If you’re still not sure and tempted to continue to indulge in the fearmongering news and conspiracy theories, then do a simple experiment for yourself. For one day, watch all the news and read all the social media you can. Check-in with your body, your anxiety, your stress by the evening, and your sleep that night. Try to rate it on a scale from 1-100% (100% being the most horrible stress and anxiety you can imagine). Write down that number.
The next day, no matter how much willpower it takes, don’t watch or read any of it. Just for one day. Then check in again with your body and stress that evening. Rate it on the scale. How did the number change? I can assure you, 99% of you will experience a different body and physiological/psychological response on the stress scale. Then ask yourself if engaging in the madness is still your first choice. This is one way to protect your sensitive heart.
SOME HABITS BECOME ADDICTIONS AND ARE VERY HARD TO BREAK! THE NEUROCHEMICAL REACTIONS IN THE BRAIN ARE REAL. BUT YOU CAN DO IT. I HAVE DONE IT MYSELF, SO I KNOW YOU CAN, TOO!
If you are a Highly Sensitive Person, your goal first and foremost is to keep your central nervous system (CNS) as calm as possible. Otherwise, we fall into the seemingly bottomless pit of anxiety. This is a mental mortal wound for HSPs. As I’ve shared with many of you, the “Anxiety Loop,” is very real for us and this could not be a more vital time to be aware of this autonomic evolutionary reaction.
Managing the Fight, Flight or Freeze Response
We hear something disturbing or come up with our own thought, influenced by what we’re hearing or seeing in the world. The fears begin to build, one layer after another. Your thoughts of “what if” continue to gain momentum. The moment these catastrophic thoughts become feelings and reach your body … BAM … you will be launched into the sympathetic nervous system Fight, Flight, or Freeze response.
These reactions suddenly stimulate our brain’s limbic system, part of which is our older primitive brain. The brilliant survival strategist part of our brain that kept us alive thousands of years ago. For example, when one entered their cave only to find a five-foot-tall hungry Sabertooth tiger. The fight or flight response from the fearful primitive brain worked beautifully to fuel that 100-yard dash to save one’s life. We must be grateful for and honor that which evolution has given us. We would have never made it this far as a species had it not developed so well!
However, now in this modern-day and age, our bodies are still attuned to such threats though they are usually on a much lesser scale. So when the flight or fight response takes place, so do the surges of our stress hormones (cortisol, adrenaline) from our adrenal glands and brain. This will wreak havoc on our sensitive systems.
In the next post, I define the “Anxiety Loop” and how to derail it.