Being Well Podcast: Avoiding Needless Fear
July 16, 2018

On this episode of the Being Well Podcast, Dr. Rick Hanson and Forrest discuss avoiding needless fear and how we can manage and reduce experiences related to it.

Sometimes fear is obvious, such as feeling nervous or panicked. But much of the time, fear operates behind the scenes. For example, fear is at work when a person stays within a small comfort zone, procrastinates to avoid a challenge, feels emotionally inhibited, or avoids speaking up and standing out.

Specifically, this episode focuses on a particular kind of fear: paper tiger paranoia. This fear is characterized by needless anxiety that comes from the brain’s creation of imaginary threats.

During this episode they explore:

  • The evolution of the nervous system, and how it created paper tiger paranoia.
  • The “two mistakes.”
  • The hidden costs of needless fear.
  • How we can use mindfulness to combat anxiety.
  • How we can see threats more clearly.


  • 1:00: What does “paper tiger paranoia” mean?
  • 3:25: How do “tigers” appear in the modern day?
  • 4:45: Why paper tigers crowd out real ones.
  • 6:20: Hidden costs of paper tiger paranoia.
  • 8:20: The insidiousness of fear.
  • 11:00: Recognizing sources of needless anxiety.
  • 17:45: Fighting back against fear.
  • 20:30: Fear, agency, and acceptance.
  • 23:30: Recap

If you would like to learn about Dr. Hanson’s new online program Neurodharma, follow this link!

In this online program, you will experience and develop seven qualities at the heart of the highest happiness – and live from them more deeply and continuously.

You’ll learn from both ancient wisdom and modern neuroscience, engaging your brain and body as you explore the upper reaches of human potential.

You’ll get ideas and methods to be more present, have compassion for yourself and others, rest in a calm and grateful confidence, feel whole, and know your interconnectedness with everything.

Included with the program are over 15 hours of powerful video teachings on the science and wisdom of Neurodharma, over 6 hours of guided practices, 8 weeks of guidance with regular email encouragement, downloadable handouts and audio files, and lifetime access and a 30-day full-refund guarantee.

Use the code BEINGWELL for 10% off the purchase price.

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Join Dr. Rick and Forrest Hanson every week on the Being Well Podcast for lively and thought-provoking conversation and practical tips for being happier, building inner strengths, and getting the most out of life.

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