116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Imagine walking through a forest and coming across a dark, damp cave.
You walk closer. You whisper hello, and you hear your voice echo back to you. Then you hear something else — a rough grumble, like an animal waking up from a deep nap.
Are you going to walk into that cave? No way!
A healthy dose of fear in this situation would keep you safe. Standing outside the cave, your heart rate might be racing, your palms might be sweaty, you might have goosebumps on your arms — all signs your brain is trying to tell you that you are in danger.
And in dangerous situations, feeling afraid is a good thing. Without fear, you might walk right into the den of a hibernating bear. Or not notice the cars on a busy street. Or pick up a poisonous snake!
But not all fears are created equal. Feelings of fear are great if you are in a spooky, unfamiliar cave. But those feelings aren’t helpful when they show up when you’re actually safe.
Imagine you wake up in the middle of the night. It’s dark, but you know you are safe at home in your own bed. If fear shows up, you can calm it down by telling yourself you are safe, taking deep breaths, or squeezing a stuffed animal for comfort. This is called self-regulation, and its an important skill to practice and develop.
In the movie “Inside Out,” the feeling of Fear is nervous and jittery. Although he isn’t as much fun as the other feelings in the movie, he has an important job — keeping everyone safe and alive!
“We did not die today,” Fear says in the movie. “I call that an unqualified success.”