Feeling scared is your body’s way of keeping you safe.
If you see a deep, dark cave and you don’t know what’s in it… You will probably experience the feeling of being afraid and choose not to go in.
Being scared of things helps keep you safe from anything that looks a bit dangerous or unknown until you can figure out some more about it.
Fear has been around a long time, it is an essential survival instinct for humans and many other animals.
Feeling scared helps the body to prepare to survive a dangerous situation. The eyes might spot something scary and send a message to the brain. The part of the brain called the Amygdala then takes over and gets the body ready to either run away from danger really fast or to stay and fight off the danger.
Blood starts pumping faster, the brain is put on high alert, a burst of energy is sent out to all the muscles and all the other jobs your body was doing (like eating or healing) slow down until the danger had gone away
Sometimes being scared can feel a bit more subtle. You might feel afraid of saying hello to someone new or afraid of trying something different incase you don’t get it right first time.
We tend to feel scared about people or situations like this in our lives when we are afraid that we might loose something that has high emotional value or feels very special to us…like a friendship or our self-esteem.
People feel scared for all sorts of different reasons. Some people even feel scared of feeling scared.
Feeling scared can actually be a really helpful tool, it usually means that we are either in danger or there is something more we can learn about a situation or about ourselves.
It’s always worth being curious about why we might feel scared?
Talk to someone about what is making you feel scared. Sometimes people tell us ‘don’t worry’ … Or… ‘dont be afraid, it’s only this..’ this doesn’t feel helpful.
Pretending that we don’t feel scared when we do, does not help, it can even make the feelings build up stronger over time.
Fear is part of our inner guidance system and always has something valuable to tell us.
Once you have felt the feeling and understand why your body is telling you it’s scared, you might be able to change things about the situation to help it feel safer, or learn a new way of thinking or doing.
Using the feeling of being scared as a positive tool for learning or making life changes can help us to have a healthy relationship with fear.