Jan 12, 2022

What to do when you have excessive fear?

It is normal and helpful to experience fear in dangerous situations. Fear serves a protective purpose in our body, it activates the automatic fight-or-flight response. This makes our body and mind alert and ready for action

One of the most important tasks you ought to do is consider what sort of fear you suffer from? Apprehensions over writing a final exam is a fear while being afraid of snakes is an irrational fear. But for most people these fears that they have are minor. It’s time to take notice and seek help when your fears become so severe that they cause tremendous anxiety and interfere in your day to day life. Such fears are known as phobias.

A phobia is an intense fear of something that in reality poses no actual danger. If you think about it, most of us have some phobia or the other. Some of the common ones are - cramped places, heights, driving, insects, snakes, and injections. It can also be a wide variety of things not mentioned here as well. While some phobias develop in childhood, they can also develop in later life.
When you have a phobia, even when you know that your fear is irrational, you still find it difficult to control your feelings. Just thinking about that object or situation will make you anxious. And when you’re exposed to the thing you fear, the terror that you feel is automatic and overwhelming. It becomes such an awful experience that you’ll go to great lengths to avoid it. This may mean inconveniencing yourself or others around you or even changing your lifestyle.

It is normal and helpful to experience fear in dangerous situations. Fear serves a protective purpose in our body, it activates the automatic fight-or-flight response. This makes our body and mind alert and ready for action, so that we are able to respond quickly and protect ourselves. But with phobias such threats are nonexistent or greatly exaggerated. For example, it is natural to be afraid of seeing a lion in the zoo but if you fear coming on the same path as a domestic cat, then what you’re experiencing is a phobia.Social phobia, also called social anxiety disorder, is a very common phobia that people have. It is a fear of social situations where you may be embarrassed or judged by others. You may then be excessively self-conscious and afraid of humiliating yourself in front of others. Your anxiety over how others will talk to you or perceive you may lead you to avoid social situations you’d otherwise enjoy. Eg - fear of public speaking, talking to strangers, mingling at a party, etc.

Agoraphobia is a specific term used to denote social phobia accompanied by panic attacks and the fear of having a panic attack is so high that you do your best to avoid social situations.
There are different kinds of therapy available for fear and phobias. From cognitive behavior therapy to exposure therapy. And it has a great track record. Based on the intensity and the duration of your specific problem, your therapist will work with you to decide on the number of sessions needs to help you.

What to do when you have excessive anger?

Anger is often seen as a negative and destructive emotion that ought to be avoided at all costs. While there is merit to the fact that it is a negative and destructive emotion. Avoiding it completely is never the right option. In fact, it a completely normal emotion found in healthy humans. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, that’s when it can lead to problems. These may be - problems at work, in your personal relationships, etc. What anger does is that it makes you feel like you’ve no control over your self. That it is that unpredictable of an emotion.
Anger is a natural, response to threats. It inspires powerful feelings and behaviors, which allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked. A certain amount of anger, therefore, is necessary to our survival.

Anger has been described as an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage. And like other emotions, it is accompanied by intense physiological and biological changes. If you knew what all changed in your body every time you got angry, maybe you would think twice before feeling that emotion again. When you get angry, your heart rate and blood pressure go up, as do the levels of your hormones like adrenaline.Anger can be caused by both external and internal events. By external events we mean – a specific person (a coworker) or an event (a traffic jam), and by internal events we mean -memories of traumatic or enraging events that trigger angry feelings.
The instinctive and natural way to express anger is to respond aggressively. On the other hand, we can't physically lash out at every person or object that irritates us. Social laws & norms place limits on how far we can act on our anger.

People use a variety of processes to deal with their anger. Expressing your feelings in an assertive but not aggressive manner is the healthiest way to express anger. Being assertive doesn't mean being demanding, it means being respectful of yourself and others.People often suppress anger, or convert it or redirect it to someone or something else. This isn’t a healthy behavior and can cause more harm than good. This is dangerous because anger not allowed outward expression, can turn inward on yourself. This may cause hypertension, high blood pressure or depression.
Unexpressed anger can create other problems too such as passive-aggressive behavior or having a personality that is always cynical and hostile. People who are constantly criticizing everything, and making cynical comments haven't learned how to constructively deal with their anger. Such people will obviously find it hard to maintain successful relationships.To deal with one’s anger one needs to not just control one’s outward behavior, but also control our internal responses, such as - calming yourself down, lowering your heart rate, managing your breathing.

If you are reading this and feel that your anger is out of control, and that it is impacting your social and personal relationships then you should consider going to therapy to learn how to handle it better. A psychologist or other licensed mental health professional can work with you and develop various methodologies to help with your harmful thoughts and behavior.

Kevin Peter
Kevin Peter

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