Why do fears get worse over time?

Todd Farchione, PhD
Research shows that when we respond to our fears by running away and avoiding them, we can actually feed the fear and make it worse over time.

For situations that are dangerous (and should be avoided), this really isn’t a problem. In fact, it can be adaptive. But for fears that are less rational, or appear to be excessive or less adaptive given the nature of the situation, we need to respond differently.

The emotional part of your brain is incorrectly responding as though something is dangerous, resulting in feelings of fear. The fear you’re experiencing is essentially a false alarm. And that’s exactly how you should try to respond to it.
Changing behaviors is an effective way to teach the emotional part of your brain to settle down and ultimately lead to a reduction in your feelings of fear. 

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