Fear, Panic, Worry

These words (fear, panic, and worry) are tightly related to social anxiety and shyness, so let’s get a good grip on their meaning and uses in order to better help us understand social anxiety.

The limbic system, which is one of the most primitive parts of the brain, controls your fear response. Fear isn’t all bad – it can be a good thing when faced with a real danger. That’s how organisms have survived for so long – they see a threat and they run, hide, or fight for their lives. Fear has its uses, but in this day and age, it’s become a hindrance for some. Too much fear when there is no real threat, can take a toll on you.

Fear (real or imagined) has one purpose – to get you the hell out of the situation you are currently in. Your heart beats faster, you sweat, adrenaline spikes – your body is preparing to flee or fight. It is in fear mode.

I myself have been here so many times. Even though the threat was completely imagined (and I knew this) it is still terrifying. Your mind is racing, you can’t think straight, your heart is going nuts, and all you want to do is run away.

A panic attack is when you experience intense fear when there is no real danger. To qualify as a full fledged panic attack, you must have 4 of the following symptoms present – breathlessness, dizziness, racing heart, fears of going crazy/dying/losing control, numbness, feeling detached, sweating, shaking, choking feelings, and chest discomfort. Panic attacks can occur in the moment of a feared situation or even thinking about a feared situation.

If you have had a panic attack before, you know that it can be quite scary, but remember that it is very rarely dangerous and it won’t last too long.

Anxiety is a little different. It is usually a feeling of dread about some upcoming event. It’s that feeling that something bad is going to happen in the future and there isn’t anything you can do to stop it. Some of us have the tendency to ruminate on these future events constantly.

As someone who used to think like that, I can honestly say, it sucks the life out of you. All you do is think about all the things that could go wrong. And the funny thing is, most of the things I worried about never happened.
Sometimes a little anxiety is good (it can motivate you to prepare for a challenge or to work hard), but like fear, when it happens too often, it can destroy your life.

While fear happens in the moment of the threat, anxiety is about a future threat. Here are a couple things to keep in mind about fear and anxiety.

These are normal emotions that everyone experiences at one time or another. Having these emotions doesn’t make you crazy. It’s part of being human.

Fear and anxiety don’t last forever. Sometimes in the moment of fear or anxiety, it feels like it’s never going to end. When you are in those moments, remember that your fear and anxiety will subside eventually.

Lastly, fear and anxiety do have their purposes. They can help you if used correctly, so do not attempt to get rid of them completely. That’s impossible. The goal here is to reduce the intensity and how often it happens.

Next, let’s look at where our fears actually stem from so we can get a better understanding of our own social anxiety and shyness.

2 thoughts on “Fear, Panic, Worry”

  1. Pingback: Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness Guide – Wisdom For Life

  2. Pingback: What is Social Anxiety and Do You Have it? – Wisdom For Life

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *