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When you are afraid, you start going into fight or flight mode. Your body starts prioritising what is needed for immediate survival - screw routine body functions, if you don't make it past the next few moments there won't be a routine to return to. You stop digesting food. Cell repair slows or stops. You stop producing saliva, which is why your mouth goes dry when you're nervous just before making a speech or going into a difficult conversation. Your heart rate and breathing increase to ensure better blood flow. A cocktail of hormones like epinephrine and oxytocin are cued up and produced, which amplifies your body's ability to act (and remarkably, in the case of oxytocin, reminds you to seek help).
Don't be mistaken about what happens when you feel fear. Your body is readying itself to help you face what you fear in the way it knows how.

What causes us to feel fear?
1) Fear occurs to us unconsciously. Do you pause to think, hey, very angry looking snake! Maybe I should be scared. Of course not, it would be too late! Fear becomes much clearer when we examine what happens inside your brain. When you are afraid, the fear/anger/aggression/anxiety centre of your brain - the amygdalas (get used to this name, it's gonna keep popping up) lights up. And we've covered all the changes that happen in your body: your blood pressure, your hormones, your heart-rate. But remember how amygdala is like a train interchange with direct routes to different parts of your brain? There is a direct neural link between our amygdala and your pre-frontal cortex, the rational thinking part of your brain. And if we look closely enough or we think things through, sometimes we realise, argh! it's not an angry snake, it's just a prank toy that your annoying friend had thrown at you. Or if you've handled angry snakes enough times, your amygdala does not light as much. Your blood pressure and your heart rate do not increase as much, you realise what you need to do is to stay calm and slowly back away. 


Finally, notice how fear, anger, aggression, and anxiety are processed by the same part of the brain, the amygdala. This is no coincidence. These 4 emotions are closely tied to one another; aggression maybe triggered because one is nervous, angry, or fearful. Being fearful may cause one to react angrily, as a self-defense mechanism. Fear, like all our emotions, happens to us. Mostly, we can't control how it originates. But we can control how it develops by understanding what exactly is causing fear and by choosing the response that dispels it 

2) We fear what we are unconfident or uncertain about. Think back on your ancestors doing something they weren't confident or certain off - hunting a massive animal without a weapon, or eating a berry they've never seen before. Doing so would mean a very high chance of seriously harming themselves. Today, after many cycles of evolution, we have been wired based on these experiences. 

Think about it. Are you ever fearful of something you've done before, and are good? Brushing your teeth, putting on your clothes, indulging in your favourite hobby (whatever it is)? Of course not. You know you can perform these functions easily. You are confident. 

But many of us would have felt fearful and anxious the first time we ventured into something new: using a pair of chopsticks, riding a bicycle, swimming, going on a first date. We were uncertain about these functions, and we were not confident about performing them.  However, once we have demonstrated to ourselves that we are able to perform these tasks, we are no longer afraid. The same applies to more challenging tasks. Some of us struggle with: public speaking, starting a business, having a very difficult conversation with the CEO... You are uncertain and unconfident if you can succeed. But once you have proven to yourself you are able to do it, even for the more challenging tasks, you are no longer afraid. People might start off feeling scared about public speaking, but after speech 3797, you're pro The catch, of course, is that sometimes, we are too scared to start. 

Even if we were certain of something OR confident about something, many of us will still feel some amount of fear. We might be theoretically certain how we should use a pair of chopsticks, but if we have never succeeded in using them properly, we remain unconfident and will still feel nervous if we had to use them, especially when others are observing. You might also be confident about 

3) we fear what is painful. Boxer. climbing 100 flights of stairs or doing 100 burpees. But pain is not just physical but mental. Failure is painful. Being judged is painful. 

This is why you procrastinate. You either fear what you have to do bevause you don't know how to do it (you don't fear brushing your teeth for example), or you fear doing something becaue you know it will be effortful

4) we fear what we cannot control 
 



Learn more about your amygdala, the amygdala hijack, the thalamus, the pre-frontal cortex, and how your brain works here.

Summary:

- Fear and anxiety (and anger + aggression) are always 

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Fear of judgement. We prefer to conform even if it doesn't make sense

Well as it turns out, fear (and anxiety and aggression and anger) are emotions, and this is just how emotions work. They happen almost instantly (there is a biological reason for this). Just like watching a cartoon of fictional animated characters can make people sad, You can change what makes you fearful over a long period of time - after 1,000 bungy jumps, the 1001st would be a lot less scary than your 1st bungy... but in the short tem

Asch Experiment 


What has been the 

 

There even though the part of our brain processing fear has largely remained the same.  Instead of sabretooth tigers, today most of us live in large societies. We fear failure because if there is a chance of failure, i is something we are weak at. Did you have some fear the first time you went on the internet or the first time you drove on the road? probably. But after 100 times, you no longer fear this because we are confident of the outcome.
We fear failure because of uncertaitny. Awfulising. It is easier and nautral for you to think of why you shoudl be fearful than why you should not be fearful.

