It’s not the load that breaks you down. It’s the way you carry it.
We have no shortage of triggers for our fears these days. It’s too easy for our amygdalas – those almond-shaped structures in the primitive part of our brains that prime us to react way before our conscious logical mind can think about it – to remain in a state of fearful vigilance that is highly corrosive to our health and well-being.
How do we interrupt the reactive fear response? We’ve all experienced that the more we try to suppress or deny fear, the more it grabs. But when we can sense and accept our fear, we give ourselves the moment to calm down and engage more conscious, logic-dominated parts of the brain. At that point, we get freer to choose to RESPOND in a way that will help us deal with the stressor…OR our fearfulness about it.
Here’s an excellent article from the New York Times Wellness section about how fear works and how we might be less controlled by it.