Fear is an emotion that is aroused by the perception of impending danger, pain, evil, etc., regardless of if the threat is real or imagined. Fear serves a purpose from an evolutionary standpoint to help us survive. When we experience fear, adrenaline is released into the bloodstream which initiates a series of biological reactions. Blood and oxygen flow increase to our muscles, pupils dilate, and blood flow to other areas is restricted. All of this, known as the ‘fight or flight’ response allows our senses and reflexes to be heightened in preparation for us to escape real and physical danger (Celes, 2009).
However, there are instances where fighting or running from our fears is not the best or most appropriate response. More often than not, facing our fears can offer benefits for us that extend beyond the present moment and well into the future.