Editor’s Pick – What is Fear and How to Deal with this Debilitating Mechanism.
If fear seems to trip you up often. Maybe its time to learn more about fear. This is where I’d usually pitch my self defense classes. I rather blog about it. Fear is an evolutionary program by nature. It’s purpose and function is to alert you of danger, secondly, prepare the mind and body for FIGHT or FLIGHT. Contrary to what has been taught about the fear program, fear as we know it impedes our abilities when activated. Worse is when caught off guard and the freeze response is primary. Fight, Flight, and Freeze are grouped from the sympathetic mode that controls the body’s responses to a perceived threat. Either one would put you in a disadvantageous state.
I remember 20 something years ago a friend and I were talking about an incident that happen to him. There was three of them walking home one evening at dusk. As they were walking through a park, the three was approached by a gang and got jumped. Two of the fought for their life, while one ran – my friend. Afterwards he ridiculed which contributed to his binge drinking shortly afterwards. He and I was talking one day and he as he were telling me the story, I asked him how does he feel about the situation, and his reply was the same he felt when the situation occurred like a coward. Somewhat typical, huh? Well, I told him about my theory at the time of fear being a evolutionary program by nature and that is no longer necessary to act from this fear, because we can make no sense of it. However escaping with you life is as sensible or validation needed if you feel like a coward. Anyhow I asked him if those two other guys has the chance to run as well. He said yes. Evolutionary fear is for immediate threat circumstances. Though it overrides logic, and that what make sense, nevertheless its purpose is to give the body and mind the necessary adrenaline, sugar and agents needed to prepare the body for survival.
What has to be understood, fear cannot be compromised. Tension and stress in the body along with adrenaline secretion, mentally will block out any logic or reasonable solutions. In Systema as well as our women’s self defense classes we do drills and exercises to stress the body and loaded up tension if not already present and see it all ties together and limits our abilities and functions. This is so important to know. The drills are best done slow, and with an instructor that understands how real the psychological and physiological triggers play significant roles. Breathing and movement are essential to dealing with fear.
Fear is not a feeling; it is an autonomic mechanism or process that evolved over millions of years to aid our safety and survival