How to Get Out of Fight-or-Flight Mode and Get Back to Connection & Creativity
How often during your day (work or home life) do you get overwhelmed with all you have to do and anxious to get it all done. Then, rather than taking a break you push through that wall of fatigue because you have to?
That’s you existing in survival mode, too stressed out to give yourself time to relax.
Isn’t it funny how life sometimes has to repeatedly give you messages until you start to notice? A recent trend in my reading, learning and conversations has been centered around understanding the neurology of the brain, and how it relates to our lives. In particular, living in fight or flight mode vs living in safety where you are more creative, more loving and more empathetic.
There are great scientific references out there, so I’m going to keep this high level and stick to how this information applies to you.
Two interesting books on this topic I’ve read recently are:
How to Rewire Your Brain for Love by Marsha Lucas
F*ck Your Feelings by Ryan Munsey
The Importance of Breathing
One of the simplest tricks you can do to get out of fight or flight mode is to slow down your breathing. When you are stressed out, you actually take shorter breaths and this is a signal to your body that there is stress (danger) around. When you take time to slow your breathing, it actually calms your mind and helps your brain turn off danger triggers and return to your higher cognitive brain.
When you have an overfilled day of far too much work, taking a 5 minute (or gasp! 15 minute) break, seems like the least productive thing to do but it’s actually exactly what you should do!
When you are rushing around, feeling anxious and overwhelmed, you are actually working from survival mode (your lizard brain) and your one focus is to survive. Your ability to think creatively, to connect with others to work efficiently is actually hindered. You are working less effectively and working busy. You are ‘Do’ing, rather than ‘Be’ing. (Read my blog on Empowering Your Feminine Energy in Business to learn more about the balance of masculine Do-ing and feminine Be-ing) You are getting caught up in the rush and not actually delivering your best work or attention to your present moment.
When you take time in your day to stop and breathe. To stop and go for a walk, to go in nature and ground, to move your body, to listen to your favorite song…all of these things help you slow down and get back to alignment with your highest self; your most creative self; your best self.
The simplest way to look at breathing is to just slow down your inhale and exhale to as long as possible without forcing the effort.
Another option is box breathing, where you breathe in, hold your breath, breathe out, and hold your breath again, all for the same amount of time, 4 seconds, etc.
Another powerful method is to have a longer exhale than inhale. This is an active stress reduction mechanism, as your exhale is longer than your inhale – the opposite of how you breath in stressful situations.
Some other breathing tips from UC Berkeley
The Importance of Anchoring
Another powerful tool is from NLP, the process of anchoring the emotions or resources that you want to be able to access in times of stress.
This needs to be set up ahead of time, that you program your body to feel the sensation of safety, or calm, or trust, etc. and can then call upon that feeling as a resource in a time of stress.
NLP Anchoring refers to the process of associating an internal experience to an external trigger. You are integrating the feeling/resource that you want to have to your body in a specific way that you can call upon it in the future. To anchor, you need to truly feel the emotion of that feeling, and visualize it through all of your senses. You must experience that emotion as you anchor to a specific point on your body, such as your thumb and forefinger squeezed together.
How This Applies to Living Your Dream Life
So great, you’re going to start breathing but how does this apply to creating your dream life? It’s this technique (actually a High-Performance Habit), combined with others, as well as your mindset that can change the trajectory of your life. Not only in terms of mastering your day and mastering your creativity, but also taking control of your energy and your intention with your life.
As a business coach, I focus on mindset and intuition as the foundation of anything that you can do as a business owner to move forward. You may already be doing a lot of personal growth and development as a business owner, and I am here to help you find those final tweaks that release your greatest potential. You are awesome as you are and I am here to act as a guide to help light the path to the future you dream of living.
I am now opening a waitlist to my monthly group coaching ‘Love Your Life’, where with a small group of business owners, you learn new skills, habits and build a greater connection to your inner guidance, while also supporting and raising each other up. To keep groups intimate and personal, I will only allow a certain number in each group and have a waitlist to start the next group. If you’re interested in living the life you dream, and loving your life. Contact me today to schedule an introductory call so we can determine if it is a good fit!