November 10th, 2020 3:08pm
Turn on the television, radio, or surf the internet, and you will quickly find many reasons to feel scared, angry, sad, or hopeless. The information age is as the name implies. And we are on information overload from the moment we awaken to the time we go to sleep; if we are even able to sleep!
Though, the media outlets would not barrage us with information, if in fact, there was no demand for it. As basic economics teaches, for money to flow toward the provider, there must be demand. The fact is, most of us crave the insanity we see in the world. We crave disaster stories. We crave murder-suicides. We crave the drama. We crave seeing fall the political icons we hate. Horrible as events may be, they are good for ratings, and outlets like CNN and Fox News knows this best.
So let’s take a peek into our brains to begin to understand this. I see humankind as a duality—a primitive nature controlled by what I call the automatic brain or AB and a Divine nature accessed via our higher mind. To begin tapping into the latter, one must dissect the sanity in an insane world. Yet the AB stands in the way. This brain has evolved over more than 250 thousand years. It has only one purpose: to help us detect danger, threat, or vulnerability. The way this happens is by storing information and referencing current events or circumstances against the stored data. When an event represents danger, this brain causes us to react by fight or flight. Though the data may differ among us, the reaction is, for the most part, universal.
The AB stores the data in three main folders—the one-up folder, the unknown/unfamiliar folder, and the loss of love (essential security) folder. It is always on the lookout for events in our life where someone may appear more superior to us (one-up), circumstances that may seem unfamiliar, or the threat of losing the love (security) of someone.
That’s the framework. When tragedy strikes someone else or somewhere else, our brain processes this as making us feel one-up, superior, hence safer, but it also has us seeking out such information to store data about what may be in store for us in the form of danger. Besides, our AB has us seeking out the drama for the fall of someone successful. Such stories draw much attention. The media knows this, without fully understanding the AB, but can see the ratings.
The irony is that as hard as this brain works to protect us, it actually puts us in a much more vulnerable place. It causes us to feel all those negative feelings I listed in the opening sentence. It has us seeking out so much information that we essentially become numb to it. Blocking access to our mind, thus Divine nature strips us from our true power. Although the concept of a Divine nature may sound fluffy to some and even insane to others, I propose that letting the AB drive us is the primary reason for the world’s insanity, and not just because of the media, but because of the masses constantly fighting and fleeing.
To stay sane in an insane world means living more in concert with our higher mind in control. Here are 12 ways to do that:
1. Avoid the news
For the reasons stated above, this is key. I suggest picking very carefully which articles and stories to which you listen or read. Resist the curiosity to learn how many people were killed by a tornado or hurricane. The media is an unreliable source, especially currently. They have an agenda, and one of their primary goals is to influence you to believe theirs. Such an agenda usually will not make you a better person or more prepared.
2. Don’t believe everything you read
Most people, because of their AB, are biased. Therefore, often what we see or hear reflects a personal bias.
3. Get a hobby
Explore previous interests. They may have faded over time because of life’s pressures, but revisiting them will give you less time for the news and provide self-empowering entertainment.
4. Meditate or pray
Quiet time will help you return to sanity by providing a sense of control and hope. As the saying goes, “When we pray, we talk to God. When we meditate, God talks to us.
5. Electronic free day
Take at least one day a month, preferably once a week, and free yourself from electronics. Removing yourself in this way will free up a part of yourself that you may not have seen in a while.
6. Sit and talk
Often when we gather with others, there is pressure to do something. Try sitting, talking, perhaps playing a game and laughing for a few hours. Get lost in this comradery and instantly feel saner.
7. Be intimate with your partner
Spend time holding, caressing, and bonding with your lover. Do this as much as possible and certainly in place of watching the news before bed!
8. Educate yourself
There is so much that we don’t know. There is no educational prerequisite for one to learn. Pick a topic, like History, and become fascinated. Perhaps, learn a new language so that you can communicate with an entirely new set of people.
9. Adopt a pet
Having something to take care of can be empowering, life-affirming, and restore sanity.
10. Read material that brings out the best in you
This could be anything from a book that aligns with your religious beliefs to a self-improvement article to a course that teaches you how to meditate.
11. Don’t take yourself too seriously
Learn to laugh at the way the AB shows itself. For me, when a crazy thought pops up in my head, it makes me laugh because I know it is the AB’s feeble attempt to protect me at all costs.
12. Don’t always believe, trust, or take direction from your Automatic Brain
The fear that you are in constant danger will place you in constant danger. When you feel insecure, threatened, or vulnerable, don’t instantly trust the instinct. It is often derived from years of AB programming. It is the source of most insanity.
When you can bring the AB up to the level of awareness and consciousness, you will be surprised how it controls you—from craving the news to stopping you from pursuing your dreams. On a larger scale, you will begin to understand that it is at the core of creating an insane world. However, when you become aware, you then nourish and cultivate your mind—your sanity—and open the door to your Divine nature.
© Dr. Charles F. Glassman, CoachMD