Hope you are having a fantastic Friday the 13th!
If you happen to have an irrational fear of the number 13, then you may have triskaidekaphobia. If you happen to be afraid of “Friday the 13th”, then you may have Paraskevidekatriaphobia. Don’t worry for one minute, because you are among 10% of the American population that share those fears. The fear of the number 13 has come to the attention to most people because of Friday the 13th, and some of the history behind it. Other unlucky thoughts that come to mind anytime someone say’s “Friday the 13th”, usually come to us as black cats crossing your path, walking under a ladder, or even breaking a mirror! We tend to think the worst case scenario when we are reminded of any of those unlucky deeds. We even go out of our way to avoid that number whenever we can.
In more than 80% of public buildings, or hospitals, there is no number 13. They skip from the 12th floor all the way to the 14th floor. They change some of the room numbers around so they avoid the collection of the number 13. There is an $800 million loss because of people avoiding getting married, traveling between towns or long distances, and even in some rare cases avoiding work. Even Finland has their “Friday the 13th” as “National Accident Day”, to where they promote automotive safety and awareness.
If you look back in time we can see that in our history we are very happy with the number segment 12. Because there are two 12 hour parts of a day. 12 months are in a year. 12 days of Christmas. 12 zodiac signs in the year. And because of this balance, 13 is seen as lacking or unlucky. There is a believe among some that the 13th guest at a table is unlucky and usually ends in a death!
Some events that took place on “Friday the 13th” have been the catalyst for the fear of this day and number combination. On Friday, October 13th, 1307, Philip IV of France arrested Hundreds of Knights Templar through trickery and deceit. They were arrested because the King was accusing them of various illegal behavioral issues, which were made up so he could gain trust of the people and get control of the Templar’s gold.
With all of the research on that particularly frightening day, there is a lot of bad and good that have happened in history. We can trace this back to the unlucky 13 in Norse mythology. The only common factor is how truly, and completely rare the occurrence of friday the 13th is from year to year.
When it comes to superstitions, beliefs, or other folk lore, we should consider what each of these superstitions have been based in history. How closely are we associating the events in history to our own personal lives? The best approach to establish belief in something is “Why do I believe this?” or “Where does this belief stem from?”
With our fears and phobias it sometimes can feel overwhelming. Things that we are afraid of can really change our behavior. Our brains can power those fears or even break them. Some people turn to Meditation as a way to relieve stress and build brain power. It can help get your internal clock to reset and reduce anxiety. Being mindful of your own thoughts and aware of your feelings are common results from consistent meditation. Mindfulness will allow you to recognize and change behaviors with a less biased point of view so that progress can be made.
There are many ways to meditate, or use visualization exercises, for those with busy lives. Spending 30 minutes a day could be daunting, but you can always spread it through the day to make it easier. Five minute session here, a two minute session there. Find the time and just get to work.
So today I am challenging myself, and other that are willing to try, to have a safe and thrilling Friday the 13th!
Stay safe friends!