What Does Fear Do To Our Health?
Fear can be both our greatest friend and our greatest impediment. And while it's a necessary part of our lives in order to keep us out of harm's way, when gone unchecked, it can also cause harm itself. In the distant past, fear would've come from the sight of the grisliest of predators. In the present - as a result of media and technology - fear comes from modern stressors as well as the constant knowledge of everything that's going on in the world. In a later post, I'll share some tips on how we can all take stock of fear and how to balance it out but first, let's see what it actually does to our overall health.
Where does fear come from?
Fear comes from the amygdala, a structure deep in the brain. It activates other areas that are responsible for motor functions involved in fight or flight.
What does it do to the brain?
1) Interrupts processes in our brains that allow us to regulate emotions, making it more difficult to regulate fear and in the long term, can lead to fatigue and clinical depression
2) Stifles our ability to process information and the ability to reflect before taking action read 3) Impacts our decision-making skills
4) Deteriorates memory and disrupts the formation of long-term memories, as a result of causing damage to certain parts of the brain, such as the hippocampus (the area of the brain directly responsible for memory).
What does it do to the body?
1) It weakens our immune system
2) Causes cardiovascular damage
3) Accelerates ageing
4) Can lead to gastrointestinal issues
With all this in mind, it's helpful to step back and notice where we're allowing unnecessary fear into our lives and what we can do less of - and more of - to reduce its effects and balance it out.