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The Root Factor Underlying Our Problems

Updated: Mar 21, 2023

Written by Ahmet Tuna Balci


The Root Factor Underlying our Problems

Our problems or the things we are afraid of affect our life in negative ways. In the previous life of an individual, situations that affect the mind and ideas of the individual are the main factor of experiencing this emotion─namely fear. Experiencing such emotional states, in addition to affecting human life badly, also causes a person's daily work to be disrupted in any way or the inability to focus on one's work (1).

Actually, this thing called fear isn’t about reality or something that can be logical and quantitative. Like everything else intangible, it is shaped only in the mind of an individual.

Anyway, how can we overcome this emotion? Or if we think that we cannot pass over this emotion what should we do? "The only thing to be afraid of is fear itself," says Franklin Roosevelt. What does it mean? What is the mindset behind this notion? If we cannot overcome this fear situation, it is about the idea that “I cannot do this, it is impossible, anybody does not believe me about my ideas, “The main idea, the key phrase is that. It is the thought that real fear is just about small fear (4).

In addition, if the person is afraid of something, he/she will never be able to come forward for anything in life. That is why the person always stays behind something and is not able to make his/her own decisions in his/her own life. Such situations become commonplace after a while, and that is why people always start to run away from their problems(2).


Unconscious Fear:

So, what do we find if we examine the physiological responses of the brain? In unconscious fear, the hypothalamus secretes enzymes to start the process of emotional reaction. After this work of the hypothalamus, the cortex comments on the emotional data, and then the amygdala solves emotions and defines possible dangers. Finally, the hypothalamus decides what the mind should do. Although fear is dependent on emotional stimuli to trigger the amygdala, it is not processed in normal emotional ways. For example, a study published in Current Biology comes to exactly this finding. If the cortical pathway is completely blocked, the amygdala will not function in normal sensory pathways. In this study on rats, it was observed that the rat could still form a memory of a frightening sound.


However, this sound, which is frightening for the rat; instead of going from the ear to the thalamus, from the thalamus to the cortex, and from there to the amygdala, it moved directly from the thalamus to the amygdala, bypassing the cortex. This finding is quite important; because we know that the cortex is necessary for any conscious experience. That means; A frightening stimulus unconsciously triggers emotions and fear without us knowing what it is (3).


Mental Dangers:

This response, developed in the evolutionary process to help our ancestors survive against predators in a dangerous world, is experienced today more as a reaction to the dangers we produce mentally. Mental threats are threats that will not physically harm us but are likely to cause some psychological distress. There are numerous scientific studies supporting that the amygdala is responsible for fear processing. For example, a study published in the Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology found that when this entire brain region was removed from rats, rats became fearless against their historically deadliest enemies, cats.

There are many ideas from various writers or philosophers, but I think I can make you feel that you must fight your fears if you want to realize yourself and be more successful in your future life. Important ideas about this topic:


1-"Impatient is fear."

Stefan Zweig


2-"There are two levers to move people. Curiosity and fear."

Napoleon Bonapart


3-"Fear can work, but cowardice does nothing."

Mahatma Gandhi


4-"Cowards have never erected victory monuments."

Plato


5-"If you know that something is right but you don't side with it, you are a coward. "

Confucius


6-"He who fears nothing is as mighty as the man everyone fears."

Friedrich Schiller


7-"If you live in fear, you just watch life."

Friedrich Nietzsche



References:
  1. ACM Digital Library. (n.d.). Retrieved December 1, 2022, from https://dl.acm.org/

  2. Forbes, D. (2021, February 8). Escape the problem narrative – it's your responsibility to create change. LinkedIn. Retrieved December 1, 2022, from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/escape-problem-narrative-its-your-responsibility-create-dean-forbes

  3. Major structures and functions of the brain - NCBI bookshelf. (n.d.). Retrieved December 1, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK234157/

  4. Running away from problems, people and life: Why we do it. 1VibrantLife.com. (2022, November 18). Retrieved December 1, 2022, from https://www.1vibrantlife.com/running-away-from-problems/

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