The Fear Project A new book exploring life's most primal emotion

Archive for May, 2012
The Huge Nothing That We Fear
The Huge Nothing That We Fear

I recently traveled to Iceland on a surf trip and found myself in the middle of a brutal wind storm. Brought to mind one of my favorite fear-related poems by Seamus Heaney, Storm on an Island, and the huge nothing that we fear STORM ON THE ISLAND We are prepared: we build our houses squat, […]

Game of Thrones and True Bravery
Game of Thrones and True Bravery

Like much of the planet right now, I’m obsessed with HBO’s fantasy series, Game of Thrones. I think about it pretty much every waking minute, but there was a moment in last Sunday’s episode that has really stuck with me. It even puts a lump in my throat. Robb Stark, the honorable King of the […]

The Neurobiology of Courage
The Neurobiology of Courage

I find this 2010 study, published in Neuron, absolutely fascinating. Researchers in the Department of Neurobiology of the Weizmann Institute of Science (led by Uri Nili, a rock climber when he’s not in the lab) asked people who were afraid of snakes to bring a live snake close to their heads. Meanwhile, the scientists peaked […]

Know Thyself: Mental Training with Paige Dunn
Know Thyself: Mental Training with Paige Dunn

Last winter, I went on a campaign to surf the biggest waves I could find as a sort of experiment in fear studies. Surfers tend not to talk to sports psychologists or mental trainers, but I had the good fortune of running into the incredible Paige Dunn along the way. Paige is an experienced endurance […]

Fear Won’t Go Away. You Change How You React to It
Fear Won’t Go Away. You Change How You React to It

Your body is made of about 60 percent water. The blood in your veins is close to the consistency of seawater. Even the human brain is more than two-thirds water. Keeping this in mind, try to feel that original part of yourself. Imagine those elbows and knees, bits of tooth and jaw and skull, dissolving […]