In our modern era of global financial meltdown, cyber warfare, biological weapons and various other unnamed and unknown apocalyptic threats, it is perhaps understandable that there are now literally hundreds of named phobias.
Particularly bizarre phobias are now emerging. This whacky new generation of phobias reflects our increasingly chaotic world. The more crazy the world gets, the more crazy our fears get. Let’s consider a few examples:
REAL PHOBIAS are no laughing matter. They are very disruptive to normal living. Phobias are symptoms of some hidden anxiety that we don’t want to face, like an insane clown with spider’s crawling over his face. Who wants to see that? I’d rather see Ted Cruz than that clown.
ANXIETY is the mother of most psychological disorders and problems. Alcoholism, phobias, drug abuse, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, all stem from anxiety. In fact, it’s fair to say that many psychological problems are merely symptoms of the fundamental disease – anxiety.
Anxiety comes from dwelling on the PAST or FUTURE. Of course, it’s natural to “visit” past events and future scenarios – but if you start to dwell there, live there, establish your residence there, it can become a real problem. if you start to import past regrets and future concerns into the present, then you lay the foundation for anxiety.
“Time jumping” into the past and future is one of the legacies of acquiring language. Awareness of it is the key to moderating anxiety. It helps to develop a sensitivity for the trigger words that send us temporarily away from the present.
For Past Time Jumping, a key phrase is “if only.” If you stop to think about “if only” is about the most useless and self-destructive mental exercises you can engage in. “If only” is at the heart of all regrets. If only I had done this other thing, instead of what I actually did, life would now be perfect. Wrong. But we obsess about it anyway. Let’s consider some specific examples:
Most of the future “what ifs” we worry about will never come to pass. So it is simply an anxiety project to speculate about them. If you can slow down the inevitable human propensity to time jump and dwell in the simple present, you will be much calmer.
But WHAT IF you can’t slow down enough to BE HERE NOW?
IF ONLY you had studied Zen Buddhism at an earlier age….