A Spoonful of Sugar

Run to the Roar

Lion roaring

What is the most common cause of emotional problems like anxiety?

When asked this question, Rian E. McMullen, author of The New Handbook of Cognitive Therapy Techniques answered this way:

Most people who have psychological problems have them because they don’t run to the roar

What did he mean? He goes on to tell a story about the daughter of a missionary in Africa who noticed…

[Lion] prides would trap antelope and other animals in a ravine, assembling young lions on one side and the old, clawless, toothless lions on the other. The old lions would then roar as loudly as they could. The animals to in the ravine would hear the roar and run in the opposite direction, straight into the waiting group of young lions.

He explains further:

Had they run to the roar, they would have been safe; but they were too afraid of the noise. By running away from the sound of danger, they ran into the danger itself.

The more we run form our fears, the more afraid we become. Let’s remember the lesson of the antelope.

headshot of Chris Roberts, Naturopathic Doctor

Chris Roberts is a Naturopathic Doctor with an anxiety-focussed practice in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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