Why Humans Fear The Unknown

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Many of us feel fear every day. Now, I’m not talking about the kind of fear felt when we are in imminent danger and need to spring into action in order to save ourselves from injury or death.

I’m talking about the kind of fear that neither saves us nor serves us.

The kind of fear that stems from one thing: The Unknown.

We don’t know what’s in the dark, and logically, that means that anything can happen.

But fearing The Unknown is irrational. The word “irrational” is defined as: “not logical or reasonable.”

It’s not logical or reasonable to be worried about something that may not be real, and yet, we all still do it. All the freakin’ time. I am certainly no exception. I struggled with severe anxiety throughout most of my life.

The very definition of anxiety is: “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.” Uncertain is the key word here.

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In fact, there’s a good chance you may be familiar with anxiety too. The National Institute of Mental Health states that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 18% of the population.

But later, as an adult, I learned the truth: This type of anxiety-based fear is often a choice.

Why, then, do we keep choosing to indulge in something that tastes so, so awful?

It all comes down to good ol’ biology.

Humans are just highly evolved animals, and fear is the brain’s alarm system.

Humans need fear for survival, which in turn aids our evolution. It is crucial, and thus rational, to fear an angry bear or the sight of a poisonous snake. Evolution cannot occur in the absence of life, after all.

But the brain’s complexity has enabled us to think, obsess even, in irrational ways. Our intertwined primal instincts and evolved consciousnesses struggle to coexist.

We can (and do) blow our primal, survival-instinct fear out of proportion with great ease.

Our minds have no problem going down the rabbit hole of oblivion, and then before we know it, anxiety takes over, and we may end up with a full-blown panic attack.

…And all this over something that may not even be real, let alone a threat.

It may sound silly when it’s broken down like that, but it isn’t silly. Don’t feel silly.

Feeling fear of the unknown isn’t something to be ashamed of, but simply something to be aware of.

You are but a mere human bean after all, with an animalistic brain that is only trying really, really hard to survive. The primal brain is just doing its job.

However, we have evolved to this very advanced point and are capable of awareness, so it is our elevated brain’s duty to consciously use that capability.

Awareness is key. The lovely Corin Grillo teaches that we aren’t supposed to fight fear. We are to become smarter than fear. Fear distracts us from our light-led, earthly missions. We are to choose Love over Fear. Always.

Be aware of your fears. Be aware of your “what-ifs.” Be aware of going down that rabbit hole of oblivion. Be aware and come to a stop. Then breathe, deeply and slowly.

Awareness takes patience and practice, but remember that nothing worth having ever comes easily. Let this motivate you in order to become the best possible version of you.

With love and gratitude,

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