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Evolve Your Brain by Joe Dispenza

Evolve Your Brain by Joe Dispenza

Author:Joe Dispenza [Dispenza, Joe]
Language: eng
Format: epub, azw3, mobi
ISBN: 978-0-7573-9779-0
Publisher: Health Communications, Inc.
Published: 2007-12-13T05:00:00+00:00


Survival Mode

Very far back in our genetic past, we, and most other mammals, lived in an environment that posed a great number of threats to our very survival. Life was harsh, brutish, and short. We were very much subject to the whims of nature and needed to be alert to any potential threat—from a predator, from an enemy, or from nature. Being alert to these threats kept us alive and kept our genetic lineage intact. It is not too far of a stretch to say that those of us alive on the planet today are the beneficiaries of an ancestral heritage that was either very alert or very lucky—or most likely both.

Times have changed, and the kinds of threats to our survival have changed in both type and degree. Although some may argue that early humans did not have to worry about nuclear annihilation or the threat of organized terrorist cells, I think we can all agree that they faced more imminent dangers than most of us do: starvation, illness, predators, and the like. What hasn’t changed is that much of the hardwiring that was necessary for us to survive that harsh existence, most of those networks and regions of neurological memory, are still active in our brain. Remember that nerve cells that fire together, wire together. Over time, through repetition and association, the neural networks that helped keep us alive—what we commonly refer to as the fight-or-flight response—have been fired for hundreds of thousands of years.

Those instinctual responses are about as hardwired as anything else in our brain. In fact, they are stored away in our limbic system or midbrain, beneath the neocortex. This involuntary system is what facilitates the mind that operates our body, brain, and entire being without our conscious awareness. It is what maintains our internal order “independent” of our conscious mind.

Briefly, when a survival response is initiated through the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), it increases heart rate and blood pressure, reduces the amount of blood flow to the digestive organs, increases blood flow to the extremities for action, mobilizes sugars in the bloodstream for energy, releases hormones that give the body a rush of energy, turns on the brain to become super-aware, dilates the pupils and clears the lenses to facilitate seeing greater distances, and dilates the bronchioles, allowing greater oxygen transfer in the lungs. All those changes enable the body to flee or fight, heightening our awareness and our level of preparedness for physical action.

If you remember, the parasympathetic system (PNS) does the opposite. It slows down our body’s responses, decreases heart rate and blood pressure, slows down respiratory rate, increases blood flow to the skin and to the digestive tract, constricts the pupils and the lenses, etc. Think of these processes as our rest and digest response.

The SNS uses energy for immediate emergencies; we can think of the SNS as a gas pedal. The PNS conserves energy for long-term projects such as repair and growth; like a clutch, it allows us to coast and conserve vital energy.



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