Fear has a positive function. It triggers strong emotion to let us know we are in danger. What is there to be afraid of in our current environment? The suggestion of illness, injury, economic hardship and violence can be an unsettling reminder of the possibility of personal loss. Fear helps us anticipate these potentially harmful events. Fear is designed to warn us, make us more watchful, and ultimately protect us from harm.
As we are frequently bombarded with threats, whether real or imagined, fear becomes damaging. Fear begins to create a pattern in our lives as it converts to a constant state of anxiety. The change from productive fear to habitual anxiety occurs subtly and gradually over time. Eventually, as the pattern of anxiety builds it becomes like an illness, even distorting our ability to differentiate reality from fantasy.