The positive benefits of reflecting without the need to analyse has long been scientifically understood in detail whether it is from a psychological or physiological perspective. Taking time out from the day to day duties of life let’s you escape the survival mode and re-balance your general well-being. But how does this work?
Survival Mode and its Narrow Perception
Staying too long in survival mode has detrimental impacts on the balance of the brain, which in turn will negatively impact the psyche and the rest of the physical body. Survival mode is triggered by the brain and will cause a flood of hormones to be released into the body to muster up an appropriate physical reaction as a counteraction to a physical threat. This survival mechanism is designed for a short-term reaction and in this context manageable for the body. But in the long term a prolonged exposure to these hormones weaken the physical constitution and will lead to physical and psychological diseases.
In our modern world we are generating this mechanism frequently and often over long periods of time while not being exposed to a physical threat to life but to situations that stimulate the brain as if we were in combat. The brain can’t decipher the difference. So it does what it is designed to do in these circumstances, it triggers the release of respective hormones to manage the survival of the physical body.
When a person is in survival mode the focus becomes purely external and narrows down to an object/goal while time is perceived as a lack.
This mechanism is necessary to overcome an immediate threat, when you need to drop everything else in the face of collecting all your energies to survive. Over time though, this leads to a general narrowing of perception of life experiences and a loss of the ability to view events from a broader perspective. This in turn leads to an imbalanced psyche causing symptoms of psychological disorders such as enhanced feelings of anxieties, self-doubt and anger. The ongoing overload of survival hormones also has detrimental physical impacts on the body and we notice that our society is suffering more and from these side effects such as difficulty to sleep, weight gain, thyroid issues.
Moving one’s focus to the present moment in a state of being and reflection rather than doing and thinking, allows to re-balance overbearing outwards focus. Inward focus lets the body replenish (re-balance hormones) from the strains the survival process and supports a healthy physical and mental state.
Why Reflecting and not Analysing?
To be able to reflect requires you to be in quietude and to allow yourself to be in the space for inner to guidance to arise. Although it sounds contradictory this type of inner guidance doesn’t come from the brain but, more often than not, the brain likes to interfere. It is not about what it right or wrong, it is about what is. No judging and assessing, just peaceful inner reflection.
And this may sound contradictory too: the goal is not to answer questions the goal is to find new ones. You will find that after a while of quietude and silence new questions emerge and that is the whole point. It is not a question and answer game like an exam, you want to find more questions. You are virtually looking for more questions to be able to widen your perception.
Unfortunately, the logical brain doesn’t like this so much, the brain likes to tick off tasks and doesn’t like to keep going to connect to a deeper source of information. In addition, the ego, expressed out of the rational mind, will want to hinder you to peel off the layers of limiting perception, coming up with reasons why this is not a good idea and why you should not explore further. So, you have to train yourself to let your brain run on low simmer in the background.
After a while you will notice that you can come into harmony with the rational mind and this is when the self-discovery process starts to flow. The ego will virtually ‘allow’ you to explore and question your current perception. Coming up against resistance when the psyche is growing by expanding its perceptions is normal, even necessary; it is not any different to blowing up a balloon.
Things that may get in the way
Mental and emotional resistance, negative self-talk, giving in into distractions, the urge to become tired as an expression of resistance, unwillingness to look based on an opinion or anxiety to find something unwanted, lack of focus which can be trained
… is achieved by widening the perception
… is achieved by living in the present
Living in the present means: no attachments to the past and the future.
Past attachments cause: loss of energy, which runs down your physical and mental constitution
Future attachments: survival mode (too intense focus on the future), which floods the body with hormones that are toxic when exposed for long periods and narrows the mental perception
How to get there
Remove yourself from the drama and the story of an event and become the impersonal observer. Look at the facts and try to see the event from a different perspective. What type of fear or sense of lack did it confront you with? What did you make it mean about others and yourself? Did you learn anything or what could be learned from it? Did it strengthen you in any way?
Archetypes will guide you there, they are power houses and will constantly expose you to the same challenge until you widen your perspective. This constitutes part of the shadow work. You can avoid this work, but it won’t go away until you have done it, one step at a time. Nothing goes away in this universe! Absolutely nothing!
As simple as it sounds, and it is that simple, as difficult is it to put it into practice. There is no doubt that it can be quite challenging. Letting go of attachments means avoiding the suffering at least most of it.
Be patient with yourself in this process.