Tag Archives | Fear

How to Conquer the Fear of Public Speaking and Be The Truest Version of Yourself

In this video, Luke Rudkowski tells you how to deal with one of the biggest fear’s, the fear of public speaking.

He goes into great detail about his personal strategy and gives you some advice on how to mentally and physically deal with the fear. We hope this video is helpful to you and we wish to continue this dialog series so please ask us your questions on Luke’s social media.

Via WeAreChange

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Amygdala Myths Revealed: It’s Not All About the Fear

1959_1028_tinglerNeurology has always interested me, and I still remember learning in my undergrad neuropsychology class  that the almond-shaped portion of the brain know as the amygdala was responsible for the emotion of fear. Like so many things we grow up hearing, the truth is a little more complicated, as BoingBoing science writer Maggie Koerth-Baker learns in her interview with scientist Paul Whalen. It turns out that fear is just easier to study.

BoingBoing:

Maggie Koerth-Baker: Your research shows that the amygdala does a lot more than just make us afraid. In fact, your research suggests that the idea of “fear” involves a lot more than just reacting to something scary. But where did these ideas come from, to begin with? Why do we think of the amygdala as a “fear center”?

Paul Whalen: In the early 1980s, the psychologists who wanted to study emotion had to pick one, and fear is the easiest to study in a human or animal.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Low Dose Psychedelics Allow Mice To Generate Neurons And Unlearn Conditioned Fear

psychedelics

Psychedelic Frontier reports on another study pointing to the immense power (and hazards) of psychedelics:

A new study of mice published in Experimental Brain Research shows that low doses (but not high doses) of psychedelics increase the rate of neuron creation in the hippocampus, and help the mice to rapidly unlearn conditioned fear responses.

Mice injected with low doses of PSOP [psilocybin] extinguished cued fear conditioning significantly more rapidly than high-dose PSOP or saline-treated mice. PSOP facilitates extinction of the conditioned fear response, and this, and similar agents, should be explored as potential treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder and related conditions.

Research continues to confirm psychedelics’ ability to reduce the conditioned fear response, enabling patients to confront fearful stimuli without the usual baggage of anxiety and defense mechanisms.

With the right therapeutic approach, psychedelics allow us to rewire our brains in a positive manner. On the flip side, reckless use of these substances may cause lasting negative changes in the brain.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Woolwich Murder and Inflaming Racial Tensions

SpotthediferenceVia orwellwasright:

The brutal murder of a man in Woolwich, set upon by two men wielding knives and machetes, inevitably led to a lot of heated responses, not least from the hundreds of closet bigots coming out of the woodwork on social media networks, eager to denounce Islam and calling for all Muslims to be thrown out of the country, or worse. Certainly, the reported scenario – Islamic extremists attack serving British soldier who was wearing a ‘Help for Heroes’ t-shirt in broad daylight – is about as shocking and sensational as you can get, guaranteed to inflame racial tensions in a country where years of terrorism and immigration propaganda has worked to instill a culture of fear and separation throughout the population.

Some of the comments on Facebook on the evening of the murder left me under the impression that the ghost of Enoch Powell had somehow merged with the internet, possessing people with a relentless, savage desire for rivers of Muslim blood cascading through the streets of Britain.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

How Should We React To A Terrorist Attack?

terrorist attackParadoxically, in a sense, by doing nothing, says security theorizer Bruce Schneier, speaking to the Washington Post:

What should policymakers do in the aftermath of this kind of event? Nothing. This is a singular event, and not something that should drive policy. Unfortunately, you can’t prevent this sort of thing 100 percent.

By definition, news is something that almost never happens. The brain fools you into thinking the news is what’s important. So what should we be afraid of? Car crashes. Global warming. It feels insensitive to say it so close to the tragedy, but it’s true. Things so common that they’re no longer news — that’s what kills people.

The damage from terrorism is primarily emotional. To the extent this terrorist attack succeeds has very little do with the attack itself. Imagine if the bombs were found and moved at the last second, and no one died, but everyone was just as scared.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Which Worldview Fears What?

