Befriending Fear

Have ya ever just found yourself… triggered — you know what I mean — when the beat of your heart and weight of it increase simultaneously. When your thoughts, judgements and worries overpower your ability to see clearly through the mental fog and fatigue.

Being “triggered” to the mind — is the same as being signaled to drop everything and run to the body. Which is a human-characteristic that was highly advantageous back in our cave-man-days.

Humans evolved as a direct result of their capacity for future planning — to sense, discern and execute actions based on risk assessment. Which served us really well when our survival signals were in response to actual life threatening situations. Our flattened foreheads grew in proportion to the size of our meatloafs; and our emotional acuity, communication and abilities to seek out, categorize and recall information has since been unparalleled.

The fear we feel in a modern digital age, is a direct result of these survival instincts. We feel the fear our body felt when making do-or-die decisions. Only now — the situations signaling such responses are abstract to the senses. Negative thoughts, judgements, assumptions and the general fear of inadequacy, culminate into what we, more formally know, as anxiety.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 20% of adults in the US — alone — battle with any kind of anxiety disorder. Meaning that a hefty percentage of the population feels practically incapacitated by their brains inability to efficiently process fear-based responses.

This doesn’t mean that you’re sick, or that your brain is beyond repair — it simply means that it’s been working overtime to process infinite amounts of signals that call upon high stakes responses. 

Today — Our brain doesn’t know the difference between what’s urgent, and what’s an actual threat. To our brains — and our bodies — the responses are more-or-less the same. Our environments and the powers that be are sneaky ‘bout it too. Ya ever notice the red hue of our email tabs, jolting vibration of notifications and urgency with which they’re sent send your brain into a digital tizzy…?

Our brains and bodies collectively live in a level 7/10 on the survival response scale. For those of us feeling bullied by our brains — it’s often somewhere closer to a 8-9/10 and that’s scary. That means that our bodies live under the same amount of stress that they would be subjected to if presented it were a real ass threat. Like a saber tooth tiger — up in ya face — trying to eat your family and the food you fought for. Messed up… I know.

The first step toward fighting the fear that controls us is to begin observing more — and intentionally reacting less. The more we observe, the more we become aware of. The more we’re aware of, the more choices we have.

The fact is — you’re no longer a huntin’ and gathern’ homosapien. YOU are a conscious human being who is not subject to the fear that tries to run you. And while that evolutionarily advantageous fore-brain gotcha real far, it is allowed to take a load off from labeling, judging and cornering you into making “do-or-die decisions” on the daily.  

So next time you feel #triggered ask yourself “am I threatened or am I reacting?”

© Human builder LLC