As I mentioned in the video, being able to look at your emotions objectively is key to feeling less affected by them and avoiding the negative loop of feeling bad about feeling bad!
Read on to learn about the different types of fear and anxiety.
As you learn about the science behind these emotions, and how common they really are, you will gain more understanding into your own emotional responses.
Fear and anxiety are used as general terms, but there is a difference, both in the feeling and in the physcial reaction. As explained by Harriet Lerner in Psychology Today, “neurobiology of fear is different than the neurobiology of anxiety. The sudden re-arrangement of your guts when an intruder holds a knife to your back (fear), is different from the mild nausea, dizziness and butterflies in your stomach as you're about to make a difficult phone call (anxiety).”
While fear technically refers to our response to an immediate danger, anxiety refers to the worrying and brooding we do about what could happen. You may find yourself getting anxious driving to the barn or as you are tacking up your horse to ride, before there is any real threat. Or perhaps your anxiety is triggered by something, like a big spook, but then you just can't shake the feeling that it could happen again and you continue to feel anxious.
In the paragraphs below, we will discuss several specific types of both fear and anxiety.
You may find yourself getting anxious driving to the barn or as you are tacking up your horse to ride, before there is any real threat. Or perhaps your anxiety is triggered by something, like a big spook, but then you just can't shake the feeling that it could happen again and you continue to feel anxious.
Anxiety doesn't always involve fearing for your physical safety, many new riders fear “messing up” the horse, and others may fear losing control, not meeting their own internal standards, or being judged or ridiculed by others.
Many times our riding fears are more a result of one of these deeper emotional challenges, not just about falling off the horse.
You may have other events going on in your life, unrelated to riding, past or present, that cause your anxiety, with the feelings spilling over to your riding.
In this video, I share the physiology of fear – how it affects our bodies, from a simple bout of nerves all the way to full panic.
In Part 2 of this training, I will share three of the best strategies for managing the feelings of fear and anxiety.
We are going to take a different approach than what you may have done in the past, as you will notice I don't encourage rationalizing or attempting to talk yourself out of the fear you are experiencing. Rather, the key will be to stay present and aware of your emotions, allowing them to subside.