I’M JUST CURIOUS: Fear can interrupt brain processes

by Debbie Walker

Whether threats to our security are real or perceived they impact our mental and physical well-being.

Fear can interrupt processes in our brains that allow us to regulate emotions. It impacts thinking and decision making in negative ways, leaving us susceptible to strong emotions and impulsive reactions. All these effects can leave us unable to act appropriately.

Fear can affect memory by making it difficult with the forming of long-term memories and cause damage to parts of the brain. This makes it difficult for one to regulate fear and leave them anxious most of the time.

Fear can cause physical health problems. It can weaken our immune system and can lead to accelerated aging.

All the previous information I gathered from University of Minnesota, titled “Taking Charge of Your Well Being“. Please continue your reading of the next information from Dr. Eugene K Choi found on Mission.com, it’s the one titled “One important Recommendation You May Not Be Hearing“. He started out by making sure that people knew; “First let me say yes it’s important to take the necessary precautions I am not writing this to argue about that.”

Fear can be very disabling. If it is strong enough it can throw you into the fight-flight-freeze response. When you are in this state your body produces a steroid, cortisol weakens your immune system.

If we are stuck somewhere in the 3-F’s process because of worries or anxiety, our bodies are wasting a ton of energy because it actually thinks it might die at that moment. All that energy wasted makes us even more susceptible to get sick.

In the 3-F mode you are in a selfish, self-protection state. You literally lose the capability of thinking of or having empathy. It’s what prevents us from thinking or having empathy and can wind up making things worse. Same goes for the “in denial’ people, they go out unnecessarily and put family, friends and other people at risk.

Fear is what sends people to the doctors office when their symptoms aren’t even related. This takes valuable time away from people who are actually infected.

A good idea would be to do things to build up your immune system. Do the things you can do on your own and put your body into a healing and resting mode.

You can practice the act of focusing on things you are grateful for. Think about the things you have. Some of these, others don’t have. Take notice of things until you feel grateful.

Spend your time connecting with your special people. Laugh a lot, it’s healing. Spread appreciation for our loved ones and the people working in jobs that are at risk but know their services are needed.

Try not to listen to information from the media. Look for information that is science based and limit that as well.

Please understand I am only doing a book report of what I read to pass the “interest” on to you. This is in no way is attached to the paper or people in my office.

I’m just curious if maybe this helps a couple of you in this time of “lock-downs'” and quarantines. Any questions or comments please email debbiewalker@townline.org.


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