The Rationality of Irrational Fear

The brain is a bizarre and extraordinary organ.  The human brain serves as the body’s command center, and for better or for worse, it is responsible for so much of how we conduct ourselves and how we perceive those around us.  Without its unique and often unexplainable attributes, we would be a dull and uncreative species.

The brain is also responsible for many of our so-called irrational fears; those phobias and sources of anxiety that we struggle to explain and overcome.  Irrational fears can range from things like mild anxiety about visiting the dentist or a fear of heights or snakes; we can logically explain to ourselves why these things should not generate distress and yet the brain emits a contradicting signal.  Personally, I have dealt with a debilitating irrational fear on and off over the years, and I will be the first one to explain why irrational fears should very much be ridiculous but are very much real and hard to explain to someone who has never experienced it.

Well isn’t that a depressing state of affairs?  No, it doesn’t have to be.  I am not discounting the very real phobias and associated panic attacks that people experience, but these abnormalities (for lack of a better word; they are “not normal” by definition but are not “flawed” as often depicted by the connotation of “abnormal”) are also a result of the complexities and superiorities of our brains.  Humor, innovation and creativity are all constructs of a brain that operates in varying capacities from person to person and often in different manners for each individual at different times of the week.

Without a dynamic thought center, our society would not be filled with great minds, diversity and new developing perspectives.  We often only focus on the sources of our distress and anxiety because they are so intrapersonal and immediate, but accounting for the context of why our minds might be playing these little tricks on us can help overcome some of these hardships.

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Or maybe this is all just optimistic bullshit… but sometimes that’s the reality I like to envision.

Don't look now... my noggin is showin'!