As it turns out, being “scared to death” isn’t just a saying.
A new video from ASAP Science, a YouTube channel that provides your “weekly dose of fun and interesting science,” explores the topic of fear. It’s not uncommon to be afraid of spiders, heights, small spaces and needles, but did you know that these fears can can actually (gulp) kill you?
OK, so it’s not that extreme — the sight of a spider will probably not send you into cardiac arrest — but ASAP science explains that when you feel afraid, “your fight or flight response is triggered and adrenaline is released.” This adrenaline makes your heart beat more quickly. Although this makes you faster and stronger in that moment, too much of it can lead to a heart attack.
So, what can you do to keep your fears from killing you? Try changing the way you think — and hitting the gym a little more.
“While scientists don’t know exactly who is most vulnerable, we do know that the incidence is extremely low for people with highly functioning hearts,” the video notes, adding, “training ourself to think differently about fears can actually reduce the amount of adrenaline they produce.”
Yep, it’s true. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.