I received an email on a weekday afternoon with the article, "The Meditation Cure" by Robert Wright, as an attachment. I loved this article so much that it was the topic of a community event I hosted. The article goes into detail about the topic of mental health, mindfulness, anxiety, evolutionary psychology , and natural selection. The author conceptualized a working relationship between Buddha and Darwin to explain social anxiety.
The author referenced that anxiety is rooted in our genes.
Evolutionary psychology explains how worrying leads to preventative action. That prevention allowed our ancestors to survive and our generation has inherited the genes of those survivors. Let's look at an example -- one of our ancestors saw their fellow man or woman fall off a cliff, avoided heights, lived and passed on the mental gene to fear heights. That's just one theory.
Going back to social anxiety -- we can theorize that because we come from a hunter-gatherer civilization and how that civilization rarely had to deal with large crowds, the genes or feelings we inherited does not prepare us to deal with large crowds or public speaking. "The mismatch between our evolved nature and the environment in which we find ourselves..." can create unproductive anxiety. Social anxiety can fall under this "unproductive anxiety" category because we are social creatures! So... why is it that we find ourselves nervous in front of large crowds? Natural selection! And, How do we manage that? Mindfulness meditation!
Mindfulness meditation --- according to ancient texts, provide tools on how to be aware of feelings in a more objective less reactive or reflexive way. With a daily meditation practice, we can overcome the fears we inherited from our ancestors and live fearlessly! With this fearlessness, we can overcome the anxiety that prevents us from living our dreams. For Darwin's sake, live fearlessly and be an inspiration for future generations!
If this strikes a cord, please like or leave comment below! Confessions of a Light Worker.
Founder & Owner of Lightsha Zen
Confessions of a Light Worker