STOP TERRIFYING YOURSELF WITH TRICK OR TREAT THINKING BY CHANGING YOUR THOUGHTS
Halloween and our fascination with things that go bump in the night offer an insight into how we cause ourselves to suffer anxiety 365 days a year, but especially in the last week or so of this election season. Each Halloween, children across America dress up as goblins, ghouls and witches. They go out on this “spooky” night to scare others and to enjoy being frightened themselves. Some visit a Haunted House. Later many will watch horror movies. They enjoy scaring each other. They enjoy scaring themselves. And, they enjoy giving a start to us unsuspecting grownups.
The good news is that none of this is real. Or is it?
Obviously, everyone is well aware that behind that grotesque mask is a freckle faced 5th grader and the horror movie is just a movie. Everyone knows these things. But not everybody.
As far as our body is concerned these experiences are very real indeed. We have a “trick or treat” response not just to what is really happening, but also to our imaginative picture of what is happening or about to happen.
When we tell ourselves scary stories
we literally feel as if our lives
are threatened by a saber tooth tiger
This acceptance of illusion or belief as reality is a breeding ground both of psychological strengths and demons. We have the ability to frighten ourselves by imagining our lives to be filled with terrifying threats. A hand reaches out from the grave in the movie. Or we tell ourselves we will die if we lose our job, or lose our boyfriend/girlfriend or if we don’t get invited to that special party or accepted by that club, or the wrong candidate gets elected on November 8th, etc, etc. We startle. Our body jumps. Our internal music gets scary ominous and we feel the hairs on the back of our neck stand up.
These reactions are very real as FRIGHT becomes fight or flight.
When we imagine success, safety and love our body responds with endorphins and a sense of well being. But when we conjure a terrifying vision our body just as willingly obliges by raising our stress level. The higher stress level makes it seem even more likely something “bad” is happening. And so on. So, what can you do about it? No one wants to live his or her life trapped inside a horror movie. Yet many do.
The Wrong Treats Can Trick You:
The Addiction Trap
There are many ways to escape from negative emotions. Some constructive. Others destructive. Addiction is an example of the destructive path. An addict gives up dealing with the horror movie part of their lives, but adds an extremely pleasurable show to run side by side. This show may feature alcohol, other drugs, binge eating, gambling or a host of other methods of instant gratification. All start out as “treats” designed to dull the addict’s internal demons. Everyone around the addict knows it’s not going to work. And, eventually, they make the discovery on their own,
Essentially, there are three ways to recover from “trick of treat thinking.” They are the spiritual, mental and physical. And separate disciplines are effective in each of these areas. Each has its own role and each influences the others.” They work to minimize fear and accentuate positive strengths and emotions. When used in conjunction, the approach is called holistic and results are maximized.
Through spiritual health we conquer, rise above or transform our demons. Physical health means the body is providing proper support for the mind and spirit. Mental clarity unmasks demons and diminishes their power. Creative visualization, hypnosis, cognitive therapies, positive thinking and neurolinguistic programming can take this a step further. They can actually give us the tools to turn demons into positive forces.
Don’t be intimidated. Just start somewhere. Be assured that anyone can make a significant improvement in their life by making an effort to nurture their spirit, body and mind. And once all systems are working in harmony, you will find that you are suffering milder tricks and enjoying ever more magnificent treats.
All it takes is willingness to change and the courage to take the first step.
And hypnotism can help you
to reframe your thoughts into positive,
constructive ways of thinking, feeling and acting
So, having said all that, if you see a pleasant-looking middle-aged man with long white fangs covered with blood and a deathly pale complexion on your street asking for treats, you’ll know not to panic, he is just your friendly local hypnotist temporarily off his no-sugar, no-flour program.
And speaking (maybe indirectly but none-the-less) of Presidential politics, consider some parting words of wisdom from former President Franklin D. Roosevelt this Halloween.