I've learned SO MUCH this past year and mostly that my fear limits me and definitely clouds my vision. Maybe you have felt this as well. Fear serves as blinders to what may be just a few steps down the road for us. Sure, the journey is valuable, but believing in your talents, your abilities, and your self-worth can empower you to walk down an even brighter path!! Transforming fear into freedom - how great is that? I'll be honest - it's something I still struggle with and am learning about.
The first time I ever got pulled over was probably about 5 months after I got my drivers license. I was driving down the main street in my little town and the car to my right would speed up and slow down. I was scared that both cars were trying to race me...until the red and blue lights, oh THEN I was REALLY scared. Like panic fear. I think I might have been more worried about what my parents would say than being on the side of the dark street. Ha ha! After I got my ticket I drove home in tears, and then tried to form words to tell my parents. (Luckily they only took my keys for a week because they needed an extra driver ha ha!)
We feel fear because we see or hear something that makes us anticipate harm. You know, like walking through a haunted house (or if you have mean friends that take you to more than one in a night!) and those dang "fake" but oh so real zombie/monster/all things creepy jump out at you. That zombie/jerk acts as a stimulus that triggers a signal in your brain.
Fear triggers us in 3 ways.
1. Freeze! I’m talking legit, can’t do it, just paralyzed in fear.
2. Run away! You know, that adrenaline surge that burns throughout the body cause us to run! Often times after the run, we hide hoping that everything will go away.
3. Fight! When running isn’t an option, that same surge of adrenaline causes some to fight, or at least to try to fight whatever is facing us.
Thankfully, when we aren’t in a real life-threatening situation, our bodies have a quick way of reversing the fear response.
The body’s parasympathetic nervous system is the counter to the fight-or-flight instinct. This just means that our parasympathetic system reverses the flood of adrenaline and lowers our heart rate back to its normal state.
That's why every time we jump when someone scares us, our bodies are not suddenly coursing with adrenaline. After the freak out, our brain recognizes the threat is not real and the parasympathetic nervous system calms us down.