Current World Terror and Crisis due to Corona Virus
The world is currently in the midst of a crisis and facing a very uncertain time, especially in the western world where we are not used to facing such a high state of fear or uncertain circumstances. People are feeling shocked by some of the recent announcements and are wondering what the future holds for them. People are grieving for the loss of loved ones. The world is also having to wake up to facing more economic difficulties, after already enduring over 10 years of economic uncertainty.
People are locked down in their homes, people are rushing the shops and clearing the shelves, people are scared to get within breathing distance of another human being, people are highly concerned for their own health and the health of their loved ones. I hope this post can bring some reassurance and comfort in a time of high uncertainty. My focus in this post will not be to discuss the risks of COVID-19 (Corona virus). The post is aimed at looking at the wider implications it could also be having on society in the form of terror.
The focus of the post will be to explain the potential risks of allowing yourself to be taken over by chronic fear. These are extremely trying times and the risks of the virus are to be taken seriously. But it is important not to allow yourself to become overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. This could be highly detrimental to your health in other ways. We can’t control how this global pandemic plays out but we can control the state of our own minds and how we approach this situation.
The Mental and Physical risks of living in a state of FEAR
- Physical health. Fear weakens our immune system and can cause cardiovascular damage, gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome and decreased fertility. It can lead to accelerated ageing and even premature death.
- Memory. Fear can impair the formation of long-term memories and can cause damage to certain parts of the brain. This can make it even more difficult to regulate fear and can leave a person anxious most of the time. To someone in chronic fear, the world appears to be a terrifying place and their memories confirm that.
- Brain processing and reactivity. Fear can interrupt processes in our brains that allow us to regulate emotions, reading non-verbal cues and other information presented to us, reflection before acting and acting ethically. This can impact our thinking and decision-making in negative ways, leaving us susceptible to intense emotions and impulsive reactions. All of these effects can leave us unable to act appropriately.
- Mental health. Other consequences of long-term fear include fatigue, clinical depression, anxiety disorders and post traumatic stress disorder.
As you can see from the list above, living your life in a state of fear is extremely bad for your health. Mentally, physically and spiritually, fear can cause us great suffering on many levels. This links in with my previous post on meditation and the importance of taking back control of your mind.
Understanding Fear and it’s purpose
Similar to healthy negative thoughts, fear also serves a purpose. In the same way a negative thought can warn us of a dangerous situation. Fear can stop us from making bad life choices. The issue in the modern world is fear is no longer serving its natural purpose, but as a collective we are cultivating and creating fear in the world.
‘Fear was given to man as cautionary device to spare him pain; it is not meant to be cultivated and abused’ -Paramahansa Yogananda
The above quote explains healthy fear perfectly. Fear is designed as a mechanism to warn us of danger or potential risk. The risks of a situation must be understood and then processed by the mind, fear triggers us to follow this process as a form of protection. i.e. we know if we ride a motorcycle without a helmet, we are taking a great risk.
We must not cultivate and abuse fear though. Many of us seek out fear, many of us create fears to worry about where there are none, many of us fear so much it becomes a form of self sabotage and self destructive abuse. Many of us become accustomed to living in a state of fear, having destructive thoughts and feeling like we have no control over our minds. Many of us could become ill due to the level of stress we are placing on our bodies. Through living in a constant state of fear.
The Global Fear pandemic has taken over
It doesn’t help us on our journey that our friends, family, the mainstream media, advertising and the government sometimes cultivate these fears inside of us and encourage us to continue living in a state of fear. Worse than that, if you decide to stop living in fear and misery. Your friends and family who are attached to fear may resent you for changing. Which makes the battle even more challenging. Fear and destructive thinking have become seen as ‘normal’ in the modern world. Positivity and optimism are approached with a level of pessimism by society and worse than that, positive people are sometimes even seen as delusional or foolish.
Fear is also misused by some people on other people as a form of abuse and control. When someone is put into a fearful state they become easy to dominate and manipulate. They lose their inner strength and courage and become a submissive, easily influenced person. They feel small, insignificant and out of control of their lives.
Bullying in the form physical and emotional abuse are both forms of instilling fear in to other people to gain control over them. The bully understands that fear is there greatest weapon of asserting control over the other. Taking back control of the mind and pushing out fear enables a person to remain strong and resilient. It also makes the person hard to manipulate and dominate. It also means the bully gives up on the target and moves onto another target as their mission of instilling fear has failed.
Fear = Financial Profit
Fear is also profited on by the mainstream media and some of your favourite brands. Sensationalist media stories are an everyday occurrence. If someone can be made to feel fearful upon glancing at a headline they are much more likely to click on the story or buy the newspaper.
Marketing of products can also use fear indirectly through advertising to create an impact on the observer. The mass marketing of beauty products to women over many years is a great example of how fearful marketing can be utilised to devastating effect. Beauty products are marketed with the aim of making a woman feel she will be deemed more worthy if she uses x or y beauty product. Thus, making women feel fearful of not being ‘beautiful’ enough. This method of marketing has been transformed into a billion pound industry. This is just one example of many that could be included.
Fear is being used as a profit making machine, you must be aware of this. The corporate companies sell you a problem/fear you didn’t have and then provide a solution through a product you need to buy. Many people will tell you that this is completely fine and ‘its just business’. Do not listen to them, the ‘its just business’ slogan has been been used for years now to justify manipulation of peoples minds and lives through fear. Be aware that corporate companies and the media only provide you with the product of fear to make a quick buck off of your discomfort and need for a solution.
Remember that living in Fear is not NORMAL
We must first recognise and become aware of the fact that we live in a world where fear is normalised. If we recognise this we have taken a positive step on the road to breaking free from the fear and the victim mindset.
‘Fear nothing else, but try to fear fear… Remember, no matter what your tests are, you are not too weak to fight’ – Paramahansa Yogananda
- Remember that you should not be constantly fearing the world around you, you should try to fear fear itself.
- Remember that you are not a small insignificant individual as some people would have you believe. You are powerful in your own right.
- Remember that you have the ability and courage to change and create the life you want and deserve regardless of world circumstances.
- Remember that chronic fear can cause mental and physical health issues by its own accord.
It is important you remember your strength and free will when life challenges appear. Instead of cowering away and hiding in the basement, you must remember you are not weak but have great strength. Your biggest fear in your life should be allowing fear to take over your life. If you keep this positive perspective at the forefront of your mind. You will begin to understand how destructive fearful thinking can be.
Times of crisis are important lessons in self control
These words are more important now than ever before. This current global crisis of fear is another layer of fear over many pre existing levels of fear. These are clearly highly challenging times and many peoples concerns are highly valid. But it is important to keep perspective that humanity has survived many greater tests prior to this. We will most likely survive again. Don’t let fear be the virus that tips you over the edge. It is crucial for mental and physical well being, that fear is not allowed to dominate and we should focus on positive energies such as love, compassion and generosity in such times.
This will be part of a series of posts where I continue to analyse Fear and explain the dangers in more detail.