You’ve heard of the flight, fight or freeze hormone, right? That thing called Adrenaline that either petrifies up or gives us a rush of energy?
We’ve all experienced it at one time or another and it’s really useful to have.
Animals have it too. When a predator approaches, the prey can either freeze and play dead or like a deer caught in headlights or run like their life depended on it, because… Well, their life does depend on it.
When you prepare for flight against a perceived threat, all your body’s energy and focused is directed towards survival. It’s only when the threat is over and we feel safe that we can return to homeostasis.
Animals recover very quickly and instantly go back to grazing in the field or merrily swimming along within moments of escaping death, but humans tend to prolong the danger phase.
When we are safe, the first thing we want to do is complain about the events that have just taken place. We tell anyone who will listen about the suffering we had to endure. We constantly look over our shoulder to see if the big bad wolf is following us, ready to launch into action if he appears.
I’m not saying caution is a bad thing, but let’s be honest. This isn’t just caution. This is survival mode. When you’re in survival mode, you’re body is in stress, when you’re in stress, it’s like putting your foot on the brake and the accelerator at the same time.
When you’re in survival, it is not a time for growth or renewal. What’s the point in new healthy cells if the predator kills you anyway? So when you’re in hyper states of stress, you’re body isn’t functioning to it’s fullest ability.
Have you ever noticed your health deteriorates at times when you’re in a prolonged state of stress? That’s because you’re immune system is compromised. Your body is so focused on survival that it isn’t performing to it’s highest ability.
When you’re in survival mode, you’ll know it. You feel like you’re constantly treading water, like you don’t have enough energy and like like your emotions are on high alert. You can’t even think of tomorrow let alone planning for the future. You’re in constant reaction mode.
When you’re constantly reacting to things, you will never get ahead. Life will always give you things to react to and you’ll never ‘be done’.
Survival is a blessing when we are faced with life-threatening situations, but do we really just want to survive? Why don’t we focus our attention on thriving? Why don’t we move from our defensive position to a progressive position?
When we feel safe, we tend to be more creative, more happy, flow more freely. We try new things and discover new experiences. Many of which can enrich our lives and even make it easier.
It’s much more beneficial for you to be proactive than reactive. And I definitely have some blogs to share with you to help you do that, but for right now, wherever you are, in this moment, know that you are safe. If you wasn’t you wouldn’t be reading this blog.
In this moment, not 10 minutes time, not tomorrow, not yesterday or next week, this moment right now, you are safe.
Do this now:
Place your hand on your heart and feel is beating.
With your hand resting on your heart space, take a deep breath in and let it out. Feel the air rush into your lungs when you breathe in and feel your body relax and your muscles melt as you breathe out.
Do this 5 times, feeling the air rush in on your in-breath and feeling your body relax on your out-breath.
Give yourself permission to take 2 minutes to do this 3 times a day for the next week.
Here are some of my blogs to help you get out of survival mode and into thriving mode:
How to reduce overwhelm
How to Find Your Motivation
Six Steps to get to where you want to be in life