We also fear failure because of conformity. If someone else has done it before, surely they have put thought into it. What odes it mean if i went against society or what others are doing? And conforming is not always a bad thing. we follow everyone else by brushing our teeth before and after we go to sleep. There's no need for us to re-figure out a path because this works. The problem though is that sometimes we conform even if it doesnt make sense

Video 1
Asch experiment
Miligram experiemnt 
Fear is automatic. It triggers whether we like it or not.
Fear warns us about uncertainty; you don't fear walkin down the street, but you get fearful and anxious walking in a new 

For fear

Your fear is instant.
Example, gif
Example, snake/rope. Rollercoaster. 
You have an amygdala just for this

But what as you can see there is no rational bit to this
You just feel fear
What if your asssssment was wrong?
Man fear of flying

What do you actually fear?
Uncertainty
Lack of control
Judgement

Story telling 
Talk sharot example on climate change

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Understand

Why we think and behave the way we do

Are we really in control of how and what we think and behave?  Do we really know how thoughts form and why we believe what we do? The answers are far more complicated than we like to "think". 

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Observe

What we have seen

So many experiments, so many unexpected results. See how we respond in different circumstances. What would your response be? Do you encounter these situations in your daily life?

Image by Andre Mouton
Examine

The big questions about human nature 

Are we innately racist? Almost all humans cheat, but when and why? If facts don't change minds, what does? Are we a result of nature or nurture? Why is motivation useless? Examine these questions and more

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Intrigue

It's a weird and whacky world

Fascinating facts, myths and mythology, physics and philosophy, the natural world

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Perspective

How have others lived their lives?

Life is too long to experience everything. But we can learn from the experiences of others. What gave them meaning in life? Is it true that once we find what we like, we"never work another day in our lives?"

Image by Cesar Carlevarino Aragon
Tools

To build and change yourself

Life decisions, making changes, and improving ourselves is really hard. Utilise some of these tools to help you on your way.  

The best and worst of our lives

People don’t think what they feel

They don’t say what they think

They don’t do what they say

Many of life's great triumphs come when we did much more than we thought we could. Yet, our deepest disappointments come because we were too hasty or we simply never dared to try. We can be inspired by thoughts or a fictional character, yet we can be frightened by our imagination and fictionalise fear. 

Many of life’s most beautiful moments are shared with others, of thoughtful selflessness or unexpected forgiveness. Yet, many sad experiences come from failed interactions, when pride escalated small misunderstandings, when minds refused to be changed, or when we chose to look the other way. We can build lifelong trust with just a handshake, yet a handshake could also mask the first step of a convoluted betrayal. 

 

Human thought and behaviour is complex and perplexing. We are influenced by so many factors -  from what happened to our ancestors 3 million years ago, to the culture/era we live in, who our parents are, what stimulus we encountered recently, what others are doing, how our experiences shaped our brains and genes, to the type of neurochemical secreted 3 milliseconds ago in our brain. Our thoughts and actions can be deliberately planned or unconsciously performed. Our brains are always changing.
 

This site aims to provide you with a better understanding of how we think and behave in different conditions, and why. We explore nature and nurture, decisions and impressions, emotions and rationality, thinking and intuition, action and reaction. We combine this understanding with tools and suggestions so we can be better versions of ourselves. 

Have fun exploring!

The best and worst of our lives

People don’t think what they feel

They don’t say what they think

They don’t do what they say

Many of life's great triumphs come when we did much more than we thought we could. Yet, our deepest disappointments come because we were too hasty or we simply never dared to try. We can be inspired by thoughts or a fictional character, yet we can be frightened by our imagination and fictionalise fear. 

Many of life’s most beautiful moments are shared with others, of thoughtful selflessness or unexpected forgiveness. Yet, many sad experiences come from failed interactions, when pride escalated small misunderstandings, when minds refused to be changed, or when we chose to look the other way. We can build lifelong trust with just a handshake, yet a handshake could also mask the first step of a convoluted betrayal. 

 

Human thought and behaviour is complex and perplexing. We are influenced by so many factors -  from what happened to our ancestors 3 million years ago, to the culture/era we live in, who our parents are, what stimulus we encountered recently, what others are doing, how our experiences shaped our brains and genes, to the type of neurochemical secreted 3 milliseconds ago in our brain. Our thoughts and actions can be deliberately planned or unconsciously performed. Our brains are always changing.
 

This site aims to provide you with a better understanding of how we think and behave in different conditions, and why. We explore nature and nurture, decisions and impressions, emotions and rationality, thinking and intuition, action and reaction. We combine this understanding with tools and suggestions so we can be better versions of ourselves. 

Have fun exploring!

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