Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Good Scare: Missing Paleo Lifestyle Factor

"Life's no fun without a good scare." The Nightmare Before Christmas

Hunter-gatherer life probably consisted of a lot of walking and standing, fairly infrequent eating, and the occasional short-lived scare. This sounds a lot like a trip to an amusement park. I just came back from Elitch's, where I did a lot of walking and standing in line and a little eating and riding the rides, where I felt like I was going to die. It left me wondering what effect it has on people when they never feel like they're in danger. It seems like it's common to feel an adrenaline rush, and then joy, when you escape a danger, real or perceived. At the 1989 World Series, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck Candlestick Park and shook the stands for what seemed like minutes, as one reporter described it. The crowd let out a cheer when it was over. People pay to go to amusement parks to have a similar experience: fear, focus, relief, joy, and maybe gratitude that it's over and they're OK. The opposite--life unmixed with any of those things, briefly, is bland. It's just speculation, but maybe brief, scary experiences are important to us. 


tess said...

:-) Movies, too. Your post reminds me of the first time I saw "Aliens" -- there were so many vicarious scare-relief cycles, I came to a point when I said "oh, go ahead and eat them; I don't care anymore!" I also felt completely exhausted when I left the theater.

I suspect there might be danger even from evolutionarily-appropriate flight-fight events, when there are too many and the population gets worn down. At very least, it will cull individuals with a less-strong will to live.

Lori Miller said...

Too many fight-or-flight events sounds like chronic stress.

Lowcarb team member said...

Oh dear ... I do think the older I get the less scary, or scared I need to be. It may be a scary movie - or a scary ride, but I'll leave them to the younger generation.

Now where's my cocoa, and slippers LOL !

All the best Jan

Lori Miller said...

I find I'm more sensitive to stuff, mentally and physically. I rode some rides from my childhood--the Sea Dragon (a "viking boat" that swings like a pendulum) and the Twister (a wooden roller coaster). I don't remember the Sea Dragon scaring the bejesus out of me like it did last weekend. And I don't remember the Twister being bumpier than a bus ride in metro Denver, where we get a lot of potholes from frequent freeze-thaw cycles.