What fears are we born with? Psychologists are still doing their researches to find out the answers to this question. Are we actually born with fears or not? Some psychologists are assuming that we don’t have any fears when we born because we don’t have any idea about the world. They further clarify that the fear is born with the experiences. But some psychologists are claiming that people are born with some specific fears even without having experience with those. So this is a research topic that has so many areas to uncover. But we can learn the knowledge that they have already given. It’s the goal of this article.
What you will learn?
What is Fear?
Fear is an emotion which we cannot avoid in our life. It alerts us about a danger or a threat that is really going to happen or imagined. Fear can lead us to increase our heartbeat, make us sweating, make us run, etc.
Sometimes fear acts as a guard against danger and other threats. As an example, suppose you are walking at night alone, and some guy is following you. Here you experience fear, and it leads you to run and get help from someone.
But sometimes, this acts as an unpleasant emotion. Suppose you are a person who afraid of everything. You cannot watch a scary horror movie, even knowing that it is a movie.
We can divide our body’s reaction to the fear into two parts. One is our physical reactions. Here our body reacts to the fear in a specific way. We experience sweating, increase of the heartbeat, and increase of the adrenaline as a physical response to the fear. These responses are involuntary, and it is essential to survival.
The second one is our emotional reactions. This is not common for everyone. It means our emotional response to the fear gets varied from one person to another. One person may scream when he experiences fear while another person is making fun of fear. It heavily depends on our emotional strength and the way we think about fear.
Fear vs phobia
Many people see these two concepts as one. But those are separate concepts that have inherent characteristics.
Fear is a common feeling that anyone experienced in their lives. It is also a natural guard which can keep us safe from a dangerous or a harmful situation. Fear can be manageable, and it does not need medical treatment to overcome fear. Because fear is common for anyone. Yes, different things can create fear like; fear of spiders, fear of water, etc. But the emotions and feelings can be manageable. Also, the reaction toward the thing that creates fear is manageable. Suppose you are fear of spiders. You can manage by moving somewhere else where you can’t see spiders.
Phobia is totally different from fear, and so many people confused those 2 different words. Phobia can be defined as a mental disorder. The person who is having a phobia on something cannot manage his feelings and emotions toward it. Because even he knows the things he scared of, he cannot control himself. That’s why we defined this as a mental disorder. Unlike fear, to control phobia people need medical treatments. Here the reactions can be identified as crying, shaking, nausea, vomiting, etc.
What fears are we born with?
As I said before, scientists are still looking for a final answer to this question. Are we born with fears, and what fears are we born with?
This is a vast area for research. Because fear is usually born with the experience we gain from life, the environment, the culture we live in. But scientists have found the main two fears that we have from our birth. One is fear of falling, and the other one is fear of loud noise.
Fear of falling
In the 90’s, scientists have found that the fear of falling is created inside our minds since birth. They have done some experiments in order to assure their conclusions. For that, they have taken six months to one year old babies and young animals. They have placed the experiment subject separately on a platform that has transparent glass over its ages and observed how many subjects are stepping into the glass and how many are not. Most of the babies and young animals were not put there step to that transparent glass, because of the fear of falling.
Fear of loud noise
When you hear a loud sound, your body involuntarily set you to a fight type response. Here you try to duck your head withing a few seconds in order to save yourself. Otherwise, you try to run away. Normally, this remains inside our body since our birth and act as a guard. But sometimes this fear turns into a phobia called Phonophobia. Here it goes beyond the control.(Read)
Those are the two fears we are born with. Fear and phobia is a broad topic to discuss about. Normally, fear is born according to the experience we face and the culture we live in. We call it “Learned fear.” As an example, a girl who has burned by the fire in childhood is afraid of the fire even she is young. This is a fear born from experience.
But sometimes, fear doesn’t need experience. Sometimes we learn about the harmful and dangerous things by our parents, teachers, neighbors, and others. We don’t need to be burned by fire to understand that fire is harmful. Likewise, fear is a complicated and broad topic.
How to overcome fear?
Aware about the fear
This is the first step in overcoming the fear. Here you have to find out what causes fear and your emotions toward it. It’s normal to have a fear of something new and something harmful. You have to find out whether your emotions are normal or not when you face the cause of fear. If you can manage the situation, you don’t need to worry about it. But if you cannot handle the situation. Obviously, you will need medical help.
Understand that the fear is normal
You are not the only one with fear. As human beings, we all have that feeling. It’s totally normal because fear can help you to guard yourself against dangerous and harmful situations. As I said before, fear is manageable, and you don’t need medical treatment to cure it. On the other hand, fear cannot be cured by medical treatments.
But you have to make sure whether you have a fear or phobia. If you have the symptoms of phobia, you need medical treatments. Phobia is a mental disorder, and its a symptom of many mental disorders. So you have to find out what you have.
Suppose you are afraid of dogs. You may have friends who pet dogs. You can visit those friends and observe how they interact with the dog. Then you can get their help with touching the dog and interact with the dog. You can spend more time doing that in order to face your fear.
Likewise, you can add that method to so many fear. If the fearful situation cannot harm you, you can try to practice to face the fear. Here is another example. Suppose you are afraid of crowded places. Here you can ask your friend to be with you when you are in a crowded place. With time, you get used to it.
When you are afraid of something, visualize what will happen when you face it. When you are visualizing that, never imagine yourself as a loser. Imagine yourself as a person who is not afraid of anything. This will help you to face fear effectively because you have already faced it in your mind.
Find the benefits of fear
Not every fearful situation are bad for our life. Sometimes those help to avoid dangerous situations. Imagine you are in an unknown dark place, and someone is standing in front of you with having a knife. Here you feel afraid of that person, and your body acts involuntarily and leads you to run or fight. So you have to understand that fear is not a bad thing. It only gets worse when it turns to a phobia.
In this article, we have discussed about what fear is, what is the difference between fear and phobia, what fears are we born with, and how to overcome fear. Actually, fear is not a simple topic to discussed in a single article like this. It is so complicated and so hard to understand. But I wrote this article to give a basic idea about fear.
You can find more articles related to personal development in my life hacks section. Browse them all and add knowledge to your life.
Read more life hacks