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Flight or Fight Response

Did you know there is a day set aside for Rabies Day?  September 28 is World Rabies Day.

As humans, we all know the lurch in the stomach and the faster breathing when we are facing danger.

Well…. what our primitive brain has classified as peril…..

Let’s talk about what might be the origin of that response.

Theories of the Origin of that Response

I can make myself fearful by thinking about what I would do if confronted by a rabid dog.

Photo by Tadeusz Lakota on Unsplash

Photo by Rob Schreckhise on Unsplash

A good exercise to check in with my body responses but rabies isn’t evident in land-dwelling mammals in Australia.

Bats yes – dogs no.





I am not suggesting that fears of dogs, cats, bats, chickens are trivial. These feelings may stem from an actual encounter with the creature or not.


The body responds as if the danger is currently present – yet the event that occurred could be from years/decades ago.


Photo by Maria Teneva on Unsplash

Gatherings of Hunter-Gatherers

One theory I heard recently, was that our fear of being in front of groups of people stems from pre-historic times.
If, as a hunter-gatherer, you were alone in front of a group of unknown people, death was fairly well the pre-determined outcome.

Our bodies apparently remember this through genetic memory.

I want to research this more and if you have an opinion either way – let me have it! (Intellectually I mean!)


Primary (Elementary) School Show & Tell Trauma


Photo by Jeffrey Hamilton on Unsplash.


The most common origin of the fear response that I have found when talking and working with people has been an episode generally in primary school.

Go Back to that Moment

Go back gently, in your memory, to that time where you were up in front of the class delivering your piece on the Solar System; Why my cat vomits (insert topic here).


….. you froze…….. no words are coming out, your mind is blank, your eyes are darting side to side, nausea rolling, desperately wanting a pee….

Mrs Adams or Mr Pike allows the silence to lengthen and EITHER helps you out compounding the disempowerment OR leaves you to shuffle off embarrassed in every cell of your body.

Apologies for leading you to that horrible place.

Where are you now?

But you know, don’t you – this is in the PAST and that is where it belongs.

Whatever the circumstances were that generated that panic no longer apply to you NOW.

Your feelings of panic have stayed as part of a habit of response.

That fear response can be distracted.

There is a video posted on my YouTube channel where I discuss the Vagus nerve with Michele Dougherty of Shell Yoga and Mindfulness
and what significance it has in the body.

Getting to know your Vagus nerve and remembering all you have to do is breathe is the #1 lesson to learn in fear busting.

So I have been discussing the top 10 fear busters for a while now.  It is all about taking the first steps toward interrupting the fear cycle.

Examining and then displacing the habitual response.  The memory of fear of speaking in front of people can be summoned from a real event!

But that event is not real now.


It is highly unlikely that you are in danger of physical harm when you speak in front of people today.

Crockery, pens, laptops or desks generally remain in place during any speaking event.

No spears, or threats from hostile hunter-gatherers should be evident either.



So rolling back to rabies – Australia has no rabies.

It is really easy to generate fear in your body if you imagine every dog you meet has rabies.

Not every pooch has rabies.

There is no physical threat from speaking in public either.

Photo by Wil Amani on Unsplash

How many of you have discussed this with your body?

Talk to me if you want to kick your fear response aside.


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