The Human Mind and How It Creates The Greatest Mental Horror Stories

 / 

, , ,
Human Mind Creates Greatest Mental Horror Stories

Much of what we don’t know about being human is simply in our minds. As the human mind is such a complex organ, it creates mental horror stories. Let’s look at how it performs the roles a storyteller and a listener when it comes to dealing with negative thoughts.

It’s nearing the end of October, and Halloween is about to begin. This is the time of monsters. The time of vampires, werewolves, mummies, and other horrific figures. People dress up in all sorts of ways to represent humanity’s deepest and darkest fears. In reality, however, people’s biggest fears look a bit different than what horror movies often try to sell us on.

According to a recent survey by the Chapman University in California, Americans mostly fear corrupt government officials, followed by their loved ones dying (there’s a match with horror movies), loved ones getting seriously ill, civil unrest, another pandemic, and financial collapse. It will require serious creativity to turn any of these fears into suitable party costumes.

Related: Does Consciousness Exist Outside Of The Brain?

How The Human Mind Creates Mental Horror Stories

The greatest horror story ever told doesn’t happen in the pages of a book, or on the movie screen. Instead, it happens inside of your own head. The human mind is a masterful storyteller, and it creates the most elaborate horror stories of your own personal hell.

It may tell you that “you will get into an accident on your way to work”, that “you have cancer without knowing it”, that “you will never be good enough to achieve your dream”, and that “all of your friends secretly despise you”. Your mind knows your biggest weaknesses and insecurities, and it will not hesitate to use them against you.

It may sound like a bad joke, but there’s actual logic behind it. Your mind doesn’t get pleasure from torturing you, but instead attempts to warn you of possible calamities. By predicting horror scenarios – even though they are unlikely and won’t happen – your mind prepares you for the worst-case scenario. Better be safe than sorry.

Evolutionary speaking, it ties into a process that may have helped our ancestors survive longer, which is why we all have brains that frequently predict danger. But human language and cognition put that healthy caution on steroids allowing us to carry it ten steps too far. Ironically when we over react to our fears that very reaction plugs into a self-amplifying circuit — its as if our own fearful reactions PROVE we have something to fear.

Your mind may mean well, but it doesn’t change the fact that these personalized horror stories can hinder us in life. They may reel us into struggling with our fear, isolating us from others, and preventing us from doing what is important and meaningful to us.

How The Human Mind Creates Mental Horror Stories

I suspect that’s part of why we deliberately create fear on Halloween — in order to play with it and detune an unhealthy process of amplification.

So, let’s go with that! Let’s put on our witches hat and this week if we notice fears that are getting the best of us, let’s try to be S.P.O.O.K.Y.

Related: 25 Fascinating Psychological Effects Most of Us Don’t Know About

The S.P.O.O.K.Y. Formula for Mental Horror Stories

S = Spot

Before you can effectively deal with your thoughts and feelings, you need to notice them as they happen. You need to spot the horror story as it unfolds in the moment. You can acknowledge it out loud, or just internally to yourself. Doesn’t matter. What matters is that you take notice of it as it happens.

P = Pause

As your mind throws you into the deep end of difficult thoughts and feelings, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. For this reason, it’s important to pause. Allow yourself a moment. Breathe. You can and will take care of the matter, but you don’t have to do it in a frenzy. Pause and take a moment to yourself.

O = Observe

Next, it’s time to take a closer look at the monster. What does it really look like? What thoughts are showing up? What can you feel in your body? And what else do you notice? Observe the horror story in all its detail. Like a curious scientist making a new discovery, you want to observe without judgment. Pure, neutral observation.

O = Open

Up This next step is possibly the hardest of them all. After you have observed your horror story, it’s time to open up to it. This means allowing yourself to get in contact with these difficult thoughts and feelings. Don’t forget to breathe. Yes, it’s hard, but it’s also important. The more you can allow yourself to open up to what is difficult, the less it will control you, and the easier it will be for you to do what is important and meaningful.

K = Karaoke

Now a bit of fun. See if you can distill your horror story into a single sentence, for instance “I’m going to die old and alone”. Once you have it, think of your favorite monster, and imagine them saying the sentence. Now do a full Karaoke.

Impersonate Frankenstein’s monster mumbling “Nobody loves me”. Pretend to be a witch cackling “I’m lazy and stupid”. Experiment with different voices, and see how it affects the horror story. Chances are, it will lose a bit of its grip and you will gain a different perspective.

Y = Yes, Thank you

Then see if you can finish with a gentle “yes” and thanking your mind for its scary attempt to be of use. Your mind is trying to protect you. Don’t treat it harshly! Yes, it is OK to have scary stories. Much in the same way you will thank the ghosts and goblins coming to your door far all their work on their costumes done to scare you, see if a bit of appreciation settles the mind. After all — it did get you to sing scary Karaoke!

In horror movies – at least the ones with a happy ending – the protagonists that survive are not fearless. Quite the opposite. You can see their fear, their anxiety, their stress, and their worries. But instead of letting themselves be controlled by their fears, they are able to focus on what matters most, and take effective action.

