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What gets you behind the sofa…….

What gets you behind the sofa…….

Scared kitten hiding at home.

I remember when I was younger, something came on the telly and it would terrify me.  You know the sort of thing, a Dalek, a creepy scene from Ghostbusters…Noel Edmund’s hairstyle.  Now I don’t quite remember diving behind the sofa but there’s not denying that I experienced the feeling of fear.


Of course, sometimes it’s important to be frightened.  In a dangerous situation, without fear to drive us, we could end up seriously injured or even die.  However, since we no longer hunt wild animals and live in the bush, fear is not always our friend.

When the brain thinks you are under threat it responds in one of three ways – flight, fight or freeze. This is based on a flood of cortisol and adrenaline flooding through the body.  In the short term or in real danger, this is a good thing.  It prepares the body to respond in a way to escape danger.  But long term, cortisol will damage the body, make you ill and drain you.  This is not a good thing.

Unfortunately, our brain has not quite caught up with modern society, and what it perceives as danger is often not actually dangerous to us in the real physical sense.  This is the basis of the modern problem of stress.  We are called in to see the boss, we have an exam next week, somebody says something negative to us.  All of these things the brain interprets as a danger and so it sets off the fear response.  But really, it’s not actually dangerous.  But what isn’t good is that if we are in an environment that constantly sees things in this way, we will rapidly become stressed due to the constant release of cortisol.

So, what can we do about it? Well, first of all remember that most of the time all we are fearing is fear itself.  Hang on – that would make a great book title….I digress.

What we need to do is think about what it is that is actually happening.  Not what we think is going to happen, not the story we make up in our mind about what is going to happen, just the bare facts that we have.

Next of all, think about the worst thing that could actually happen, how bad is it?  How would you handle it?  What could you do?  And do you know what, it’s very unlikely to be the worst thing, but you are now prepared for it.

So put it out of your mind. You are going to face up to whatever it is. And that’s the important thing. Face up to it, put fear out of your mind and use your rational thought.

Yes, it might be something difficult, a new challenge, a problem to overcome.  But until you know what it is you’re actually dealing with, it is none of those things.  The biggest thing we fear in life is fear, and most of the time it’s not as bad as we think.  Remember those movies we spoke about last time?  Well, this is the time we most definitely don’t want to create a horror movie.

Of course, if it’s the Daleks that’s a completely different story……….