Dealing with fear and knowing its effects
The feeling of fear is caused by the body releasing adrenaline when perceiving a threat. This could be anything from public speaking, seeing a spider, doing a bungee jump or a life threatening situation. The brain can’t tell the difference it just knows you’re worried about something so realises the adrenaline. Identifying some of the effects and being aware of this process and training in area that scares you can help control the potentially crippling effects of adrenaline and fear.
So what actually happens to the body?
Well within second of perceiving a threat the primitive amygdala in the brain sounds an alarm. The adrenal system promptly floods the body with adrenaline and stress hormones. Nonessential physiological processes turn off. Digestion stop, skin chills and the blood is diverted into the muscles in preparation for a burst of energy. Breathing quickens, the heart races and the blood pressure increases to increase the bodies oxygen levels. The liver releases glucose for quick fuel. With all this going on the body is in a state of high alert ready for fight or flight.
So what effect does this have on the body?
Here are some of the main effects of adrenaline on the body.
- Wanting to run away. As mentioned in previous posts this is the strongest effect we get from adrenaline
- Feeling sick- this is because of the blood being carried away from the digestive system
- Sweating-Again this is due the blood being carried away from non essential body functions
- Unable to carry out fine motor skills.
- Speaking gibberish
- Increased heart rate
These are only a few of the effects adrenaline has on the body and you can see how someone could be crippled with fear by these effects. But not all these effect are bad and they are there to protect us. The problem arises when we let these effects control us.
In other words take a deep breath and face your fears and realise it’s the adrenaline doing its job to protect us.