If you want to get ahead, you need to know how your head works.
We have a hard wired hierarchy within us against different levels of threat and a prioritising system.
· When survival is a threat all other functioning are given a lower priority, so food is not important, heat and cold are not important, sleep is not important, recovering from illness not important – the immune system is inactivated, only survival is important.
· During an acute illness rest and sleep becomes a priority, mental and physical action is not a priority and drinking but not eating is a priority, immune action is a top priority as often shown by fever.
· When normal living is the priority, then we eat sleep and live naturally, not on alert, immune system at rest.
The problem comes after a major survival alert when we don’t use up the adrenalin, we don’t wind down, so the body stays in chronic alert, and the immune system is naturally chronically suppressed, because it’s natural to be so in this state when we are on survival alert. This alert can last a life time since time since time does not exist in terms of body memories; it’s as if it happened yesterday. This is common after catastrophic events like genocide and earthquakes, even after 15 years survivors say its like it happened yesterday. When people in chronic alert have kids, they inherit it. In consequence we all have traumatic memories whether we know them or not. The science here is called epigenetics and transgenerational trauma.
We become chronically alert and it’s making us react to every little threat as if it’s important.
This also translates over generations into very defensive and limiting beliefs in us, survival beliefs like compulsive tidiness, fear of germs, fear of epidemics, fear of others, fearing others as enemies, fearing authority, fear of relating, etc. There are thousands of such defensive beliefs in us. These in turn are limiting our potential individually and as humanity. It’s one reason we are facing an eco-crisis.
A key point is that survival instincts are not commonly recognised as a problem. It’s not commonly recognised in coaching, sports training, education, therapies of any description, yet it’s dominating many areas of life. It’s outside most boxes, yet affecting everybody, like one huge blind spot. It’s showing up in research in top performers like surgeons, and it is contributing to high blood pressure and hyperactive children but it’s neither well recognised nor understood.