The amygdala is a tiny part of our brain that has been wired for thousands of years for one thing. To keep us alive. Many years ago, if a human was hunting in the forest and heard a twig snap, they would run for fear of being attacked by a wild animal. That’s a signal from the amygdala and it was necessary at the time. Fight or flight.
If that signal was not there, death could ensue.
But then time passed and we went from hunting and gathering to farming the land to industrialization and factories. Now many of us are blessed to live a life where we don’t need to be worried about surviving each time we step out the door.
However the amygdala is still in our brain. And it finds other things to raise the roof about.
It can cause anxiety over a work project, unpaid bills, sickness, or a dispute with a family member, friend or neighbour. It can make us nervous to fly or drive. Worried about our children when they are moving through the world. It can make us fear the unknown and decide against taking a chance in life. It can cause cortisol to rush through our veins attacking us from the inside.
So what are we to do? We need to remind ourselves that we are not being chased by a lion. We need to push out negative thoughts. Meditate. Go for a walk. Take action towards our goals instead of letting the voices in our head tell us it’s impossible.
Author Charles F. Glassman said, “The way I see it, our natural human instinct is to fight or flee that which we perceive to be dangerous. Although this mechanism evolved to protect us, it serves as the single greatest limiting process to our growth. To put this process in perspective and not let it rule my life, I expect the unexpected; make the unfamiliar familiar; make the unknown known; make the uncomfortable comfortable; believe the unbelievable.”
Our brain is not going to change. So we must change the way we use our brain. Walk through the fear to become all we were meant to be.