And when you are confronted by your own personal horror story, see if you can adapt this level of resourcefulness and remember to be S.P.O.O.K.Y.

Did you find the S.P.O.O.K.Y formula interesting? Let us know more about your thoughts in the comments below.


Written by: Steve C. Hayes
Originally appeared on: Stevenchayes.com
Republished with permission
Human Mind Creates Greatest Mental Horror Stories pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Up Next

What Is The Scientifically Best Music For Studying? 6 Musical Genres Proven To Boost Study Sessions

Scientifically Best Music For Studying? Six Musical Genres

Picture this: you’re sitting down to tackle a daunting study session, armed with textbooks, notes, and a steaming cup of coffee. But wait, what’s missing? Ah, yes! The perfect playlist to accompany you on this academic journey. Well, let me make this more interesting. Do you know the scientifically best music for studying?

Believe it or not, the right music can do wonders for your focus, motivation, and overall productivity. In this article, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of music and its impact on studying.

Prepare to discover the scientifically best music for studying, as well as some surprising ins



Up Next

Unpacking Parentification Trauma: The Burden of Growing Up Too Soon

What Is Parentification Trauma? Seven Types, Effects and Healing

The excitement of childhood is beautiful, when your biggest worry was whether your favorite cartoon was on TV. Some kids don’t have a childhood as carefree. Parentification trauma becomes a real issue when a child is thrust into the shoes of a grown-up.

The child takes on responsibilities beyond their years. It’s like playing a role in a movie you didn’t audition for. This is the reality for those who’ve experienced the issue – a lesser-known yet impactful challenge that shapes lives in unexpected ways.

What is Parentification Trauma?

It might be your question, though–what is parentification trauma? The trauma occurs when a child is placed in a role that reverses their expected position within the family dynamic.



Up Next

What Is Decision Fatigue? 6 Signs It’s Shutting Down Your Brain

What Is Decision Fatigue? Six Warning Signs Of It

You know those days when you feel completely drained, mentally exhausted, and even the smallest decisions seem like monumental tasks? That’s what is decision fatigue in action.

Maybe you’ve pondered for ages in front of a restaurant menu or struggled to pick an outfit from your closet. Let’s dive in and explore to understand decision fatigue meaning, and see if it’s as real as it sounds.

What Is Decision Fatigue Meaning?

Decision making fatigue is the decline



Up Next

Is Telekinesis Real? Exploring Telekinetic Abilities Meaning, Signs And Strategies To Develop

What Is Telekinesis? Science Behind Telekinetic Abilities: Three Explanations

Have you ever dreamed of moving objects around just with your mind? Though unproven by science, the power of telekinesis has captured the imagination of scientists, psychics and fiction writers for centuries. Let’s take a closer look at what is telekinesis and telekinetic abilities meaning.

What is telekinesis?

Telekinesis meaning: Telekinesis, also known as psychokinesis, refers to the alleged ability to move objects with the power of the mind or willpower, without physical interaction. However, it is not scientifically validated.

Telekinesis, from the Greek wor



Up Next

Spiritual Meaning Of Dreams: 13 Powerful Interpretations

Spiritual Meaning Of Dreams: Powerful Interpretations

Have you ever wondered what your dreams mean? Are you getting any messages through them? And from whom? Read on to understand the spiritual meaning of dreams!

Dream interpretation has long captivated the human imagination, serving as portals to realms beyond our waking reality. From ancient civilizations to modern times, dreams have been regarded as profound sources of insight, inspiration, and guidance.

In this article, we embark on a journey of exploration into the spiritual meaning of dreams, delving into their significance and the valuable messages they may hold for our



Up Next

10 Telltale Signs Of Latent Genius: Discovering Untapped Brilliance

Signs Of Latent Genius: 10 Telltale Signs Of Hidden Genius

In a world that values intelligence and brilliance, the concept of latent genius has always fascinated us. Hidden beneath the surface, many individuals possess an untapped potential that, once discovered, can lead to extraordinary achievements. So, what are the signs of latent genius?

In this article, we will explore ten signs that indicate the presence of latent genius in a person. So, buckle up and get ready to dive into the world of extraordinary minds.

So, who is a latent genius, and what are the signs of latent genius? Let’s find out!



Up Next

Is Being Hangry Real? Science Says There’s A Link Between Hunger And Anger

Being Hangry: Research And Science Says Hanger Is Real

Have you ever felt angry, irritated, cranky, or even furious when you have not eaten for a long time and are really hungry? If your answer is yes, then this is known as being hangry. And the interesting thing is that being hangry is a real thing, and even science has evidence of this.

Key Points

Being hungry can make you feel more irritable and angrier than you otherwise would.

This phenomenon, often referred to as “hanger,” can negatively affect your mood and interactions.

If left unaddressed, hanger can also have implications for your physical health, such as malnutrition.

A driver