Roller coasters, rock climbing, Stephen King's clown movie "IT" all have one thing in common. They create white knuckle moments.
Did you ever wonder why we put ourselves in scary situations? Isn't it better to sit on the sofa and watch sitcoms?
And Halloween makes us all think witches and goblins and, well hands coming out of dark graves in creepy cemeteries.
Fear, horror, panic, terror.
Why do we want to see a frightening film or tip toe through a dark and eerie haunted house?
Did you know we actually crave fear?
It's what our bodies want, are designed to do, conquer fear that is.
We don't need any outside drugs.
When fear comes in and we are startled, we go into fight or flight and our nervous system know what to do. It's a knee jerk reaction, since way back when our cave people ancestors were looking into the eyes of a tiger or getting ready to ride the waves of a river gone wild.
Fight or flight.
We face the tiger or run for cover. Either way our bodies fill with adrenaline, dopamine, endorphins, oxytocin and we are revved to respond.
In my language, these are the generational patterns that have been handed down to us from the beginning of time.
Today we are smart, we like our fear simulated. That way we can sit in a dark movie theater with sweaty hands and beating heart and then get up at intermission for pop corn and a pee break. No worries about being eaten alive or falling from a high cliff.
It's safe to scream and get all the benefits of the fear without even a drop of blood or a dollop of mud.
Now, how about anxiety. Ah, that's a different sort of animal. That's about uncertainty over time. It's about all the 'what if's' of life. It's about a business gone sour or a relationship ending.
Anxiety can consume us, can make us run to bed and pull the covers up and feel immobilized. Anxiety and its companion, depression do not help us make good choices.
You really are better off with professional help to dig deep into why anxiety is your choice of discomfort. It often has to do with childhood issues that have gone underground.
Make fear your friend. it helps you feel alive and courageous and you know you are a survivor. Go climb that mountain, talk to someone who intimidates you, take time to watch "The Shining" and take deep breaths.
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Anxiety not so good. Get help in learning where you stopped believing in yourself and find a way to reframe your thoughts.
This Halloween, go scare someone, you'll be doing them a favor.