30 Mar Feel the feelings!
“Survival Mode is part of what we go through in this life at times, and feeling whatever you feel about it is okay! Feel the feelings!”
Motivation Thursdays with Mrs. Samuels
As humans we are not designed to withstand prolonged levels of stress. After hours of stress our mind and bodies begin to respond. After weeks of stress our nervous system is shot. After a year of stress we begin to operate in survival mode. This level of operation takes place in what can be referred to as the Reptilian part of the Brain. The “reptilian” part of the brain is what keeps you alive when you are an infant, before you have words to communicate your needs. Think crying, tantruming, etc. when a need is not quickly met.
So, if you are wondering why you, or those around you, are acting a fool at times…it’s the reptilian brain. When in survival mode (due to prolonged stress) humans tend to lash out easily, disagree more, ruminate in a steady state of annoyance, and view others as a bit incompetent compared to their own perceived abilities (think adult tantruming). This is the brain’s way of keeping you “safe”. Logic and reasoning begin to shut down and emotions tend to drive decisions and behaviors. This is part of being human. Congratulations and welcome to the club!
The good news, when you do go back to operating from the frontal lobe of your brain, you will likely forget how hard this was, how tired you were, how much this affected your personal life, and how quickly you became agitated with others. In fact, you will likely volunteer to be a part of the next pandemic…not asking for another one just making a point.
So, it’s okay to be frustrated, it’s okay for relationships to be strained, it’s okay to feel all the feelings and not punish yourself for doing so. It’s temporary and you’re basically a lizard at this point.
Amanda Samuels, LMFT