The Contagion of Fear

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Description

For a scientific article to tell us that just being near a fear-ridden person can cause us to be vaguely fearful without knowing why, is something new. Studies at one university show that a person can be terrifically affected merely by listening to a voice that sounds anxious.

Nervous, fretful and agitated children, who have nightmares and who can’t retain their food often are really suffering from a direct result of the inner agitation of their parents’ thoughts and feelings. We little realize the effect of the thoughts of those around us, particularly of those in whom, we are the most interested and to whom we react with the deepest emotion.

But suppose we broaden this field a little and say that the whole world is filled with the thoughts of the people who live in it and that perhaps we are all more or less subject to the passing emotions of the public mind. A leading psychiatrist has told us that fear can render a person completely unconscious as far as his brain is concerned. It paralyzes the memory. We know that in cases of amnesia, people are so frightened by some unconscious emotion that they even forget their own names and who they are and where they came from. We are told that fear produces a mysterious chemical which is released in the blood, but that this chemical disappears when the anxiety is over.

Well, we don’t want to dwell too long on the negative side of fear, even though we may as well admit that we all do have our little fears and anxieties. And, of course, we wish to get over them. Fortunately for us, the real and lasting healing of fear and anxiety is not to be found in any drug or in any physical manipulation. The cure is to be found within our own minds. And there is something we can do about it. We can find out what we are afraid of and why, and then reverse the whole process. And the most simple method is to learn to have faith in Life; in God and in the Power greater than we are.