The fight or flight mode is a response we have for situations that fucks with our normal homeostatic state. When we’re out of our comfort zone, this is triggered and our heart goes on like crazy, because of this our bodies temperature raises, the blood is redirected from our internal organs towards our muscles, adrenaline is released for a boost of energy, and our senses are directed towards those situations. Being too often in this state, our internal organs have to suffer because they are over used.
Our core beliefs (beliefs like “I’m useless.”; “I’m unlovable.”; “I’m awesome.”; “I deserve everything.”; “I deserve nothing.” and so on) are the ones deciding if those situations are positive (e.g. exciting) or negative (with potential of hurting us) and automatic thoughts are inserted accordingly (“That person is looking funny at me. I guess he/she likes me.” or “That person is looking strange at me. I guess he/she hates me”.). These thoughts decide if we should feel good or bad and our brains start to release the required neurotransmitters so we can have those feelings. Based on these thoughts, our brain starts to search for reasons to prove they are true while the amygdala is triggered to process the feelings. Once the amygdala is triggered, those feelings take over our brain. Now the feelings are the filter our brain has in place so we’re going to think and behave based on them.
“Hmmm. Okay. Two questions here. First, can the amygdala process emotions without triggering the fight or flight mode? If so, when it decides to switch that button?” Yes, it can. It will process emotions without triggering the survival mode as long as the situation is not messing too much with the homeostatic balance. Once we’re leaving our comfort zone, the fight or flight mode is triggered and our bodies respond.
This is tough because just knowing these things can get us out of our comfort zone so the survival mode is triggered. It sounds like we’re all victims of our surroundings and therefore, of our brains. It can be very frustrating because we thought that we’re the ones in control when actually we might not be. Also, just knowing this doesn’t do any help because we cannot change overnight. But knowing this can be the first step. We are untrained dragon slayers. Now, let’s not transform mice into dragons. We don’t need that energy loss.
How often do you go into the fight or flight mode?