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Fear

What Is It?

Feeling scared is a natural reaction to something that seems dangerous or unsafe. We can fear something which makes us feel unsure or unsafe.

Fear can be a good thing. It can be a warning sign to help us avoid danger.

Fear, like any emotion, can be big or small. It can last for a short or longer time. Sometimes, our fear can be really intense or unnecessary compared to the situation.

Phobias are intense fear of a certain thing, like public speaking or spiders. When someone has a phobia, their reaction is extreme for what it is. For example, throwing a book with a picture of a spider across the room and screaming hysterically. Many people have phobias.

It is possible to overcome phobias and fears.

What Does It Feel Like?

Fear triggers the fight or flight response. This response is triggered when the brain views something as a threat. It causes a physical reaction and prepares the body to either fight, flight (run away), or freeze from the threat. This response can be triggered even when something is not lift threatening. A person’s response can vary from mild to intense

Fear can feel like:

  • Your heart beating faster
  • Sweaty
  • Like you are ready to spring into action
  • Breathing more rapidly
  • Like you can’t move, or you are frozen in place
  • Like crying
  • Butterflies in your stomach
  • Upset stomach
  • Body tingles
  • Flushed or warm
  • Shaking
  • Like you can’t think clearly
  • Anger or sadness
  • Irritable

What Can You Do to Calm Down?

It is okay to be scared. Everyone gets scared. It is not okay to hurt someone else or yourself because you are scared. There are healthy ways to deal with your fear.

Things you can do to calm down:

  • Take slow, deep breaths or try relaxation techniques
  • Scribble on a piece of paper
  • Yell into a pillow
  • Go outside
  • Get active
  • Listen to music
  • Dance
  • Play an instrument
  • Write it out
  • Take a break
  • Watch a funny movie
  • Think of what is bothering you and think of solutions to deal with it
  • Talk with a loved one
  • Play with a pet
  • Ask for help
  • Read a book
  • Go for a walk
  • Think of things that make you happy
  • Safely face your fears

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