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Stress Management for Living, Teaching, & Parenting

Conquering Fear Reduces Stress

Image of a pencil eraser erasing the word "fear"

Conquering fear is indeed possible. Doing so is important, because fear and negativity go hand-in-hand. In fact, fear is often a by-product of negative thoughts. Unfortunately, we have an innate capacity for fear.

Well, fear not. This tip will enable you to face your fears head-on. And this is the best way for conquering fear once and for all!

In 1919 psychologist John B. Watson conducted a controversial experiment to see whether fear could be learned.

A young boy he named “Little Albert” was shown different creatures, including a rat. At first, Albert showed no fear of the rat.

Then Watson paired the exposure with a harsh sound that scared the little boy. Soon, Little Albert would react with fear at just the sight of the rat alone.

In essence, this was an example of classic conditioning. We are all familiar with the example of Ivan Pavlov and his experiments of feeding a dog while ringing a bell. Soon Pavlov just rang the bell and the dog salivated.

Watson extended experimenting with Little Albert, and soon the young boy feared other furry creatures.

The Key to Conquering Fear

Fear is complex. The emotion is processed by the amygdala deep within the brain. A person with a damaged amygdala doesn’t feel fear like the rest of us.

The key to conquering fear is to associate positive experiences or illusions with this emotion. In psychological terms, this is referred to as “fear extinction,” and is prompted by a conditioned reflex, similar to how the original fear was created.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to face your fears; learn to expunge them.

You can get many more empowering tips like this one in my award-winning book, Live Without Stress: How to Enjoy the Journey. Buy one and get one free as a gift. You will not want to depart with your own copy. Be sure to check out the Without Stress Facebook Group where you can connect with other life-minded people on a journey to reduce stress.

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Dr. Marvin Marshall
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