How to practice relaxing our inner threat detector? Walking down to your home, you find a dark street. Which often be lighted daily. Your speed of walking increases, and your heartbeat increases.
The adrenaline starts running into your heart and brain very fast. Your muscles are twitching. Your body suddenly goes into super active mode.
Have you ever thought about why it happened? This is because the inner threat detector detected an unpleasant atmosphere. Which fills us with fear. And our body transforms into super active mode.
But problems are created when we always detect threats in all work. Like, if a person without any reason or without knowing gives you a favour. You start detecting the threat on their intention.
We all fear our future. Like, what will happen in the future? Will my position and wealth be with me or not? Our threat detector fills us with suspicion. When we start thinking about our future.
Sometimes we fear being in a special situation because of past trauma. And when a special situation comes, our threat detector starts giving the signal of a threat. Which is not always right.
I met with several people. Who are often very tired. Not only because of sleep problems. But also because of daily activities.
Many of us are tired of being around other people, having video meetings, going to public places and doing other daily activities.
So we avoid those activities to save our energy. And start avoiding it. It is very important to set boundaries for yourself. And give yourself time to rest.
But over time the result of such excessive self-restriction is that we are not able to interact with people. Which increases our isolation and loneliness. Which only empties us more.
One day I met with a friend. He says he is a person struggling with Antifragility. Which has symptoms of emotional, physical and mental stress (burnout).
It becomes difficult to embrace the idea of expanding your boundaries. This is because the first step towards overcoming the symptoms of burnout is.
To accept our limits, not exceed them, which can make us more exhausted. However, he said that I have been in this state of fatigue for more than two years.
Perhaps the result of trying to hold on to my limits is that my limits are getting closer and closer to nothingness. I can only tolerate less stress and excitement.
Instead of getting stronger, I am getting weaker. I want to break this circle and gradually develop some stamina.
Where can I start? We start with boundaries and take time to care for ourselves, replenish ourselves, and rest.
But, we can also practice relaxation and escape from the fatigue of life – by practising relaxing our inner ‘threat detector’, the danger alert system. Before practising relaxing the Threat Detector, let’s talk a little bit about it. What a Threat Detector is and how it works.
What is a threat detector?
A threat detector is like a metal detector. Which is installed by people. On the entrance of any premises. That nobody enters premises with prohibited things. And which creates a threat.
Threat detectors of mind also work like that. It informs the body to fight or flight. Mean in some situations to protect us. Some action is needed. And in some situations to protect us. No action is needed.
I give you two examples of the situation for a better understanding of this threat detector of mind.
First, assume you look at a football coming towards you at rocket speed. Your threat detector senses are automatically active. It gives your body a signal to move here and there to protect yourself from the ball.
But in the second situation, a dog is coming toward you in anger at full speed. Your tread detector is automatically active. And gives your body a signal that does not move from your place. Because if you moved. The possibility of dog attacks is increasing.
So in layman’s words. Thread detector of mind gives your mind an alert about the possible threat to you.
How does the threat detector work?
Inside your brain, your hippocampus calculates that connection and transmits it to areas of the brain that are beyond the reach of the cerebral cortex, where conscious thoughts are processed.
Those subcortical regions, such as the amygdala and hypothalamus, ultimately mediate your behavioural response, prompting you to fight or flight.
In simple words, a part of our beautiful brain is always on the lookout for threats around us or attackers like other humans.
who want to attack us, and social cues that indicate we can be kicked out of our community.
That’s why a scan for these threats, and the body gets tense in reactions like fighting against them, running away from them, keeping them calm or pleading in front of them, keeping them happy.
It becomes tense and ready to take defensive measures to protect us. But because we live in the modern-day, our threat detector almost always fails.
We worry that others are forming opinions about us, that we are not living up to the expectations of society and our own.
Email, messaging and social media also fuel concerns that people are evaluating us. It makes us stressed and worried.
We feel fatigued from all these. And the boundaries and taking care of yourself become important.
But, by reducing our social activities. We can limit ourselves to loneliness. And reduce our ability to communicate with others and do meaningful work.
So we can incorporate the practice of resting the threat detector so that we don’t feel empty when we interact with the world.
How to Practice Relaxing the Inner Threat Detector?
You can practice now. Your threat detector may be activated at this very moment. If not, then you can use it. When you do a conversation in any medium. You may practice it. You can practice like this:
1. Stay for a while. Focus your attention on the physical sensations. See if you can spot where you’re feeling stressed. You may have tightness in your chest, abdomen, or head.
Try to concentrate your mind on your actions. That your action is right or wrong for the particular situation.
2. Stay tuned. Keep your attention for a few moments on the feeling of tightness. Just allow your attention to be still with openness. Without jumping to any decision.
You can even develop a feeling of warm compassion or friendship towards this feeling. After all, she is trying to protect you from perceived dangers.
3. Take a breath. Take a few deep breaths from your belly. Fill yourself with a sense of massiveness with each inhalation, and let go of the tension with each out-breath.
Take 5-10 deep slow breaths like this to see if you can ease the tension a bit. Try to focus on your breath. Connect your mind with the positive vibes of the word. It makes you feel positive.
4. Change your attitude. Can you change your view of danger? To something that gives you a sense of possibility, curiosity, or gratitude?
If you are with another person, can you see him or her as someone you can feel connected to? Could you be curious about this handsome man? Can you see the possibilities of working with him?
Can we be grateful to have them in life? Try these ideas. See him as someone who can fill you with curiosity.
5. Breath in again. With this new approach, can you breathe and reduce your stress and feel a sense of openness, connectedness, warmth, and gratitude?
Usually, it doesn’t happen in the blink of an eye. It demands practice. You don’t necessarily have to understand it correctly. ‘Okay, just keep practising and Encourage yourself.
No doubt threat detector is an essential part of our mind. It gives an altar to our minds about the impending danger. But before execution of the information. It is your duty. To check whether the information is right or wrong. So try to make a balance in execution.
Best of luck.