Thinking about death can cause us to feel a sort of existential angst that isn’t attributable to a specific source. Now, new research suggests that the over-the-counter pain reliever acetaminophen may help to reduce this existential pain. Scientists say that BOTH physical and social pain–like bumping your head or being ostracized from friends–can be alleviated with acetaminophen.

Researcher Daniel Randles says, "Pain extends beyond tissue damage and hurt feelings, and includes the distress and existential angst we feel when we’re uncertain or have just experienced something surreal. Regardless of the kind of pain, taking Tylenol seems to inhibit the brain signal that says something is wrong."

Randles and his colleagues speculated that the existentialist suffering we face with both physical pain and thoughts of death might involve similar brain processes. If so, they asked, would it be possible to reduce emotional suffering with a simple pain medicine?

Randles says, "We’re still taken aback that we’ve found that a drug used primarily to alleviate headaches can also make people numb to the worry of thinking about their deaths, or to the uneasiness of watching a surrealist film."

While astronomers peer at far away planets, looking for life, "contactees" are having surreal, anxiety-ridden experiences right here on Earth! Anne Strieber has recorded 24 of these extraordinary interviews, and if you subscribe today, you can listen to ALL of them!

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