Warning! Your Brain has been Hijacked

Every second of every day our brain is bombarded by way too much data than we can possibly process..Big Think

Not a day goes by without hearing about someone being shot, a group of people bombed or terrorized and it seems like the world is going to hell in a hand basket. If it bleeds, it leads.

It kind makes you want to stay in the house and lock the doors and windows. It feels like the world has gone crazy. But has it, really?

Here’s the weird part — the world is actually safer than ever. Yes, you read that right.

The. world. is. safer. than. ever.

Our perception of the world been tricked into believing the world is more dangerous.

There’s loads of data to prove it.

  • War deaths are declining at a rapid pace
  • Homicide rates are down
  • Disease is declining

If you look at the numbers things skew towards the positive side when examining long term global trends on health, access to food and violence.

Here's a great interview from PRI to back these figures up.

So, why do we feel like the world is more dangerous?

The answer is in your brain and dates back to the time of the caveman.

There’s a part in your brain called the Amygdala that developed to keep you out of danger. It’s your brain’s danger detector. The amygdala’s job is to look for danger and it stems back from the stone age when we were a frequent menu item on the food chain. When we sensed danger, we would go into fight or flight mode, thus ensuring survival of the species.

…because nothing is more important to our survival to the species than survival all our visual data, auditory data is funneled to a sliver of the temporal lobe called the amygdalaBig Think

And here we are today…and our amygdala is bombarded with loads of bad news. Do you ever find that when a bad event happens that you can’t NOT watch it on the news or read about it on the internet or social media? The 24-Hour news cycle makes sure we get to read, see, and hear about it multiple times. It’s no wonder people are feeling tired and scared….

It makes rational sense that irrational fears of crowded places would proliferate. When humans see a violent event, they can’t help but imagine themselves in jeopardy. This is because fear empowers the amygdala, the part of our brain that prefers instinct to logic. Psychologists say this tendency to embrace impulsivity when under stress is natural, but can be tempered. They also say that in the current atmosphere of fear — triggered by terrorism, mass violence, and the constant documentation of both — it needs to be in order for people to avoid being trapped by their own anxieties.Inverse

So how do you take your brain back?
Take a break from the news or at least ration it to once or twice a week. You’ll feel better. Or you can join the team at Note to Self and go on an information detox.

Start here to take a break from information overload.

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