A Cure For 2020 From An Unlikely Source

by Kevin Burton

   Iceland to the rescue! 

   From that country comes a remedy for what ails us in virus world.  Perhaps not the remedy, but a remedy, and it comes with a promise.

   The Iceland tourism board knows times are tough, but it cares and wants to help. Iceland wants you to “scream it out” and is providing a means for you to make it happen.

   Grateful appreciation to the “Moss And Fog” blog on WordPress for bringing this to my attention.

   “You’ve been through a lot this year and it looks like you need the perfect place to let your frustration out. Somewhere big, vast and untouched. It looks like you need Iceland,” is the message on the website www.lookslikeyouneediceland.com.

   The website offers a place to record a scream, then have it released into the vast open territory of Iceland, the most sparsely populated country in Europe. You can listen to the screams of others too.

   “Screaming as a therapeutic tool was developed in the 1970s as a way to release pent-up emotion. The psychological response to wanting to scream lights up a part of our brains called the amygdala,” according to Zoe Aston, MSC, a therapist and mental health consultant quoted on the tourism website.

   “The amygdala activates when we are under threat, something we have all experienced in the past few months.”

   Aston has provided helpful advice, in three parts, on how to craft your scream. You wouldn’t want your effort to be wasted would you?

   One. “Consider what your scream will be.  Some people will use volume, some will use words, some may even use breath.”

   Two. “Stand with your feet hip-width apart, a slight bend in your knees. Relax your shoulders. You may find it useful to put your hands on your hips or use your arms to help push out some of the pent-up emotion. Follow your instincts.”

  Three “Imagine a baby when it cries and screams. The noise comes from the baby’s gut. This is where your scream should come from. If it helps, put your hands on your belly and take a few deep breaths before you begin.”

   Got that?  All right, now you’re ready to let loose!

   The website shifts among seven beautiful pictures from Iceland. Clicking the “tap to scream” circle takes you to a screen that reads “your browser will now ask permission to access your microphone.”

   Hitting “OK” there takes you to the place where you can have your scream recorded.  But you are on your own from here. That was a click too far for me. 

   My wife is cooped up in the house with me 24/7. I wouldn’t want her to start worrying about me. 

   Besides, I don’t want to ruin my reputation as a connoisseur of quiet, established in my previous post (“How I Acquired A Taste For Quiet,” Sept. 11).

   Here’s what Wikipedia says about what is actually called “primal therapy” and was popularized by American psychologist Arthur Janov.

   “Primal therapy became very influential during a brief period in the early 1970s, after the publication of Janov’s first book, “The Primal Scream.”  It inspired hundreds of spin-off clinics worldwide and served as an inspiration for many popular cultural icons. Singer-songwriter John Lennon, actor James Earl Jones and pianist Roger Williams were prominent advocates.”

   John Lennon, well that figures. But James Earl Jones?

   “Primal therapy has since declined in popularity, partly because Janov had not demonstrated in research the outcomes necessary to convince research-oriented psychotherapists of its effectiveness,” according to Wikipedia.

   Aston says the screams are only part of the healing. “This is a starting point. If you need mental health support it is imperative that you seek out professional help,” she writes.

   “Record your scream and we’ll release it in Iceland’s beautiful wide-open spaces, promises the tourism board, “And when you’re ready, come let it out for real. You’ll feel better, we promise.”

   So the screaming stuff is a no-go, potential relief to my amygdala notwithstanding. But the visit Iceland bit? Well, the scenery is beautiful, they drive on the right side of the road and there aren’t many people there.  Wasn’t a visit the tourism board’s whole intent anyway?

   What a scream!

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