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Natural Scare

WHAT SCARE IS

Scare is a natural emotion or feeling.

We feel scare when our very existence is threatened (or we think it is).

It is good for us because
it immediately mobilizes all our energy
to deal with the threat.



HOW IT WORKS

Whenever we experience a threat,
all of our energy immediately goes into feeling scare.

Curiously, if it is a real threat (like a car accident)
it usually lasts only a few minutes.
But if it's an imagined threat
(like the fear of "dying from embarrassment")
it can last a long time
and be difficult to change on your own.

Scare's natural duration is very brief, a matter of seconds or minutes.
We get over it very quickly if we admit to it and express it.

It's hard to deny or fail to express natural fear, since it is so brief and intense.

The physical results of being scared,
such as fast heartbeat and shakiness
cannot be denied,
but the feeling itself can be.


Scare feels bad when we first notice it,
and it still feels bad a split-second later as we express it.

But it saves our lives... and having the experience of handling a frightening situation well
leads to a very healthy sense of our own power and a deeper sense of personal safety.


Natural scare must be felt on-the-spot.
We have no choice about time, place, or anything else.

Scare is really just a sudden burst of raw energy.
After we have experienced it we often feel exhausted for a while,
then filled with energy hours or days later.


We all have one particular set of physical sensations in our body
which indicate scare to us.

People feel scare in various ways and in various parts of their body.

The most common sensations are those associated with the startle response,
a generalized "flushed feeling,", tightness ("readiness") all over, and a quickened heartbeat.

Your sensation of scare may be one (or more) of these
or it may be somewhat different.



FEELING YOUR SCARE

It is vital to your physical and emotional health
to know how scare feels to you in your body.

So, right now, take a moment to remind yourself
of the worst scare you ever felt.
As you remember this day
when you were probably frightened for your life,
ask yourself:
"What do I feel in my body?"
(The sensation we are looking for will be someplace in your torso,
not in your head or in your extremities.....)

Once you recognize your own "scare place" in your body,
you can stop thinking about that bad day in your life!

Notice that you are able to let go of that memory
almost as quickly as you were able to remember it!



UNNATURAL SCARE

It is possible to believe that you are scared when you aren't,
and to believe you are scared when you are really excited (most common),
or sad, or angry, or happy, or feeling guilty.

The split-second it started:
Real, necessary, natural scare starts as an immediate response to some event.
Unreal, unnecessary, unnatural scare starts in our minds, with a thought or fantasy.

If the scare was natural you will feel better almost immediately.
If it was unnatural it lasts as long as you make it last.


If you don't get relief from your scare, it probably started in your mind.

It is possible to simply stop unnatural scare
(once you stop believing it's real).

If you have trouble stopping it,
you are probably believing that you are scared
as part of some learned strategy for getting along in the world.
Some people call this manipulation,
but that word implies that it's done on purpose.
It's really a way of coping, subconsciously, with life's difficulties.

But feeling the pain of unnatural scare
never works as a way of coping in the long run.



NOT A PROBLEM FOR MOST PEOPLE

Natural scare is seldom a problem for most of us.

But problems with scare are
one of the most common problems in our culture!

How can that be?

All of those problems come from unnatural scare.



See "PROBLEMS WITH SCARE"
(Another Article In This Series)


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Write To Me, I Want To Hear From You!
Tony Schirtzinger, Therapist (Milwaukee) 

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