Understanding Emotions and Fear


“The word emotion can mean several things. Most of the time, it refers to positive or negative feelings that are produced by particular situations. Emotions consist of patterns of physiological responses and species-typical behaviors.” ( Most think of an emotion to refer to the feelings, not to the behaviors. It can also be looked at as a behavior that has consequences for survival and reproduction. An emotional response consists of three types of components: behavioral, autonomic, and hormonal. The integration of these responses is controlled by the amygdala. ( ).
Fear is a basic survival emotion that is triggered by a perceived threat. The threat activates the “fight or flight” response, an essential psychological response which prepares the body for a possible threat. (Towey). Fear prepares a person to react to danger, once a potential danger is sensed, the body releases hormones that turns some specific body systems “on” and others “off” that may or may not contribute to the current need of survival; such as “turning off” the digestive system, and sharpening functions such as eyesight to better focus on the threat. (Towey).
Fear has been proven to impair the formation of long-term memories due to high, sustained levels of cortisol in the body resulting in damage to certain parts of the brain, such as the hippocampus. The hippocampus controls the basic emotions such as: fear, pleasure, and anger, while it drives behaviors such as: hunger, sex, dominance, and care of offspring. ( The hippocampus is critical to both learning and memory as well as to some types of stress response regulation. The damage can make it more difficult to regulate fear and can result in anxiety when one feels afraid. Fear may also interfere with emotion and behavioral regulation processes, such as reading non-verbal cues, interpreting information presented, reflecting before responding, and acting ethically. (Towey). understanding-fear-main


Many studies have shown that emotions and stress can adversely affect the immune system against disease, as emotions play an important role in regulating systems in the body that influence health. (Bhattacharya). The mind and body are linked, it cannot be seen, only felt. The body reflects one’s emotional and psychological states. It is when the body’s signals are ignored, that illness is able to take control of its own natural defenses. It is a result of the thoughts and emotions transferring to the physical body. (Fractalenlightenment). Condensed molecules from breath exhaled from verbal expressions of anger, hatred, and jealousy, contain toxins. Accumulated over 1 hour, these toxins are enough to kill 80 guinea pigs! Imagine the harm negative behavior does to your body?” (Bhavika).




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