Seneca

“We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.”

SENECA

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When we walk around terrified all the time, we can’t pick out the signal from the noise.

If you’re constantly scared, you can’t correctly notice when there is something genuine to fear
. True fear is a momentary signal, not an ongoing state.

Being afraid won't keep us safe

We misunderstand the value of fear when we think that being constantly hypervigilant will keep us safe.

Being afraid all the time doesn’t keep danger away from us. Instead, we need to learn to recognize key signals that could predict risk, in order to actually feel calmer and safer.

We’ll be in a better position when we'll be able to approach potential dangers with a calm mind, very vigilant to our internal signals but not anticipating every possible bad thing that could happen.

We don’t need to live in fear to stay safe. A better approach is to be aware of the risks we face, accept that some are unknown or unpredictable, and do all we can to be prepared for any serious or imminent dangers.

Anxiety (as opposed to fear) is always caused by uncertainty - the uncertainty of ultimately, by the forecasts we make, but in which we have little to no confidence.

Forecasts with high confidence free you to respond, adjust, feel sadness, accept, prepare, or to do whatever is needed. Accordingly, anxiety is reduced by improving your prediction capacity, thus increasing your certainty.

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RELATED IDEAS

We have become observationally lazy

Observation is as important now as it was a thousand years ago. However, we have to do it more quickly and efficiently because we may run into fifty strangers in a day where our ancestors saw only a few.

We often see people distracted while driving (applying makeup, making phone calls, texting) and getting into traffic accidents. When we fail to observe, it leads to avoidable circumstances. It can increase the chances of being victimized. Someone may say, "I had a feeling, in the beginning, that something wasn't right."

What Is Fear?

Fear is an important human emotion that can help protect us from danger and prepare us to take action, but it can also lead to longer-lasting feelings of anxiety. Findings ways to control ours fear can help us better cope with these feelings and prevent anxiety from taking hold.

Some other things we can include:

1. Get social support

2. Practice mindfulness

3. Use stress management techniques

4. Take care of your health.

Risk Compensation

Risk protection is normally done to minimize the harm a particular activity can do to us. There are various things we do to reduce our risk, to make ourselves safer.

Behaviour scientists point out that taking measures to reduce the harm we can do to ourselves, can actually make us take more risks, with the added knowledge that there is a safety check in place. This is known as Risk Compensation.

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