National Face Your Fears Day is celebrated on the second Tuesday of October every year, on October 12 this year. Whether you have a deep-seated fear of public speaking or are terrified of spiders, this day is an opportunity to step out and overcome things that are holding you back.
History of NATIONAL FACE YOUR FEARS DAY
Though some credit the creation of National Face Your Fears Day to public speaker Steve Hughes, who reportedly founded the day in October 2007, the history surrounding the day is uncertain.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines fear as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm”. Fear is one emotion that is universal, experienced by all classes of people, be they old or young, poor or rich, educated or illiterate.
According to scientists, fear is purely physical. When a person is confronted by a stimulus or the subject of fear, a physical reaction occurs in the brain. The part of the brain called the amygdala immediately goes to work and alerts the nervous system of a possible threat. In response, stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline are released, preparing the body for fight or flight. This response prepares the body to either stay and confront the situation or run to safety. The blood pressure goes up, the heart rate increases, and the palms get sweaty. All these are signs that the body is experiencing and processing the emotion of fear.
This proves that the fear response is involuntary, meaning that it happens without conscious thought. But just because it’s an automatic response, doesn’t mean we should allow our emotions to control us. Fear can be useful in protecting us from danger, but when we allow fear to become debilitating, we limit ourselves and deprive ourselves of experiencing all that the world has to offer. On National Fear Your Fears Day, it’s time to stand up to those fears and say yes to courage!
NATIONAL FACE YOUR FEARS DAY timeline
The word "phobia" is first used in the modern sense.
The amygdala is discovered by physiologist Karl Friedrich Burdach.
Psychiatrists use terms such as social phobia to refer to extremely shy patients.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) is established.
NATIONAL FACE YOUR FEARS DAY FAQs
Are fear and phobia the same?
No. Fear is a common reaction to a situation or object, while a phobia is a heightened or irrational fear of certain objects or events.
Can fear be useful?
Yes. Fear alerts us to potential danger by preparing us for “fight or flight”. It becomes harmful when it prohibits us from functioning normally.
Are there people who never feel fear?
Yes. Some people have Urbach-Wiethe disease, an extremely rare disorder that affects the amygdala (the region of the brain responsible for processing fear) and are incapable of experiencing the emotion.
How to Observe National Face Your Fears Day
Facing your fear sometimes means you do that thing that scares you even when you feel afraid. In psychology, this technique is referred to as exposure therapy.
Talk about it
If you find it difficult to overcome your fear, try talking about it with a trusted person. Talking about it will help you to understand the triggers behind it.
This day deserves to be celebrated every day of the year, not just on one day. Make a resolution to stop letting your fears control you.
5 Causes Of Fear
People are afraid of certain things because of their childhood environments.
People feel fear as a result of past traumas and negative experiences.
Fear of the unknown is also a common trigger of fear.
According to experts, people are more susceptible to certain fears as a result of their genes.
When people have reacted to fear in the past, in a way that caused others around them to react negatively, fear of other people’s reactions could lead to future anxiety about the cause of the fear itself.
Why National Face Your Fears Day is Important
Reminder to do it afraid
This day is a reminder to be brave, even if it means doing it afraid!
Never walk alone
On this day, we’re reminded that everyone feels fear at some point, and we’re not alone in the fight against fear.
Increases your courage
When you successfully face your fears, sometimes you realize that you’re more powerful than you thought, and fear begins to lose its grip on you.
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