Fight or take Flight: How this ancient response (nervous) system affects us in the 21st Century.

Hello my friends, I hope you’ve enjoyed the weekend and have recharged for the upcoming week, more so I hope you are remaining positive and doing well, wherever you may be. It is time once more, here we go. 

Since the dawn of time our ancient ancestors have constantly faced a collective series of inevitable threats that affected their physical well being on a daily basis; whether it be from rival Human tribes that sought to claim what the other group obtained, wild animals who were saw us as a nutritious meal or mother nature herself challenging us to thrive on this magnificent planet, we’ve always needed to take care of ourselves and our kin and ensure that we could protect our own. Primitive Humans (neanderthals) grouped together as a tribe and selected the strongest males from their group to hunt for and defend them against all threats, often relying on an “Alpha” male (essentially the largest and strongest male archetype within the tribe whose testosterone levels are out of this world) to lead the charge against any external threats, valiantly fighting the enemy until one side either gave up or was killed off entirely, this is when our ancestors decided that they would hold their ground and Fight. Sometimes however, much larger predators or intently fierce rival tribes would suddenly engage a relatively weaker tribe (or single Human) and in this case, the weaker individual or group would have no choice but to take what little they could grab around them (their children, wife and meager belongings) and took Flight away from their adversaries as fast as they possibly could. Sometimes, we got away, sometimes we were killed mid flight. The point is, we decided that our enemy was more powerful than we were and we gave in to our own logic (or in many cases, our own Fear) and decided to take off running in order to live another day.

This is known as the Flight or Flight response, and allow me to tell you the science behind this Ancient response system before we move on. To initiate the fight or flight response the hypothalamus (which is the part of your brain responsible for connecting the nervous system to the endocrine system  via the pituitary gland) activates two bodily systems- the sympathetic nervous system and the adrenal-cortical system. The message the body receives from the sympathetic nervous system is to engage it’s muscles to speed and tense up and overall become extremely alert and aware of it’s surroundings (engages the nerves pathways) and the adrenal cortical system engages the bloodstream (allows more blood to flow where it is most needed in the body). The hypothalamus also releases corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) into the pituitary gland and pituitary gland secretes the hormone ACTH(adrenocorticotropic), where it moves through the bloodstream and arrives at the adrenal cortex, which results in a sudden enormous flood of adrenaline (the benefits of adrenaline essentially transform us into grander physical versions of ourselves and allow us to respond to physical tasks that would have otherwise seemed impossible.The benefits provided from this systematic response system are incredibly useful if we are facing down a rival Human who is trying to hurt us and those we love or if we have to run away from a pack of bloodthirsty wolves that just happened to pick up on our scent. It isn’t useful however, for us modern Humans who live in concrete rather than natural jungles. Who are having to face off against a tyrannical boss shoving new deadlines down your throat every day that you come into work, rather than a single bandit whom you have to face off against just once and either make it or break it. Rather than a pack of wolves hunting us down, it’s the bills that we have to pay, and these corporations will act like vultures, picking you until your bone clean (of your financial body), and these money sucking entities aren’t suddenly appearing out of nowhere when you least expect it and offering you the chance to escape or become part of the natural cycle, no, they have your address, your financial information and will come after you by any means necessary until they have been paid their “due”. As you can see this causes quite the problem in our day and age, and stress is at an all time high from the fact that we are constantly entering this “fight or flight” response system every time we are hit with unsatisfactory news that we can’t seemingly escape. We’re being drained of our energy on a daily basis from our commitments in life, and we know it. We can’t keep up like this forever, being drained without having access to the proper ways to properly recharge afterwards, so how exactly do we find a balance in our lives? Well luckily for us, there are many ways to recharge properly. It’s almost as if our ancient ancestors foresaw the coming of this stressful era and they took it upon themselves to develop many different paths and techniques in order to bring us back to a true equilibrium, so that we may thrive in our world rather than be denied our birthright, which as a Human Being, is nothing short of Freedom and Prosperity. “What are these techniques you speak of, I’m listening..” Well, I’m happy to hear. Luckily for you in this day and age there is an absolute wealth of knowledge pertaining to various techniques that will allow you to take back yourself back to being the best version of yourself possible. Where can you find this wealth my friends? Well the same place that you found this article, The Internet. Essentially this article is the gateway for many more to come that will describe various techniques to calm your mind, relax your body, and soothe your soul, yes my friends we’re working on healing the trinity (mind, body and soul) for each and every single one of you, the thing is, we need you to be present with us, take the knowledge you receive honestly and truly put in the work required in order to achieve the results that you would expect.

So I know some of you may be thinking, “Damn, I was really hoping for some information pertaining into how I can take the next step forward in becoming the best me possible in this article man” and well my friend, you are in luck I have some advice for you, and this will give you some time to think about yourself and what you truly wish to recover and heal from, in order to move on from whatever it is that has been holding you back in life. My first recommendation for you is to find yourself a dark and quiet spot in your house (if soothing music works better for you, than throw on some headphones while you engage this technique) and make yourself as comfortable as possible (you could be lying on your bed, sitting on the couch next to the fire, whatever works for you). Now close your eyes, and breathe in through your nose deeply. Count to ten (one, one thousand, two one thousand..) and exhale. When you breathe in, I want you to acknowledge that your life has stress and problems, but that ultimately there is nothing we can do but become present and face them for what they truly are, simply challenges that we all must overcome in order to become what we are meant to in this lifetime (you know what you are meant to do more than anyone else, and there are going to be bumps along the way no matter what, but the world isn’t all sunshine and rainbows as I am positive you know very well), once you acknowledge your stress and current issues, exhale them out deeply. As they are not your pressing concern at this very moment, simply BEING is. I want you to repeat this cycle 20 times. Every week that you practice this (which is simply mindful meditation) I want you to add an extra cycle. Now that you have become somewhat present, if it is possible for you to do, I strong encourage filling up your bath tub with warm water (very warm) and adding Epsom salts to the water (if you do not have Epsom salts, I strongly recommend going to the store and picking up a pack as they are inexpensive and do wonders for the body when combined with a warm bath, it is not necessary, simply highly recommended). Now that the bath is filling up, make yourself a tea (or a tall glass of water with lemon) and simply begin to think of the most loving moments in your life, or simply thoughts that bring you joy, peace and happiness (I personally think of playing music or reading, having an intelligent conversation with a beautiful woman or writing fiction, as that is what brings me much joy). Now when the bath is filled, put on a soothing playlist of music and soak in the tub for 25 minutes (longer if you wish, but set a timer). While your in the tub try your best to let go and simply be. Practice breathing techniques if you will. If your having a difficult time clearing your mind, then make sure the thoughts that you crowd your mind with are nothing but positive. Now after all of this it is time to lay down, if you have essential oils (I recommend eucalyptus or some aloe) lather the parts of your body which feel most tense and do a bit of stretching before lying down. You can sit if you don’t feel like laying down. Now is the time to read or if you enjoy watching TV, do so (as long as your not overdoing it). If you truly feel the benefits from the process you just went to, you will feel relaxed and tired, this is good. Allow yourself to drift.

If that practice wasn’t for you, then there is one out there that is, have no fear. We’re all different and our bodies and minds attune to peace differently as well. For all I know, listening to death metal and dancing around your bedroom calms and soothes you more than any meditation ever possibly could (well, maybe not.. but who knows). There will be many more articles offering other techniques that will manifest shortly. Thank you for reading.

If you enjoyed the article, then please share it with your family and friends with whom it would resonate with. After all, that’s what it is here for, to inform.

Thank you again, see you soon.

Sending you Love through Light,

Fragmented Illusions (Brandon)

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