389 – Fight, flight and freeze response

Our oldest response has remained unchanged. Fight, flight, and freeze. We cannot survive without it. Yet we can change our pattern of behavior and attempt to calm our restless mind.

In Hinduism this powerful stress response has been addressed. In the predawn era of the Vedas, there were no temples or shrines. And humanity had to continue surviving with the stress response. All the chants and incantations were addressed to removal of fear. Any natural calamity was looked upon as a punishment for mankind’s’ sins. So, what did our ancestors do. They used the stress response as a mitigation for their guilt and terror.

These responses

The fight response was used in appeasement to the Gods. Rites and rituals were performed in order to change one’s circumstances in one’s favor.

The flight response was used in discussion of monastic endeavor to attain a state of freedom from bondage and to live in a world of serenity.

The freeze response was used in submitting to a higher being, who would then guide one on the thorny path of life.

Our stress response is what has to be understood and the easiest method is through the practice of Yogic Sadhana. The stress response enables us to survive, but then it turns into a killer response. In order to lead a proactive and equanimous life, we now have to attend to our thoughts. Our thoughts are our life long companions, and we know how difficult unpleasant friends are to shed.

Close your eyes. While chanting Aum seven times, visualize the breath going through both nostrils and meeting at the eyebrow center, and then visualizing the breath going out of both nostrils. This breathing is called triangular breathing. Look into the space behind the eyebrow center. Watch what comes. No participation with what you see. Only be an observer. If you see nothing, it does not matter. After twenty minutes, chant Aum seven times again in the same way.

Repeated sadhana, will dilute the stress response and you will not be in the company of these thoughts, which are influencing your stress response. You will become gradually free of fear and anxiety.

Aim Hrim Klim

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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