5 Steps to Thrive and Not Just Survive Challenges (or Challenging Relationships)

5 Steps to Thrive and Not Just Survive Challenges (or Challenging Relationships)

via PsychCentral by Athena Staik

A world of difference exists, when it comes to your emotional and mental and relational health and wellbeing, between living your life in primarily in survival mode, where fear takes over your ability to choose. As a human being, you’re not wired to be primarily controlled by the sympathetic division of your autonomic system. You’re wired to be happy with your self and relationships, to thrive and grow, and become all you’re meant to be.

According to Dr. Candace Pert, neurotransmitters are “molecules of emotion” that activate the chemical reactions necessary to run your body. In the same way that words and verbal communication is the language that your conscious-self understands, emotions are the language of your body.

How you think about a problem determines what you focus on, and in turn, what you hold in mind, sparks images in your mind and emotions accordingly — either emotions of comfort and pleasure (love-based) or emotions of distress (fear-based). Regardless the issues you are attempting to solve, personal or relational, optimal solutions and actions are unlikely when your thinking brain is in fear-mode.

Here are five steps to self-activate your body’s relaxation response, in other words, to consciously shift away from survival-reactivity and instead remain in learning mode, that is, ensuring the parasympathetic division of your body’s autonomic nervous system is in charge.

1. Learn how your brain works.

The last two decades have produced more research on the brain and brain technologies than all past years put together.

Much of this new information dramatically changes how we view the brain, revealing mental and emotional capacities that, providing we know how to access them, can be lifelong assets with which we may create positive changes … and do so consciously … in the direction of our highest aspirations. That’s really good news.

You may have heard it before: change your thoughts, change your life.

If this sounds too simple, think again.

Consider that, in a split-second, a fear-thought can cause a panic attack, unnecessarily by activating the body’s survival response when there are no “real” threats to one’s physical survival, for example, yet a love-based thought in response can restore a sense of immediate calm and safety.

One key understanding is that the human brain isn’t designed to remain in survival mode for extended periods of time. It’s all about seeking fulfillment and happiness that stem from the quality of our relationships to our self and life around us. Certain universal emotion-drives direct many or most of your actions, in particular, toward a lifelong overarching pursuit “to matter” in relation to self and others, seeking meaningful connections in life.

This explains why a sense of love and connection to someone or some aspect of life enhances your sense of security – and why some of your greatest fears have to do with, not physical dangers and lions and tigers, but rather a fear or rejection, abandonment, inadequacy, all of which threaten to steal the meaningful connection to life we yearn to realize.

All its operations in some way have to do with maintaining balance to protect the integrity of the multitude of relationships that support you to survive and thrive, whether physically, mentally or emotionally (spiritually?).

Based on the yearnings to matter, and fear of not realizing these core-drives, you are also wired to form certain protective patterns in the first years of life.

Once set, these habituated protective response patterns operate, for the most part, without conscious awareness.

From infancy to adulthood, your brain is wired to work directly shapes and is shaped by relationships throughout life…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE

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