Rus Articles Journal

You want to grow thin? Switch off the TV

What forces us to lean on sweet, to do unnecessary purchases, to smoke one cigarette for another? What frightens us - and how to resist to harmful desires?

Last night I made a mistake - looked at evening news. A story about exposure of terrorist plot in the United States went the first, messages on rocket attacks abroad and arrest of the young man which killed the ex-girlfriend followed then. In the end the announcer promised me to tell about “a surprising product which you eat every day while it can cause cancer“. And the picture was replaced by advertizing of cars.

Me always occupied

: why the companies advertize the production in transfer from which one frustration? Really they want that the audience remembered their goods alternately with horror stories from evening news? And who will want to go for sale in department store, having learned about cruel murder or threat of terrorist attack? It appears, will want all - to both me and you too - thanks to such psychological phenomenon as management of fear of death .

According to the theory of management of fear of death, human beings - that is natural - do not like to think of the death. We can be afraid as much as necessary it, but it is inevitable. When remind us that we are mortal (we will tell, each 29 seconds in evening news), in our brain panic reaction is started. We not always understand it: the alarm can be hardly noticeable, create feeling of easy causeless concern.

But even if we do not realize this fear, it immediately causes in us requirement to make what will muffle feeling of powerlessness. We reach for the favourite children`s toys - to with what we feel safe, to what consoles. To credit cards, cakes and cigarettes. By results of researches when remind us of our mortal nature, we give in easier to temptations as we look for hope and protection in what promises an award and a consolation.


For example, in one experiment made in grocery stores it became clear that when people are asked to think of the death, they make longer list of purchases, are inclined to spend more money for food which “jam a stress“, there are more chocolate and cookies. It seems, I thought up new strategy of retails: supermarkets can invite local funeral agencies that those distributed the brochures at an entrance.

B other research it was found out p that after messages on death in programs of news the audience accepts advertizing of prestigious goods more favourably - magnificent cars and a Rolex watch. No, we do not believe as if Rolex will protect us from rocket attack - but these goods inflate our self-assessment, with them we feel more considerably. For many people purchase - a fast way to lighten mood and to feel self-confidence. Definitely therefore my compatriots so vividly responded to George Bush`s wish after terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001:“ We with Mrs. Bush advise Americans to do some shopping“.


to reap on our disturbing buttons, it is not obligatory to direct planes to skyscrapers. Actually, that we forked up, even real death are not necessary: TV series and movies give the same effect.


In one research, having looked at a death scene from the sentimental movie of 1979 “Champion“, people were ready to overpay three times for unnecessary objects (and after themselves reproached with it). Notice, participants of experiment did not understand that viewing of the movie affected their tendency to expenditure. When the audience were given an opportunity to buy a tight flask for water, just it seemed to them as if they want a flask. For comparison: the flask did not impress at all people who saw a National Geographic broadcast about the Great Barrier Reef, and they remained at the money. Quite so we make purchases which litter our houses and zapolonyat credit accounts.

of Strategy of management of fear of death distract us from our inevitable fate, but when we address for a consolation temptations, we can send inadvertently ourselves to the grave. Bright example: cautions on cigarette packs can strengthen desire to drag on.

On research of 2009, the warning of death are caused in smokers by a stress and sensation of fear - on as hope in the Ministry of Health. But, unfortunately, this concern pushes smokers to their favourite strategy of removal of a stress - to smoking. Alas.

It is illogical

, but it is clear if to rely on our knowledge of influence of a stress on a brain. The stress rastormazhivat inclinations. The smoker, having groped (certainly!) a pack of cigarettes, caution reads, but it does not help it at all. Even when his brain deciphers words “Carefully: cigarettes cause cancer“, and he fights against understanding of the mortal nature, other part of a brain lifts vopezh:“ Hammer, smoke a sigarette, will feel better!“

Now the whole world took

new fashion: to add bright and frightening photos of tumors and corpses to warnings of harm of smoking. Not too successful thought. According to the theory of management of fear of death, the images frighten stronger, the more true they push smokers to remove alarm a new inhaling.

However these pictures quite effectively avert

from smoking of those who did not get an addiction yet, and strengthen in intention to stick with it. It is not clear yet whether people will smoke less from - for these pictures, but we should mean that the action can lead to undesirable consequences.

Practical work: what frightens you? Try to note
that starts at you reaction of management of fear of death. What do you hear or see in mass media or the Internet? And what goods advertize between these horror stories? They are somehow connected with your strong-willed tests? Whether there are other intimidations or cautions which can tease your aspiration to comfort?
Now for 24 hours distract from television, radio, magazines and the websites which are fed with your fears. If the world stands until you monitor development of all personal and global crises (I predict: will stand), think whether you should not cut down thoughtless consumption of these mass media.
Sometimes management of fear of death does not lead us into temptation, and forces to hesitate. Many affairs which we postpone for later bear on themselves hardly noticeable print of death: to make an appointment with the doctor, to descend in a drugstore, in time to drink medicine, to sort documents and to issue inheritance, to throw out things which will never be necessary for us. If you postpone or “forget“ to make something, perhaps, you try to avoid feeling of own vulnerability?

From the book “Will power. How to develop and strengthen“