The mechanism of fear: how to make our brain not be frightened
How to make our brain not be frightened, to cease to be afraid constantly and to begin to live? The question is complicated. To give practical advice on how to stop being afraid, is it worthwhile to determine how fear arises?
To begin with, let us have a look at an elementary scheme. We calmly swim in the sea and suddenly we see someone's fin. At this time, the picture we saw, the splashing of waves and other information is transmitted to the amygdala through the cerebral cortex and the thalamus. We think it is a shark!
The central and lateral nucleus are responsible for the feeling of fear. The first works as a transmitter: due to him, the brain decides what to do next. And the second perceives information from the senses.
As a result, the amygdala decides that the shark = danger, and this information goes to other parts of the brain.
The hypothalamus causes the adrenal glands to release adrenaline into the blood. The body is activated and becomes ready to escape or defense. Breathing quickens, blood rushes, pupils dilate
Periaqueductal grey makes us stand still. This is a consequence of evolution. In earlier times, for ancient people to freeze and merge with their surroundings meant to avoid danger.
The paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus signals about the release of the stress hormone cortisol. Its task is to save energy in order to remain active in conditions of a stressful situation for as long as possible.
In fact, it turned out to be a harmless dolphin, but the brain has already done its job. Thus, the view of large fish, the splashing of waves and the view of the sea horizon will cause fear, gradually becoming fixed in the brain. But is it really impossible to swim more comfortably? You can, due to neuroplasticity of the brain.
So what to do to stop being afraid and start living?
Retrain your brain by actions. Take action — for example, look at analyzing data about shark attacks on the beach and make sure they were not there. Make sure the dolphins are safe animals and that the chance to meet a real shark on the beach is minimal.
Go to meet your fear. How about visiting the aquarium?
Remember, the sooner you start to deal with your fears, the better you will be able to get rid of them. The ideal period is 1 week after fixing.