“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.”

Eckhart Tolle

The fear loop;

fear creates the thought to feed the fear. Fear may begin as a small flame but our thoughts can feed it until it becomes raging destructive blaze. Fear fans its own flames with your thoughts.

Fear creates unhappiness.

People often say “but there is no reason for me to be afraid. There is no rational reason that I am aware of to be afraid. I don’t feel afraid, therefore it can’t be fear.”.

Fear doesn’t work like this. In fact the feeling of fear is only one aspect of fear; it’s a physical and bodily sensation created by fear to warn us of danger and convince us to react to that danger. The fear begins long before the feeling, the feeling is actually a bye product of the chemical cocktail released from fear and in some cases it never even reaches the feeling stage, it just works below our radar of awareness steering us away from reminders of things that frightened us in the past so that we don’t feel that same fear again, so we don’t experience that danger again.

The fact is, if you don’t feel “safe” then that is fear creating that feeling. If you feel you don’t belong somewhere, again fear is creating that feeling. Fear is responding to a “fear memory” and creating these feelings in the present to protect you from a past danger or threat to your survival. Fear memories are not the kind of memory you remember from the past, rather, they are past memories you remember in the present as if they actually exist in the present. Their purpose is to remember fearful situations from the past and keep you from repeating them and they do this completely separately from your thinking self as a process that exists alongside the “me” that we experience as us.

Fear, in this sense, can actually take over our behaviour (actions, words and thoughts) temporarily in order to protect us from the memory repeating itself. We can often find ourselves feeling as if we are watching ourselves behave, watching our words and actions, but someone or something else is determining that behaviour and we are temporarily unable to stop their influence and have no control over our words or actions. This is termed as “Dissociation” or an  “Amygdala Hijack”, it is when the part of the brain that is responsible for our instinctive safety decides to take over to protect us from something it has decided and remembered is a threat or danger. The conscious self gets side lined while the defence response takes care of things while the danger is present.