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Stress-Induced Survival Mode

Stress-Induced Survival Mode

When you are in immediate danger, your body shoots off a heady adrenaline cocktail. It heightens your awareness, giving you more energy and physically shifting your abilities. Every month there's a new story in the news about someone who was able to access super-strength because of their "fight or flight" response. This body wisdom is the perfect gift when dealing with a robbery in a back alley, or facing off with frenemies in the corporate board room, but nobody wants to get shot up with adrenaline everyday. 

Or do we?

If you're a regular coffee drinker who downs a few cups a day, raise your hand. 

The thing about adrenaline cocktails, coffee, and other stimulants is that they're meant to be temporary. They're the boost to get you to safety. If your life is so stressful that you're "boosting" everyday (even if inadvertently), then you're in what I call a stress-induced Survival Mode.

I'm no doctor, but it doesn't take one to know that high levels of that "adrenaline cocktail" over time will stress the heart, potentially causing heart disease or heart failure. Even if you're able to forego that, your body exists in a perpetual state of wired fatigue. I'm sure you know that feeling; your mind keeps going, your body wants to rest, and you can't think straight enough to make real forward progress.

Most people intent on living "the American dream" are operating in stress-induced survival mode. They're constantly rushing to work, to the gym, to the kids, to the partner, and they are so tightly wound that the occasional massage or personal treat is like one drop of water in a bone dry desert. This psychological rushing makes matters worse.

Many of us are conditioned to cover up spiritual stress, and we're good at it. We drink coffee to keep going, we share our woes with our suffering friends, and over time many of us even shut down to the point that we no longer want a massage, no longer feel deep pleasure, and feel that life is flying by without us.

You may even find that though you try to listen to your heart and plan for the things that you've always wanted, somehow life keeps kicking you in the arse. You don't want to feel like a victim, but you're having a hard time moving ahead.

If this is you, then you are in stress-induced Survival Mode.

How do you get out?

My normal response is often "listen to your heart," but when you're in Survival Mode, listening to your heart isn't enough. In Survival Mode, the body raises energetic shields to protect spirit, making it difficult to access heart wisdom, and even more difficult to follow it.  In order to move forward, you must first get out of Survival Mode. 

The energetic shields have to come down. I believe the quickest way is through Reiki. Anyone who's received Reiki knows how great it feels! Even clinical studies have shown that it reduces stress and improves quality of life. Here is my Survival-Mode Antidote:

Survival Mode Antidote

1x Weekly-  1 hr Reiki (focusing on Adrenals, Muladhara, Svadhisthana, & Manipura) 

1x Weekly- 1 hr Massage (gently- to soften and open the body, shifting muscle memory) 

3x Weekly- 1 hr Alone (in a quiet space for journaling, mindful reflection, or meditation)

1x Daily-  20 minutes Walking Outdoors

1x Daily- Self-Reiki or love light healing (focusing on lower back and hip bones)

~Schedule this into your calendar. Stick with the routine for a minimum of 4-6 weeks, scheduling baths, rest, and paring down interactions with friends who trigger your "fight or flight" energy. Discover the beautiful ways your body and life begin to open. 

The hardest part might be making the time for yourself. You may even be afraid to do so; that type of fear is connected to Survival Mode, so let it go. Allow yourself to slow down, and expect that various issues and needs may begin to crop up for review and release. Give yourself what you need, whether it is therapy, sleep, a little wildness, a doctor's visit, or more office time with your local healing practitioner.

As always, if you have questions about Survival Mode, releasing deep patterns of stress, or this type of energy healing work, feel free to call or email me!  Or post your additional suggestions for getting out of Survival Mode down below.

happy healing,




Always seek the advice of a trained health professional with any questions you may have regarding your medical condition and before seeking alternative treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking medical treatment due to holistic wisdom obtained on Web copy not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure. The focus of all writing is on the spiritual energetic processes of the body. This site is for information purposes only, reflecting the personal experiences of a Reiki healer. The information is not intended to replace proper medical care, and for those interested, should merely serve as inspiration in stimulating discussion with one's personal doctors and advisors about an integrated holistic approach to wellness.

© 2012 Dailey Little. 

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