What is Fear?

Fear is the body’s natural response to a threat, the threat can be physical or emotional, real or even perceived. When we feel like something or someone could or will hurt us, we “feel” afraid or align with the emotion of fear.

Fear evokes a flight, fight, or freeze response in our bodies.

The flight response can look like running away, avoiding, and/or can manifest as denying the event that evoked the fear even exists. The flight response can be physical running into danger with fists ready to go, or more emotional like defensiveness. The freeze response can be hard to detect in some people, they may appear completely “normal” (whatever that means) but are really shut down inside. Freeze can also be a physical paralyzation, unable to physically move out of harm's way or a retreating inward.

To read more about how the brain responds to fear check out this article from the Smithsonian.

Fear can feel like an uneasy feeling that you can’t shake, a pit in your gut, increased heartbeat, sweaty palms, goosebumps, heightened alertness, thrilling, difficulty breathing, anxiousness, tightness in your chest, and/or confusion.