If you’re anything like me, or at least who I used to be, my hunch is that when you are on the cusp of doing (and especially saying) something big, important, and paradigm shifting, you label what you are experiencing in your body as fear.
The World Health Organization calls stress "a global epidemic". Stress may be as American as apple pie, but it is also as worldwide as bread pudding. It doesn't matter who you are, where you live, how much money you make, or how dysfunctional your parents were...
Violence, psychological or emotional abuse, and deprivation or neglect during childhood can affect both cellular aging and biological development, according to a new study.
From the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi by Saudi agents to President Trump’s clashes with the White House press corps, attacks on reporters are in the news. This problem extends far beyond the politics beat, and world leaders aren’t the only threats.
Mass shootings seem to have become a sad new normal in the American life. They happen too often, and in very unexpected places. Concerts, movie theaters, places of worship, schools, bars and restaurants are no longer secure from gun violence.
We want life to be secure as much as we want our plans and expectations to work out. We want to live happily-ever-after. We want life to conform to our wishes, to make us happy, and to protect us from human suffering. In the end, we want life to protect us from itself, and the idea of security offers us that false consolation.
Historical accounts indicate that soldiers have roared in battle throughout history, from the Roman army to the Red army. We can also see it on the sports pitch, such as in wrestling or the New Zealand rugby players’ posture dance known as the “haka”.
Report after report documents how—despite more technologies aimed at connecting people, ideas, and information—people of all ages continue to experience greater and greater social and personal disconnection. Why? Well, our body, mind, and spirit can only keep up with so much. When overloaded, we may disconnect because it all is too much or feels like it is too much.
Not knowing is an uncomfortable experience. As human beings, we are naturally curious. We seek to understand, predict and control – it helps us learn and it keeps us safe.
John Carpenter’s iconic horror film “Halloween” celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Few horror movies have achieved similar notoriety, and it’s credited with kicking off the steady stream of slasher flicks that followed.
Halloween is now firmly part of the seasonal and consumer calendar – but, unlike other celebrations that promote gift-giving, family, love and friendship, Halloween involves disruption, transgression and an open engagement with darker emotions and fears.
One of the tools that I have used since its discovery in the first year after Pete’s death, is my image of my heart as a vast ocean, unable to be broken. Since its discovery, my heart is like water. If you come into my life, you’re enveloped completely, like a hand submerged in water. If you leave, the water goes back to complete, perhaps losing a drop. This idea...
Señora Labotta stared deep into Lucina’s eyes. “You are not the only soul who has suffered in love. There is a saying I like very much. Boethius said this; ‘Commit your boat to the winds and you must sail whichever way they blow, not just where you want’.
The film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind pitched an interesting premise: what if we could erase unwanted memories that lead to sadness, despair, depression, or anxiety? Might this someday be possible, and do we know enough about how distressing memories are formed, stored, and retrieved to make such a therapy possible?
After years of unsuccessful efforts to diminish, expel, eradicate, and overcome the pain in my body, I wondered if the pain sensations might be a voice for not only the body but other levels of the self as well. I understood that, while pain felt strong and overbearing and it absolutely dominated my attention, it was not necessarily an adversarial power. It was a reaction.
Hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires have tested our resolve as individuals, communities and societies. Along with social crises such as political- and war-induced migration, these events provide stark illustrations of our ability to adapt, help and trust one another through informal social networks and formal social institutions.
Why do many problems in life seem to stubbornly stick around, no matter how hard people work to fix them? It turns out that a quirk in the way human brains process information means that when something becomes rare, we sometimes see it in more places than ever.
Most of what you experience leaves no trace in your memory. Learning new information often requires a lot of effort and repetition – picture studying for a tough exam or mastering the tasks of a new job. It’s easy to forget what you’ve learned, and recalling details of the past can sometimes be challenging.
The popularity of SUVs, 4WDs and commercial utilities is showing no signs of abating in Australia. In the first six months of 2018, passenger vehicles made up just one-third of new vehicle sales (down from 50% five years ago) and SUVs 43% (up from 29% in 2013).
There are numerous things that make our life "work" for us. Some of these are things we learned along the way, and others are somehow "innate" within us. And of course, there are things that make our life "not work so well". I would like to share with you one thing that has worked for me.
We can deal with blatant discrimination through legal channels and receive some corrective action, but these kinds of compensation cannot heal hearts. Our goal is deeper healing. We want nothing less than total release from the pain and fear that racist conditioning breeds.
Even before toddlers can form a complete sentence, they’re attuned to how others may be judging them, according to a new study. The findings, which appear in Developmental Psychology, show that toddlers are sensitive to the opinions of others, and will modify their behavior accordingly when others are watching.