Yale Scientific Magazine presents a fascinating Myers-Briggs-style test of what your societal fears reveal about your political and personal orientation. As a bonus, the amusingly-true chart of what people expect hierarchist communitarians, individualist egalitarians, etc., to look like:

“Cultural cognition refers to the tendency of people to fit their perceptions of risk and related facts to their group commitments,” says Dan Kahan, professor at Yale Law school and a CCP researcher. Researchers in the CCP measure people’s “worldviews” along the two dimensions of hierarchy-egalitarianism and communitarian-individualism.

This framework relates to the theory of anthropologist Mary Douglas, the originator of “the cultural theory of risk.” The theory postulates that people’s perceptions of risk should reflect and reinforce the combinations of values defined by the intersection of these two “worldview” dimensions.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Fear is the Mind Killer

Picture: Robbie Grubbs (CC)

Interesting work on fear and memory published in Science and dumbed down for mass consumption at Psychcentral:

For one experimental group, the re-consolidation process was disrupted with the aid of repeated presentations of the picture. For a control group, the re-consolidation process was allowed to complete before the subjects were shown the same repeated presentations of the picture.

Because the experimental group was not allowed to re-consolidate the fear memory, the fear they previously associated with the picture dissipated. This rendered the memory neutral — and no longer able to incite fear.

What’s notable about this is that it shows how fear is tied to signifiers and conditioned responses. Although that doesn’t cover the entirety of the range of fear responses to various stimulus, one is forced to wonder about the panic responses involved in various alien abduction/mad gasser/witch hunt phenomena where a specific fear spreads as a meme acros entire communities of people, some of them not even geographically connected to each other.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Eleven Scary Evil Monsters from World Religions

Picture: J.A.S. Collin de Plancy (PD)

Via Mental Floss:

Terrifying monsters have lumbered, lurched, stalked and devoured their way through many world religions for untold millennia.

They were sometimes devised to frighten for purposes of cultural control – or as mythologic personifications of harsh, inexplicable forces. In the case of the Book of Revelation, monsters often symbolized the oppressive political tactics of the Roman empire.

Today’s religious monsters might well include: a ghoulish pedophile Priest with scaly-gropy fingers; or a polyester-swaddled fire-breathing Baptist Preacher; or maybe a grinning Televangelist that spews fundamentalist bile from its jack-o-lantern head; or a shape-shifting Republican p

olitician that can somehow take the form of & draw hateful power from every pitchfork wielding mob it encounters, no matter the religion.

Now if only Sam & Dean from “Supernatural” would hunt THEM!

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Lightning & Disease: A Primitive Thought System Overturned

For most of human history, life has been a struggle – a struggle against predators, against disease, against natural disasters, and against our fellow human beings as we find ourselves all thrown together on a single planet, vying for limited resources.  In the words of the philosopher Thomas Hobbes, life for the many has been “nasty, brutish, and short.”

Foremost among our ongoing challenges, however, and rising above all the others, is the struggle against our own ignorance.  Like newborn infants, naked and helpless, humans have been thrust into this world without the benefit of any instruction book to show us the way.  It is only through patience and ingenuity (and a fair amount of dumb luck) that we have managed to rise above our brute animal nature to occasionally achieve something resembling peace and civility.  Obviously, we still have a long way to go, but if we as a species hope to continue our stumbling progress towards a happier, healthier future, we must acknowledge the various pitfalls and dead ends we’ve encountered along the route, starting with those of the distant past.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Drug That That Banishes Fear

Although reported in typical surface-skimming Business Insider tabloid/SEO-max style, Noah Plaue’s account of anandamide’s potential for humans really is quite interesting…

Promising research shows how to increase a chemical within us that counteracts fear.

Scientists from Duke University and the National Institute of Health studied an endocannabinoid chemical, called anandamide, that is secreted naturally in humans and causes bliss while reducing anxiety. The chemical works similarly to marijuana.

By blocking an enzyme called FAAH that breaks down this chemical, the researchers successfully reduced fear in mice and believe that the same thing could very well work for humans.

As the paper notes, the potential for curing anxiety and stress disorders is truly exciting:

Our mouse data suggest that, by preventing FAAH-mediated degradation, augmenting anandamide in the basolateral amygdala may boost on-demand recruitment of endocannabinoids to facilitate the extinction of traumatic fear memories. Further we report an association between a putative loss-of-function human FAAH gene variant, an amygdala fear-plasticity endophenotype, and reduced trait stress reactivity.

Read the rest
Continue Reading