The Skillful Podcast Episode 55: Emotions Explained: Fear

#55: Emotions Explained: Fear 

Today’s episode focuses on the emotion of fear. At its most fundamental, fear keeps us safe. It guides us to fight, flee, or freeze in the face of danger. 

Often, though, fear can be chronic, manifesting as anxiety, worry, or tension even when we are safe. This episode helps you identify fear in all its manifestations and provides tools to help you cope with it.

Show Highlights:

  • Fear is a broad category that includes anxiety and apprehension as well as something much stronger, like terror or shock
  • Our nervous system registers fear automatically, outside our conscious awareness
  • Paying attention to what happens in the body in the presence of fear such as clenching teeth, holding of the breath, and tensing muscles
  • Feeling exhausted may be the result of prolonged anxiety
  • Avoidance is the most common expression of fear
  • Procrastination interpreted as an expression of fear
  • Check the Facts: Is the fear relevant to the current situation and is it effective to act on the fear right now?
  • Are interpretations or assumptions inflaming the fear?
  • If acting on fear is not effective, approach what you want to avoid
  • The antidote to fear is to feel in control, which we can do with the skill of Build Mastery

DBT Skills Discussed


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Please note that questions, and this podcast in general, are not a substitute for individual mental health treatment.