“Societies try and build those things that will protect their populations—to build infrastructures, civic institutions, effective governance,” says David Abramson, clinical associate professor at the New York University College of Global Public Health and director of the Population Impact, Recovery, and Resilience Program. “But when a disaster strikes, it threatens them.”
Many of us worry about some big things that are yet to come or might never come. We worry about finances, natural disasters, emergencies, terrorism and acts of war, health, and aging, among other things. Some things we have a capacity to prepare for...
Exams are an almost unavoidable part of young people’s lives – and, inevitably, some people perform better than others. But what is more important than taking exams is how students manage the results of their exams – especially if they aren’t what was expected. When the results are negative, it can be easy to come up with automatic thoughts such as “I will never succeed in my life”, “I’ve disappointed my parents”, or “everyone is better than me”.
Office clerk Stefan Kiszko spent 17 years in prison for the murder of schoolgirl Lesley Molseed in Rochdale in northwest England in 1975. Though he had confessed his guilt to the police at the time, evidence later proved he was innocent. I grew up in Rochdale and remember reading about the case in the local newspaper as a teenager. I always wondered why an innocent person would confess to a crime they hadn’t committed.
Trusting your soul requires immense courage when you are operating as an ego. That is because the ego takes its job very seriously. It was given the task of keeping the body safe from harm, and it forgot that it was performing this service on behalf of the soul...
A new study suggests that two sets of dynamics initiate and perpetuate the kinds of leaps of faith firefighters and others in high-risk occupations routinely take: supporting and sustaining. The findings convey what goes into a person’s ability to make critical trust-related judgments.
Some of us handle stress better than others. Our ability to handle stress without turning to substances is determined not only by our innate constitution but also by the social support we experience early in life.
The Russian attacks on the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the country’s continuing election-related hacking have happened across all three dimensions of cyberspace – physical, informational and cognitive.
We've become so focused on how we'll maneuver to fit it all in that we no longer stop to smell the roses or breathe in the fresh air. Desperately we strive to gain control over the unknown. And we are hard on ourselves when we don't measure up to some internalized standard. Summed up, we're "stressed" out. Does this apply to you or someone you know?
Americans have been barraged by a series of major news events – some of them unsettling. Many have been left unsettled OR anxious OR jittery about the future of the decades-old U.S. relations with Europe
Some of the most important decisions you will make in your lifetime will occur while you feel stressed and anxious. From medical decisions to financial and professional ones, we are often required to weigh up information under stressful conditions.
Starting your morning by focusing on the stress to come may harm your mindset throughout the day, according to a new study.
Okay. You’ve got some kind of symptom. Whether you consider it to be the result of an accident, some organism, or just bad luck, you’ve got something to deal with, something to understand, some action to take.
If you'll pardon the levity, most of us are afraid of fear. We think it's a bad thing. Because so many of our experiences with fear have been negative, we fail to see fear as positive or useful. It is both. Let me repeat: Fear is positive and useful.
For a long time, I hated being human. I used to hate being stereotyped into any category, even being human, because humanity has done so many bad things since it moved out of 'the gardens.'
Twenty minutes go by and during that period your fear escalates and you convince yourself the upcoming shot is going to hurt like hell.
School shootings and the March for Our Lives rallies held in cities around the world on March 24 2018 rekindled debates over how to keep students safe. “The notion of ‘it can’t happen here’ is no longer a notion,” said Sheriff Tim Cameron of St. Mary’s County, Maryland...
Although riots are an extreme form of public disorder, exposure to community violence is a common experience for many children.
In this world it is very natural to worry about our loved ones. We don’t want them to be hurt or to suffer in any way. Yet what if this worry is somehow hurting instead of helping? For years my mom has struggled with severe migraines. One night I was lying in bed thinking about her and...
Looking back, I see how much of my life I spent worrying about stuff or being nervous and insecure about stuff or not really enjoying the fullness and richness of my life. I had to admit that to myself. Because it seemed to me – in retrospect...
You might hesitate to make a character judgment about someone based on a first encounter. Most adults would probably want to see how a stranger acts in several different circumstances, to decide whether someone new is nice, mean or trustworthy.
Risk is everywhere and associated with everything. For example, the Center for Disease Control a decade ago estimated over 20 million people a year ended up in emergency rooms because of bathroom injuries.
I used to get really freaked out by the idea that the more I turned to Love, the more the ego would roar at me and whip me back into place. I am well aware that the ego will pull out any evidence to “prove” to us that we are not of Love. Some have referred to this as an “ego backlash.”
Generally we think of fear as something negative to be conquered, however fear isn’t always bad. In the right circumstances and in small doses it looks like caution or prudence, and it can play a constructive role in your decision making.
