Unhealthy fear


Fear is a natural and useful response to danger whether it’s a physical danger or psychological. Sometimes, we can be frightened of people, frightened of their reactions, frightened of losing their approval. So there are psychological and physical aspects to fear, and our brains are wired to recognise fear, to identify dangerous situations, or moments. The amygdala is a part of our brain that handles this function. And it’s the most primitive part of the brain because that’s what we needed to develop very early on in our development as a human species just to survive. The ego, remember, is very much concerned with the survival of the separate self. And the amygdala, when it recognises a dangerous situation, is sent this message, it immediately responds by preparing the body and the mind for the appropriate response, whether it is to run away, or to stand and fight. But it’s about survival, our separate sense of self needing to be defended, and protected. It’s useful and necessary in an emergency, when we just need to focus immediately and intensely on safety. But if it becomes the normal state of feeling, it interrupts healthy living, we become unhealthy.

 ( The Brick Wall of the Ego 2 by Laurence Freeman OSB )

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