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FEARFear is a primal instinct dating all the way back to primordial times. In our primitive mind, we have the instincts of fight and flight which keep us out of danger. Today, in my Toastmasters’ meeting, several of us were asked to do a spontaneous Halloween-themed speech and I was chosen to speak on “the fear of Halloween.” I personally do not “fear” Halloween itself; but if and when I go into a haunted house, see a scary movie, or someone comes to the door in a scary mask, I will definitely be startled. I startle quite easily and my friends and family always have fun teasing me on Halloween!

So, what is fear? Many people believe that FEAR is “False Evidence Appearing Real,” which can be true for some. For instance, whether it’s a person in a costume or simply a scary manikin, often we react automatically as if it’s real. It is our perception that creates the emotions that come up. Many times when these emotions rise they can cause shortness of breath, elevation of blood pressure, crying and, in worst-case-scenarios, may even cause a heart attack! Not to mention, some horror movies are so emotionally charged that we may even clench our neighbor’s hand, scream and/or jump out of our seat in the theater! Of course, isn’t it the film industry’s job to elicit emotions with everything they produce? I guess that’s entertainment!

These are examples of the power of suggestion and perception. A suggestive stimulus (like a scary manikin or someone in a costume) can cause us to perceive a threat and bring about the fear response.

Just imagine if every morning when you wake up, your perception of your surroundings and your life is positive and happy. This power of perception will bring up positive emotions and set the tone for the day. As I always say, “A positive life begins with a positive mind.”

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Certified Hypnotherapist, Rosanne MacDonald, C.Ht., CCP
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