How do you shed light on fear, and see it for what it really is? You question it by asking, “Says who?” Like a boogieman in your mind, you need to stand up to it and let it know who’s in control and the boss of your thoughts. It’s either you or your fear-based thought. It’s important to decide who’s really in charge of your thinking.
Fear is one of the most fascinating and crippling human emotions. All of us, at one time or another, have been overcome with fear. There are two kinds of fear: actual fear and psychological fear.
Fear is one of our greatest teachers. From the time we have our first childhood lesson of keeping our hands off the hot stove to our mature ability to recognize danger and get out of the way, fear has earned our respect and has tremendous influence over our behavior. But sometimes fear holds us back...
The way you think about decisions gives you a remarkable decision-making super power that enables you to make decisions with confidence even when you have just the smallest glimpse of data. As a matter of fact it’s so good that, if you were the only one who had it, you could charge a fortune on your own psychic hotline. Fortunately for the rest of us, we all come hard-wired with this amazing capability, and all we have to do is learn to use it effectively.
Within two weeks, 94 percent of women survivors will experience PTSD. #HealMeToo wants to give them a place to share and recover.
For many parents, sorting the “normal” quirkiness of childhood behaviour from the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be anxiety provoking.
It is vital that we learn to tell the difference between a prompting from our Spirits and one coming from the fearful ego — our own, or those of others. Any call to action not coming through your Spirit as inspiration can probably be labeled as a should, an...
A while back, in a conversation with my inner guidance, I was trying to find out some specifics on a project that I was working on. As in, when is this going to take place? Who's going to be handling it? Where is it going to be done? When is it going to be complete? All questions that my restless mind wanted to know. NOW!
Many of the fears that parents have and try to hide from their children are not quite hidden. Emotional fears, financial, or any fear at all is picked up on by children. The good news is that fear is normal. We all have fears...
These days, with the rise of social media apps like Facebook and Instagram, it is easier than ever to benchmark the number of “friends” you have against your peers.
No submarine could operate without its sonar, no driver without maps and signs. Yet most of us arrive at adulthood with many of our inner signal readers numbed out — or totally blocked.
Our culture has changed immensely as a result of the smartphone. We can get reassurance for every doubt just by texting our friends. We can feel approval by getting “likes” on our Instagram post or Facebook status.
Sometimes I like to say what would we do without our crises? Or – who would we be if we never met a good crisis? Just think about it. Without our crises, most of us would never grow or develop! We’d just stay stuck in our ruts...
When asked how he had become so successful, he replied, that until days ago he was living as the “Other”. “What is the Other?” asked Pilar. “The Other believes that the obligation of man is to spend a lifetime thinking about how to have security...
Because of recent global financial upheavals, people are more aware than ever of their need to feel that the ground beneath them won’t open up and swallow them whole. Even those who know they can count on friends, family, and community to support them in a time of crisis long to...
I feel fear exactly as you do. I’m certainly no daredevil, despite what you might expect of a member of The Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame! Nor am I an “adrenaline junkie,” despite the Guinness World Records I hold.
Immediately after a natural disaster, it’s normal to experience fear, anxiety, sadness or shock. However, if these symptoms continue for weeks to months following the event, they may indicate a more serious psychological issue.
If you’re anything like me, you haven’t gotten along too well with your fear up to now. You two may spend a lot of time together, but I doubt you’re very friendly. It doesn’t have to be that way.
The Oxford dictionary defines chaos as complete disorder or confusion. In general when we speak of chaos we associate it with a negative state and negative energy. When someone says, “My life is chaotic” or “Chaos is everywhere” we understand that person to mean, “My life is a mess and I am a mess”.
Don't let yourself become a victim of your emotions. When you are scared, it isn't the real you that is scared, it is your personality interpreting circumstances that may be adverse. You are not these emotions; they don't own you...
A few weeks ago, Joyce and I got to experience the total eclipse high in the mountains of Idaho, in the exact center of the “zone of totality.” It was, for us, the experience of a lifetime. In our seventy-one years of living...
I want to share a story with you because it shows well the dance between our thoughts and outcomes, and illustrates the power of the heart. This story happened when I made a strong request to the universe to help me become more aware of how my thinking affected reality. Be careful what you ask of the universe!
The realization that my anxiety was caused by deeper feelings of lack of trust and fear of being hurt by others was not enough to allow me to wake up in the morning feeling rested and quiet inside. From my experience...
You may become conscious of your inner victim when you experience rejection, violation, injustice, inequality, prejudice, and blame for things you did not do. It is easy to point a finger at someone else, but to take responsibility for your actions, beliefs, and the roles you play in the victim...
Prior to becoming a therapist, I believed as the majority of people still do, that trauma and subsequent PTSD are experienced by only a small portion of the population and limited primarily to combat soldiers and first responders such as firefighters, police and EMT’s; as well as residents of war-torn countries and victims of catastrophic events.
