Tips for Managing Fear — Part 1 — GROW Counseling

We’ve all been around a lot of fear recently. There are different types of fears: real, imagined, and perceived. How does our brain and mind recognize the difference? And how can we understand how fear works?

A local neurologist recently came to our staff gathering and shared some of his knowledge. After exploring his website, I came across a free e-book dedicated to understanding fear and safety.

The article explains how fear is an innate survival response; we are all wired to automatically respond to fearful scenarios. Fear and stress are connected to everyday functions such as breathing, digestion, heart rate, cognition, and perspiration. Our body literally begins to shut off certain activity that is not needed when fleeing or fighting and amps up certain activity that could be needed to fight, flee, or freeze.

Part of the reason our brain may have a difficult time deciding if a fearful scenario is a life-threatening bear or a work meeting is because it is trying to distinguish between perception and reality.

It is trying to process how significant the stakes are and asking that question — Do I need to keep them safe? We may perceive that a work deadline is life-threatening because we are not sure about the potential outcomes.

It is helpful to understand the origins of fear, but next time we will discuss tools and practices for distinguishing between real and perceived fears.

Written by: Kim DeRamus Lareau

Originally published at

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