Typically the stress and fear we deal with (although can appear insurmountable) is of a low-ish grade nature. The big problem in our modern society is that it’s continual low grade stress and fear, rather than the run for your life from the tiger or lift that car off a child.
Psychology Today talks about “most of us only using about 65 percent of our muscles’ maximum theoretical strength.” It’s often been heard about the influence of “maternal fear” allowing a mom to lift a car off a child. This same article says that this is not likely to happen on its own, “the brain releases when under acute stress two kinds, endocannabinoids and opiods, that are powerful analgesics.”
Most of us tend to think of fear as a negative, as something to be avoided. But fear can have powerfully positive effects as well. The emotion is evolution’s way of keeping us safe in the face of danger. When awakened, it can unleash abilities we never knew we had, unlocking reserves that are otherwise hidden.
Witnessing this 22 year old in Paris, has me thinking that “maternal fear” may extend well beyond just women. Perhaps as a society we are wired to step up and help in any (super hero) way we can.