something everyone feels, is contagious, is teachable, clouds judgement and I could keep going on but I'm not going to waste any more of your time. Thanks for listening to the presentation.


Dzierzak,L.(2008,October 24). Factoring fear:whatscaresusandwhy.





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