These are obviously scary times for a lot of people, but what is really interesting and revealing is how differently people react in times like these. The most fascinating and dumbfounding of all are those who are mindlessly hoarding supplies as if the apocalypse is upon us. By panic buying and hoarding they are making what otherwise could be a pretty straightforward situation so much more stressful and difficult for others than it needs to be. I shared the story of the disabled lady in my post yesterday, and then not long after that I bump into a single mum who was running from supermarket to supermarket trying to find nappies for her babies. I’m even hearing reports that people are now heading out to small country towns where people haven’t been panic buying, and are therefore snapping up all of their stuff as well.
I can see through social media and conversations I’m having that people are literally mind boggled at this level of selfish and frankly stupid behaviour. So here is a theory as to why it is happening that I thought I’d put out there.
Firstly, people are just responding to the messages being pummeled into their minds by the media, which is creating an apocalyptic end of the world type vibe. The Herald Sun the other day for example implying that people should panic buy on its front page, and yesterday it showed a stern looking restaurant owner pointing a thermal detector gun at a patron’s head. Then we have the Age telling us 150,000 people might die. I mean people are scared already, but these sorts of images and stats are doing nothing productive but making people terrified! I was already disgusted by the media even before all of this, but it has reached all time new lows in my mind. We need to hold them to account, but more on that in a bit, lets discuss the theory.
Anyone who has studied basic psychology knows that the human brain contains something called the reptilian brain (or ‘r-complex’). This is an ancient and primitive part of our brain that is involved solely in self-preservation and survival. It is in the background constantly scanning our environment for danger and threats, and if danger appears, the reptilian brain triggers our fight/flight response so that we can respond. One article explains “The reptilian brain operates on the premise of dominate or be dominated. In humans, qualities like rigidity, obsessiveness, compulsiveness, worship, fear, submission, and greed are attributed to this older portion of the brain.”
So, you can probably already see where I’m going with this. The theory is that due to the immense amount of fear mongering being thrown at us, especially by the shameless mainstream media, the reptilian brain in people is being activated and is currently in control of their behaviour. This is triggering primitive like behaviour that is based solely around self-preservation without any consideration of others.
A key thing to note here is that in times of danger the reptilian brain is only supposed to be activated temporarily. Once an elk has outrun a tiger for example, its reptilian brain switches off and things go back to normal very quickly. The problem with our current situation is that we are confronted with something microscopic and therefore are facing an enemy we can’t see. And so, in people’s minds it could be anywhere and they could come into contact with it at any time, meaning that their reptilian brain is constantly being activated. It doesn’t know when the threat will end and therefore it doesn’t know when to switch off. Again, this is massively enhanced by the endless daily stream of negative fear mongering by the media, with its constant updates of how this “enemy is creeping closer and closer”. The ironic thing here is that chronic stress is one of the key things that crashes an immune system, so those running around stressed are actually increasing their chances of getting the very virus they’re scared of.
Obviously, what I am describing here is not the case for everyone, as some people are remaining calm and grounded despite the fear, tension, and uncertainty in the air. So, what’s the difference?
Here are 5 points as to why I think some people are able to stay calm whilst others panic.
- They’re not afraid of the unknown – People who panic tend to be control freaks, and so the many unknowns of this current situation would be totally freaking them out. Other people however, know that aside from implementing prudent preventative measures, there are certain elements completely out of their control. Therefore, they know that there is just no point constantly thinking or worrying about everything that could happen.
- An intense fear of disease and death – Obviously no one likes getting sick and no one likes pondering about death too much, but some people are much more afraid of these than others. Whether we like it or not, disease and death are natural parts of life that we can’t avoid. Sure, we can do what we can to look after ourselves and stay healthy, but this provides absolutely ZERO guarantees. Eventually, we will all experience both of them. For some people this is horrifying and they become paranoid hypochondriacs, but for others they again refuse to dwell on things outside of their control, and they totally accept these as being parts of life.
- Understanding how much absolute BS is in the media, and how much they will shamelessly hype everything up in order to gain more ratings and sales, as well as push propaganda for political agendas – I’m not sure, but you may have picked up by now that I don’t like the media, so I’m not sure this needs much more elaboration. But as I said, for me the media has been utterly shameful throughout this period with their constant fear mongering, and it won’t stop anytime soon. I couldn’t recommend blocking out the media on every single level any more highly. I literally view it as poison for the mind and avoid it with as much seriousness as people are trying to avoid this coronavirus. If there were media disinfectant sprays, wipes, and gels, I would be panic buying them all up like crazy ;P. Besides, if you are taking the necessary measures there’s really not much else you can do, so do you really need to know every single little update on what is happening? I guarantee you, as someone who gives zero energy to the media, if there’s something important to know you will hear about it through others very quickly. People who understand how much BS and propaganda is in the media do not fall prey to their constant fear mongering, and therefore remain more calm.
- Blindly trusting official sources. I elaborated on why this is silly in my last post. But in short, this is pandemic number 5 or 6 or 7 (I’ve lost count) that we’ve faced over just the last 20 years alone. In just about every pandemic so far, once the dust has settled it has been found that the doomsday predictions of official sources like the WHO (world health organisation) turned out to be wrong or misleading. This is not to say we don’t take this one seriously, but it also means that what they are telling us should be scrutinised rather than blindly trusted, as well as validated by many multiple sources. The people who panic are those who blindly trust these official sources, whereas others will consider them, but they will also look into other independent sources of information as well. Such as what Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg has to say, who specialises in respiratory diseases and has worked with coronaviruses in the past. What tends to happen when we do this, is that we find that the truth is often not black or white, but somewhere in between. This means that whilst it may very well be worth taking seriously, it also may not be as catastrophic as we are being told. And as Ron Paul explains here very well, there are also hidden political agendas at play that we must take into consideration, and ask ourselves the question, who serves to benefit from all of this panic and hysteria?
- Knowing how to ground intense emotions – Those who stay calm know how to come back into their body when intense emotions arise, and know how to calm their body down through mindfulness and conscious breathing. As well as many other modalities. This creates presence whereby the mind becomes calm and stilled. Those who panic don’t know what to do with intense emotions and become reactive to them. Rather than coming back into their body’s, they get caught up in their head where they lose presence, and the paranoid monkey mind takes control of their thinking.
P.S. – I explore this topic and many other related topics in much more depth in my newly released book ‘Free Range Humans‘, please subscribe below to receive the first 3 chapters for free.