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A Rise to the Challenge

By Ivy Lo


Are you afraid of anything? Maybe are you scared of heights? Or the loud sound of thunder?


I’ll let you in on a secret: I’m afraid of a lot of things too. When I was in elementary school, I was super (and I mean super) afraid of needles. Whenever I had to get a shot, I would cry and beg my mom to take me home.


Scary things like getting a shot may seem scary at first, but here is a trick that I learned. If you close your eyes and count to three, it will only feel like a little pinch. When you open your eyes again, the scary part is already over! It's as if someone pinched you awake from a dream! Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you don’t even feel the pinch.


A lot of things sound scary at first, but we can always find a way to take a rise to the challenge.


Maybe you’re afraid of riding a bike without training wheels. Just as the name suggests, training wheels are for training so if you keep practicing you won’t need them one day. You might fall a few times, but every time you get back up and try again, you’re learning and getting better at the task.


While fear is something that you experience in your mind, it also affects your body and the way you act. When your mind recognizes fear, your amygdala (the part of your brain that is responsible for processing emotions, especially fear) alerts your body to act before you think. This is why you might flinch or squirm before the doctor gives you a shot.


Sometimes, fear makes us run away from scary things, but at other times fear can be exciting! Take riding a roller coaster for example, or watching horror movies. People are usually scared of roller coasters because they don’t feel in control. They may have a fear of heights, or they may be scared of something bad happening. However, a lot of people overcome this fear after giving it a try! This is because riding roller coasters can give people an adrenaline rush.


Adrenaline is a hormone that is often released when we are in stressful, exciting, dangerous, or threatening situations. Therefore, people often experience an adrenaline rush while doing activities such as: skydiving, bungee jumping, and zip lining. While these activities can be scary, they can also become exciting, fun activities after you overcome your fears!



Taking a rise to the challenge is not just about facing our fears, it's also about pushing ourselves to be the best version of ourselves. When you try something new, you learn about yourself and the world around you. Are you afraid to try something new? Start by facing one of your fears. Who knows? Maybe you will be pleasantly surprised.


Sources:

Northwestern Medicine Staff. “5 Things You Never Knew about Fear.” Northwestern Medicine, Northwestern Medicine, 9 Oct. 2020, www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips/emotional-health/5-things-you-never-knew-about-fear#:~:text=Fear%20is%20experienced%20in%20your,body’s%20fear%20response%20into%20motion. Accessed 10 Apr. 2023.

‌Kids That Go. “The Upstairs and Downstairs of the Brain: Part One - Kids That Go.” Kids That Go, 8 May 2020, https://kidsthatgo.com/upstairs-and-downstairs-brain-part-one/#:~:text=THE%20BABY%20GATE%20OF%20THE,times%20when%20we%20feel%20threatened. Accessed 10 Apr. 2023.

Cafasso, Jacquelyn. “Adrenaline Rush: Everything You Should Know.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 6 Nov. 2017, www.healthline.com/health/adrenaline-rush. Accessed 10 Apr. 2023.


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