Becoming Mindful of Mass Hysteria

What is Hysteria?

Hysteria is described as extreme emotional excitement triggered by the illusion of threats whether they’re real or not. 

Symptoms of Hysteria include:

  • Shortness of Breath
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Sexual Forwardness
  • Irritability
  • Agitation

What is Mass Hysteria?

Mass Hysteria occurs when a population is experiencing collective emotional excitement that occurs as a result of rumors or fears. It can be seen as an extreme form of group think.

Examples of Mass Hysteria include:

  • Salem Witch Trials (1692-1693)
  • McCarthyism (early 1950’s)
  • Hoarding of Toilet Paper Due To Oil Embargo (1973)
  • Y2K (1999)
  • Hoarding of Toilet Paper Due To Coronavirus (2020)

Mass Media’s Role in Mass Hysteria?

It’s important to be mindful of what causes mass hysteria. 

Sometimes, mass hysteria is caused by an environmental incident such as the fear of the coronavirus.  It may or may not get as bad as what experts are saying. However, it’s still natural that people are anxious and concerned about their own health, despite being perfectly healthy.

I wrote a blog post about how mass media feeds our anxiety and can cause us to be more  fearful and anxious than we have to be. It’s not only happening to you as an individual, but millions of other people are feeding their anxiety as well and this leads to mass hysteria. 

An example of mass hysteria has been the compulsive hoarding of disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and toilet paper. Again it’s natural to be concerned, but it gets out of hand if people start getting violent toward each other out of panic.

How To Be Mindful Toward Mass Hysteria?

It’s important to be aware of your environment, for example I was shopping for food at a local grocery store and I noticed that the other customers were on edge. Being aware of this prevented me from being hit by the shopping cart of a panicked customer.

Becoming aware of the environment you’re surrounded by is being mindful. Being mindful is purposely bring your attention to experiences occurring in the present moment without judgement.

Mindfulness involves relaxation techniques such as breathing that help you cope with symptoms of mass hysteria such as anxiety, insomnia and nervousness. It also helps to become aware that when a crisis is occurring that there’s a possibility that mass hysteria could occur and we must reflect critically on how to avoid being consumed by it.

It helps to minimize the amount of media you consume and be mindful about what you consume, because some news outlets are better than others.

If you like to read the post about how mass media feeds our anxiety please click on the button below:


2 thoughts on “Becoming Mindful of Mass Hysteria

  1. Definitely stressful

    1. Where I live it’s really getting crazy. I went grocery shopping and I felt a lot of anxious vibes from other customers and a couple of them almost hit me with their shopping carts. How are things where you are?

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