What is the Fear Cycle and How Do We Stop It?
If you are new to this blog, welcome! I am so happy to meet you!
Because I have a background in neuroscience and counseling, I like to approach all healing work using these tools in conjunction with spirituality.
The world is a wild and crazy place right now. Just as we were able to be out and about to foster connection with each other, another fear gets added to our plates here in the U.S.
But we don't have to live in fear! We can protest, lobby, call our Senators and raise money to impact the world as much as we can. My love and support go to all of you that are doing so.
What can we do in the meantime to overcome the newly discovered fear?
The most impactful way I have found to overcome fear is to first understand what is happening. It is through this that we can understand how to heal and how to find our courage again.
Our bodies and our brains work on a continuous feedback loop. What effects our bodies effects our brains and vice versa.
When we talk about healing, or retraining our brains for anything, I like to start with the amygdala. It's a really small, almond shaped part of our limbic brain, or the part of our brains that deal with emotion and memory. The amygdala can be thought of as the initiator, the part of us that kicks off several processes in our bodies related to fear.
For example, you are about to step off of a curb and go into traffic to walk across the street. You look both ways to make sure that there are no cars coming, and then you step off the curb. Suddenly, a car comes out of nowhere and nearly hits you. This sets off your fear response. Your amygdala, and other parts of your brain, send many different chemicals through your body so that you can run to try to avoid that car.
This fear response, or what is commonly known as fight, flight, freeze or fawn, is associated with a rise in cortisol, the stress hormone. Many other processes begin here, such as shutting down your digestion and reproductive processes. Your body releases adrenaline so that you can run from that car or do whatever needs to be done in that fearful place. All of this is healthy…sometimes.
The problem arises when this process is taking place habitually, when your body lives in this fear response cycle.
We don’t have to live this way! We can overcome this by retraining our brains for courage.
Learn more about overcoming the fear cycle on my YouTube video here: