Addicted To Fear.

“Then she told herself to stop her nonsense. If you looked for things to make you feel hurt and wretched and unnecessary, you were certain to find them, more easily each time, so easily, soon, that you did not even realize you had gone out searching.”
Dorothy Parker, The Portable Dorothy Parker

Are you watching the news right now? Please, turn it off. Humans are sponges and we’ve been absorbing the gross fear and negativity that the media is shoving down our throats for years. I am not encouraging ignorance. I am merely suggesting some moderation.

The 24 hour news cycle is destructive to our psyches because fear is addictive. Our brains are wired to seek out problems in the environment. When we turn on the news we are stimulated by the bright colors and sounds and we are sucked in by the the fear machine. We talk about it at work. We call our friends and share our fears. We beg them to be fearful with us. We want them to be safe. We are scared. 

Pause. Breathe. You’re safe.

Fear makes us reactive and defensive. Fear causes people to use the primal part of their brain when problem solving as opposed to the logical rational part of our brain . This leads to poor decision-making.

In small doses fear is the emotion that helps keep us alive. When we are healthy, our fear safely guides us through life. However, we are absorbing fear through every pore in our body by watching the news, scrolling through social media, listening to talk radio, and reading online. Then, we get angry. Fear tells us we are under attack. So, we end up in needless arguments or barricading ourselves in our homes.

Why do we buy so many guns after a mass-shooting? We do so to protect ourselves. But, how many guns can you use at a time if you were being attacked? The stockpiling of arms is fear based problem solving. Frankly and kindly, life is not like a Die Hard movie and most of us aren’t trained military or law enforcement. We are vulnerable even when we’re armed, no two ways about it. I would prefer not to spend my time here scared, worried, and angry.

Please, turn off the TV and step away from the computer. Take a vacation from the news this weekend. Hug and kiss the people you love. Play with your dogs and sit in the sun. Even better, watch a Pixar movie. I firmly believe Pixar is the best thing about this country. Soak up some love this weekend. The fear will be waiting for you on Monday if you want it back.

Image found here. 

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