“…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”–President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
In just a few weeks the whole world changed. The SARS-CoV-2 virus that triggers the infection commonly known as COVID-19 was officially called a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 30 January 2020. Concern over the spread of the coronavirus triggered a waterfall of events with far-reaching consequences.
We have experienced the spread of fear created by MSM claiming more deaths, more infections and more change daily. Yes, store closings and job layoffs are real, but it is hard to tell the Fact from Fiction in many reports.
The People are worried about their job security and the stress of isolation from family and friends. There have not been many other periods in history when the whole world has waited to see what would happen the next day.
During this time some people are feeling fearful, which is not surprising considering the constant bad news. Each report is worse than the last one as the various MSM player compete for the audience.
So, understanding the difference between being scared and fearful is a good place to start, since 1 makes life difficult and the other heightens alertness and makes senses become sharper.
Many people like the feeling of being scared in a controlled environment as we have seen from the success of horror movies. It is invigorating when more oxygen reaches the brain and the pulse rate rises.
Think about watching a thriller or riding a roller coaster: The reason people enjoy those activities is because they have a controlled feeling of being scared.
Under controlled circumstances, people simultaneously experience stress and pleasure.
In 1 study, researchers measured cortisol, heart rate, blood pressure, emotional state and immunoreactivity before and after 12 novice bungee jumpers dove into the blue.
They found what you probably have experienced if you enjoy theme parks was that anxiety and cortisol were high before the jump, while immunoreactivity and euphoria were high after the jump. But, those feelings are far different from fear that generates anxiety, worry and concern.
Instead of the natural fight-or-flight reaction that may save your life if being attacked, fear paralyzes mind and body. The fear response during the COVID-19 chaos is not new to society though. In Y 2015, the headline in the American Psychological Association could have referenced Y 2020, “An Epidemic of Fear.” The writer was talking about the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
Although there were only a small number of confirmed cases in the US, the fear of infection leveraged a disproportionate response in some of The People. Parents in 3 states pulled their children out of school and a teacher in Maine was put on leave.
Paul Slovic, PhD, is the President of Decision Research, a nonprofit organization dedicated to studying human judgment. He was not surprised by the reaction to Ebola.
His comments in Y 2015 are as true now as they were then: “What happened was quite consistent with what we know about risk perception. The minute the Ebola threat was communicated, it hit all of the hot buttons. It can be fatal, it’s invisible and hard to protect against, exposure is involuntary and it’s not clear that the authorities are in control of the situation.”
New and different threats raise a person’s level of anxiety higher than threats with the same or similar consequences, but which are familiar.
This may be related to the response in your amygdala in the brain, which helps the brain process emotions.
The authors of 1 study found that the activity in the amygdala rose when participants were shown repeated images of unfamiliar flowers and snakes, while repeated images of familiar images of those same categories of natural objects did not raise the activity.
Author Ryan Holiday writes: “Being afraid? That is not fight or flight. That is paralysis. That only makes things worse. Especially right now. Especially in a world that requires solutions to the many problems we face. They are certainly not going to solve themselves. And inaction or the wrong action may make them worse, it might put you in even more danger. An inability to learn, adapt, to embrace change will too.”
While feelings of concern are expected when faced with new experiences, continued feelings of anxiety and paralysis interfere with daily life. Those feelings are detrimental to your mental health.
Mr. Holiday writes it is “Training. Courage. Discipline. Commitment. Calm” that reduces the panic and fear induced by hyper MSM headlines used to capture attention and drive revenue.
Training, education and preparation are the foundation of courage.
The difference between being fearful and being scared is that fear paralyzes your ability to evaluate what’s happening and make decisions. But preparation and information help you to make decisions and act, even when we are scared. This is the definition of courage, taking action despite being scared.
In Y 1933, at the height of the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt stood outside the US Capitol building to give his Inaugural address after having been elected President. There he said the words that have been repeated for generations, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself …”
However, this is just the middle of 1 sentence and it does not communicate the entire thought. As you read these words, you see he was telling The People that fear was a choice and the enemy of recovery.
His description of fear; a “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror” rings as true now as in Y 1933: “This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, 1st of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
Fear is frequently fed by misinformation and emotionally laden news headlines, among other things.
In fact, reading the news when there is ot a pandemic may be just as fear-inspiring.
Psychology Today points out, it is rarely the good news that makes the headlines and attracts readers. Instead, it’s violence, unrest, deaths and destruction.
So, tune out the Noise, as long term fear damages lives.
Now is the time to take control of your physical and mental health by controlling the fear and stress that the MSM is always serving up to The People.
Psychology Today recommends reducing anxiety by limiting your exposure to the news and trying to consume positive news stories while keeping up with what is going in the world, aka Tuning Out the Noise.
Have a healthy day, Keep the Faith!