The Fear Cycle
The Fear Cycle
Let’s now explore where your fear lives.
We are born with only two fears, the fear of falling and the fear of loud sounds, the rest are all created by our experiences, traumas, and indoctrination from those around us. Trauma does not have to be a huge incident in life, very often low-level trauma, such as children laughing at you in school, can create an enormous impact in the adult that grows unaware of the reason for his/her anxiety kicking in, when meeting new people or talking in public.
Overcoming such a challenge can be a creative and surprising process that brings life changing rewards.
Fear is the monster hidden deep into your subconscious, deep into your amygdala, storing all the important lessons of your life for your protection. Deep in your brain, your amygdala is always ready to help you. It really cares so much that can suffocate you overprotecting you, creating stress, anxiety and fear to the smallest of the stimuli. Your amygdala is also super-fast, like a grey hound, before you realise it has already analysed something and run to your rescue. Thank you for my panic! I hear you saying. So, kind of you!
So, as you can see, the key to stop anxiety and panic is not talking over and over about something. Let’s consider this, imagine for a moment that you were scared of driving, does it change if you talk about it, or do you feel scared even just thinking about driving? Fear of driving can be very limiting, and before you realise you feel isolated and losing out in social events or professionally. Exposure is a good tool, but how uncomfortable is that? How many times your amygdala will have to live this experience to learnt that actually is ok and you can indeed drive or make a presentation? Will your poor heart be at peace on those moments? To stop anxiety and panic we need to take a different approach.
Fear is a very uncomfortable companion and there are other approaches that are much kinder to stop anxiety and panic attacks.
But let us continue exploring this cycle. Let us see what happens when that fear starts creating stress and anxiety.