The Power of Fear


In general, fear is considered a bad thing. However, the human body’s response to fear and stress can often unlock powers that we did not know that we had. In critical moments when a quick reaction or the need for abilities beyond the everyday situation are needed, these response mechanisms can provide the individual with the edge that they need to either protect their own safety or the safety of another.

These biological forces evolved in humans and other animals as a way of managing and surviving in the world around us. The environment that early humans and their ancestors existed in was exceedingly more dangerous than the one that we live in today. The danger of being attacked by wild animals or a hostile tribe was a part of everyday life. If humans were to survive these conditions, they needed a fear response system that pushed the limits of their abilities beyond that of less stressful times.

Much of how these abilities are triggered and how they work rests within the functions of the human mind. In essence, the mind parses information into two categories, information for the conscious mind and information for the subconscious mind. Information that is processed by the subconscious mind is filtered for cues on how to react to certain situations. When the subconscious mind interprets something as dangerous, it triggers this fear response.

Under regular conditions, the mind regulates how much strength the body can output. In a moment of stress, the brain releases chemicals that can often make it possible to push beyond these limits. Along with increased strength, people may also experience quicker reactions and a focus that is far more dialed-in than that of the everyday situation.

While this is one of the most researched aspects of the human mind, there is still much that remains to be understood of this response system.  One of the things that we can take away from these facts is that fear can be a good thing and that it can help us to meet the needs of intense situations however rare they might be.