A Coaching Power Tool Created by Jenia Al Sbagh
(Business Coach, JORDAN)
What’s the fear?
In the dictionary fear is: an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. Fear is a feeling, and every single emotion and memory we experience is based under the fear which is ingrained in our brain, and this fear controls us in all our actions and behaviors.
Fear is a common feeling between humans; every single human has a fear that comes from a danger or a threat. Are you aware the impact of this fear on our lives? How many times you feel a lot of barriers or roadblocks that prevent you in moving forward? Fear traps us like a bird whose trapped in gage, so how can we open this gage and feel free of fear?
There is a study found by Dr. Joseph LeDoux, that calls for how is fear working in our brain and its influence in the emotion.
Much of the new information about the neural circuits underlying emotion stems from experiments on animals. Dr. Joseph LeDoux, a professor of neurobiology at New York University and a pioneer in such research, said that a basic emotion like fear and the circuits that support its expression were highly conserved through evolution. Understanding fear mechanisms in animals, he said, sheds light on human fears and may help researchers study other emotions. The work is important because many psychiatric disorders, including anxiety, phobias, post-traumatic stress syndrome and panic attacks involve malfunctions in the brain’s ability to control fear, he said.
Much of the research is centered on the amygdala, a tiny structure deep in the brain that is crucial for the formation of memories about significant emotional experiences. Damage a rat’s amygdala and it “forgets” to be afraid.
To trace the cell networks involved in fear, Dr. LeDoux and his colleagues first conditioned rats by pairing a loud noise with a mild electric shock to their feet. The rats soon showed fear when they heard the noise without the shock. The researchers presume fear conditioning occurs because the shock modifies the way in which neurons in several brain regions interpret the sound of the stimulus.
In time, however, the rats gradually lose their fear of the sound. Some part of the rat’s brain outside the amygdala seems to control the fear response, Dr. LeDoux said. But it does not eliminate it.
In further experiments, in which researchers damaged a small region of the rat forebrain, the rats not only did not lose their fear but remained afraid much longer, indicating that the frontal region helps control emotional memories forged in the amygdala and may prevent responses that are no longer useful.
This finding explains why a person who hears a lion’s roar in a zoo is not afraid, Dr. LeDoux explained. Input from the frontal area of the brain helps override the fear. But problems with this circuit may underlie phobias, he said. Some people respond with fear to a stimulus such as a lion’s roar, even though they know there is no danger. “You can tell phobics all day long, ‘This will not hurt you,’ ” Dr. LeDoux said, “but they don’t believe it.”
While animal experiments have helped scientists trace exact pathways for fear, the question of how emotions such as joy, sadness, anger or shame are wired in the human brain is more difficult to answer. Psychologists and philosophers have long examined emotions and their impact on behavior, but they have done so by observing what people do and say. Few have ventured into the so-called “black box” of the brain.