Why is it that so many of us feel we need crisis in order to face our fears, to bring about the change we already know we need to undertake? After my last big crisis, I asked myself this question. It seemed my crisis meter had an alarm clock and every ten years I brought about a doozy.
Fear drives our impulses to forcibly control others, and to try and make the whole world behave as we want. Fear stimulates our mistrust of one another. It fosters close-mindedness, terror, judgment, bullying, frustration, and the awful destruction of human-on-human violence. Fear explains why...
I’m in a spiritual blackout right now, and it’s not pretty. Typically, I feel like I have an open line of conversation with spiritual guidance, and then the spiritual blackout comes along. Wham! Someone shuts a trapdoor overhead...
We are naturally geared for compassion, to share and bond and ease the pain and stress of others. There is room in business for compassion and you do not need to go to great lengths to begin spotting the opportunities for that type of connection.
If you sometimes experience anxiety that gets very intense, you may not be getting the help you deserve because you are ashamed of feeling anxious or having panic attacks. This is unfortunate because understanding what anxiety is and what triggers it can be a great help in demystifying and dealing sanely and appropriately with it.
It is hardly a new observation that political leaders seeking populist appeal will exacerbate popular fears: about immigrants, terrorists and the other.
When you are suffering in some way, it may seem easier to focus your attention anywhere but on the painful situation at hand. So you distract yourself. Distractions can include focusing on the future, working too hard, compulsively...
Reminders of death make people more likely to support killing animals, regardless of their existing attitudes about animal rights, according to new research.
When we believe whatever our story-telling brain fabricates, we are pushing our own buttons! As we listen to this sort of mind chatter, our survival alarm quickly escalates to higher levels of activation. Then our upset reactions seem completely justified!
When we think about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), we most often think of soldiers traumatised by their experiences of war. But the statistics tell another story.
Imagine if we could completely trust that we are guided, protected and completely loved by an unseen higher power, that all that happens is a gift bringing us closer to God and our angels. I imagine that life would be peaceful and joyful.
People’s past, present and future are interconnected, and so is our country’s. Being willing to consider the connection between historical trauma and present-day experiences and distress is essential on a personal level
The most dominant destructive attitude of the twelve possible core attitudes is that our attention is in the past or future. This attitude is related to the emotion of fear.
In his book The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle writes that people have only three options when they are presented with a situation that is intolerable: they can change the situation, walk away from it, or accept it.
Drinking to forget may make the fearful memories associated with post-traumatic stress disorder worse, not better, experiments with mice suggest.
As early as January, when David Bowie departed the scene, some were already looking dubiously at 2016. It began to feel like the end of an era. And when Brexit came in the summer, it was clear that in some ways it was.
Most of us have something we say we’re afraid of, whether it be spiders, needles, or something more unusual like zombies.
If you’ve only ever seen yourself as unsure and perhaps your self-esteem is not strong, you may be more vulnerable to becoming overwhelmed by fear—stressed by the worry that your pain might devolve into a worst case scenario of unknown proportions.
Today many fears seem woven into the very fabric of our society, such as fear of terrorism, fear of epidemics, fear of a bad economy, fear of commitment, and fear of losing a job, as well as fear of being separated from people we love, fear of loved ones dying, and the all-encompassing fear of the future...
He cautioned against leaders who capitalize on difficult situations to have us believe that our destiny and salvation lies in their hands.
When we allow our fears to drive our choices, the actions we do not take and the opportunities we allow to pass us by are symbolic of us rejecting the life we genuinely desire. Conversely, when we find the courage to face our fears directly...
Learning healthy ways—a collection of skills that researchers call resilience—to move through adversity can help us cope better and recover more quickly, or at least start heading in that direction.
For years I understood the concepts of loving more and unconditional acceptance. I knew the woman I wanted to be: more loving, more accepting, more compassionate. But in day-to-day living I struggled with keeping my heart open, especially when I felt afraid...
The thoughts that have accompanied me throughout these recent weeks regarding the US presidential elections are both ‘God Bless America’, in the literal sense, and “God Help America” (and the World). Viewing events consciously through half closed eyes...
How do we become aware of our own thoughts and feelings? And what enables us to know when we’ve made a good or bad decision? Every day we are confronted with ambiguous situations.
Whether you support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, fear might be the biggest factor driving you to the polls.
That famous phrase, “an man’s home is his castle”, neatly captures longstanding ideas about what the private home really is: a place which we can control and defend, a private territory where we decide who enters and who doesn’t.
Fear continues to saturate our lives: fear of nuclear destruction, fear of climate change, fear of the subversive, and fear of foreigners.