As humans, we seem to enjoy freaking ourselves out. We wear gory masks and fake blood on Halloween. We willingly enter haunted houses and watch horror films to get our adrenaline pumping. But we don’t need fake limbs or rubber spiders to scare us on a daily basis. Instead, we have a built-in accessory. It’s called the mind.
A story that a friend shared with me highlights what I’m talking about. As the tale goes, a young child asks his mother to imagine she is in the jungle, completely surrounded by tigers, with no weapon available and nowhere to hide.
“What would you do?” the boy asks eagerly.
The mother pauses. She imagines the scenario. Would she run? Play dead? Accept her fate as the tigers’ dinner? After pondering the question, she replies that she has no idea what she would do. Then she asks the child what he would do.
He replies, “I would stop imagining it.”
Yes, of course. I laughed at the punch line, nodding my head in agreement. But is it really that simple?