It’s Halloween and everywhere you look there are movies, haunted houses and other fearful things. Fear is something that we seem to enjoy, at least I think we must since we seek it out and continue to allow it to find its way into our everyday lives.
I can hear you saying “But you’re wrong, I don’t enjoy it, I don’t allow it in, it just is.” It’s one thing to watch a scary movie; you know it’s not real so the fear is temporary. However, many of us continue to watch news and read articles piling on more and more things we need to be afraid of. One of the problems with this is that there is so much to be afraid of, you can’t even assess what truly needs your attention. How often do you take the time to do a reality check and see if it’s really something that YOU need to be afraid of?
Science of Fear: I recently read a book “The Science of Fear: How the Culture of Fear Manipulates Your Brain” by Daniel Gardner. It was a fascinating book and started me on a path of questioning statements made by the media, especially when there are statistics involved.
Because the media hypes up certain types of stories, we begin to believe they are happening all the time when in fact they are extremely rare. We then act on that belief sometimes with disastrous results. He states that after 9/11 more people drove instead of flying, resulting in approximately an additional 1,600 traffic deaths the first year, dropping the second year and then back to normal the third year. After reading this book you will never again simply accept what you hear as fact. you will be questioning whether something is true or likely and reassess the true dangers.
Reality Check: Byron Katie gives another perspective by giving you tools to do a reality check through a series of four questions and some excellent tools designed to help you do your own reality check.
1. Is it true?
2. Are you absolutely sure it’s true? How do you know?
3. What is your reaction when you allow yourself to believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without the thought?
Byron Katie has a free set of worksheets on her website to help you learn to put these statements in practice and turn those thoughts around.
Is the fear yours? You may be affected by the fears of those around you, by the collective unconscious. Read this article Fear is All Around Us and learn more about the origins of fear in our lives and the impact it can have on your life.
Go ahead watch that scary movie and freak yourself out, but don’t allow fearful thoughts to play havoc on your daily life. Start questioning those fears when they pop up. Understanding our irrational fears frees us from political and corporate manipulation, and makes our choices better, and our lives braver.
If you missed the last newsletter you might want to check out this article as well. Politics, religion and intolerance – how can you create a shift?