Fear does interesting things to us.
When we were a primitive people, the fight/flight/freeze response would (literally) help save us from an inherent danger such as a predator chasing after us. Fear kicks in that response, correct? And to this day- we still of course, need this type of response (to save our life) should we ever be in an actual life-or-death situation. For the majority of us though, thank goodness we don’t have to deal with that extreme of a situation on a daily basis.
And please, before I go any further- I know that there are many in this world that struggle with abusive relationships, day-to-day tragic circumstances or other situations that may warrant the need for the more primitive fight/flight/freeze response in order to protect their existence. My heart goes out to all of those people. However, the focus of this blog post is different than that.
My focus is on the daily life stressors that “trick” the brain. I say “trick” because as I have come to learn more and more about the brain, one of the things I find interesting and apparent is how the brain can get “tricked” into thinking that our life is in actual danger- when really it’s not.
What do I mean by that? Well, in my post “The Baby Brain” I talk about the three parts of the brain. The parts that we at Brain Fit Academy refer to as the “Baby Brain, the “Emotional Brain” and the “Thinking Brain”. The “Baby Brain” AKA the Brain Stem, governs automatic systems- like breathing and digestion. It also is in charge of survival mechanisms- like the fight/flight/freeze response. It’s the most primitive part of the brain and helps to keep us safe. So, if we are in true, actual danger, the Brain Stem (Baby Brain) kicks in with our survival tactics of Fight– fight back against the danger, Flight– run away from the danger or Freeze- withdraw or “play dead” to ward off the danger.
So then where does the “tricks” thing come in? Well, the brain isn’t able to distinguish between an actual danger and a perceived danger. If we are spending too much time in our Baby Brain- for a multitude of reasons- including ongoing daily stressors, unintegrated Primitive Reflexes or perhaps physical stressors such as immune issues or allergies, our brain can get “tricked”.
Our brain gets tricked into thinking that we are in actual life-threatening danger. So then perhaps a simple Math test- which in the past may have only caused some temporary nervousness, puts us into a full fight/flight/freeze response. Or maybe an embarrassing situation, or the continued feeling of disconnection (that so many of us are dealing with right now) puts us into that same “save our life” reaction in the Brain Stem. To our brain, those situations become perceived threats to our survival. The brain gets “tricked” into thinking that we are in actual danger and we can have the same response that we would have had if there really was a predator chasing after us.
That present-day survival response might look different however. It may look different in that we may not physically fight, but instead it might be that we become verbally explosive and argue with those around us. Or we might flight- into our own world- withdraw and detach from what is happening in our life. Or maybe it’s a freeze response where we might get teary and clingy.
In any case- this “tricked” brain can have trouble accessing thoughts. It can have difficulty being resilient. It can have trouble handling the myriad of information and input it receives daily. This situation can wreak havoc on our day-to-day life because we are constantly reacting instead of responding.
So- what do we do? How do we overcome this “tricked” brain? Well, if you follow my blog, you probably already know what I’m going to say.
We use movement. We use intentional movement.
At Brain Fit Academy, we pair movement with a goal or intention (which makes the movement more powerful). We move using various movement activities that our sub-conscious mind picks for us by way of a method called Applied Kinesiology- or what we call “muscle-checking“.
We set a goal, we use the movements to reorganize our brain and body, and we work to “un-trick” the brain to get out of that “fight/flight/freeze” response.
Yes, fear can play tricks on us- on our brain and body. But there are ways to get out of that primitive, perceived threat-to-our survival response.
Intentional, purposeful movement is one of those ways. It’s the approach we take here at Brain Fit, and it works. You need your brain to be “un-tricked” too? We’d be happy to help.