In his book “The Gift of Fear”, Gavin de Becker recounts testimony of a woman who had suffered through a three hour assault in her home and survived only because she listened to her instincts.
There seem to be two general mental domains. One is instinctual, and is often referred to as intuition. This mental domain could be characterized as “flow state”. In this mental domain, the mind/body is able to take large amounts of information and process them very quickly. In the “flow state” we’re able to take in large amounts of information while somehow making sense of all of it
The other mental domain is related more to intellect, logic, and reason. Compared to the “flow state”, this mental domain could be called “digital”. This digital mental domain acts as a counterbalance to the “flow state” in that it is able to “freeze” the flow of thoughts and time so that we can observe our thoughts and assess the information coming in. Although this type of “processing” slows things down so that we are only able to take in a limited amount of information. In the face of normal everyday life, this can lead to feeling overwhelmed.
Often in our culture, the intellect is valued more than instincts or intuition. For example you have “book smarts” vs. “street smarts”. These intelligences are often tied to our sense of self through years of cultural and familial reward conditioning.
Part of the care at the Happy Spine involves helping you to reconnect to and learn how to follow your instincts. Your instincts come through the physical body. If we’re too much in fight/flight, we won’t be able to feel our instincts. We then end up relying on the digital mental domain to process information, which is not as good as the “flow state”, at taking in large amounts of information in a short time.
We can often end up using our digital mental domain to the detriment of our other resources, such as our instinctual “flow state”. We often will drain our physical and emotional energy by putting it into the digital mental domain. This has long term repercussions such as disconnection, anxiety, depression as well as decreased immunity and disease.
In order to reverse this trend, it’s necessary to connect more to the Parasympathetic side of the nervous system. This helps us to get more in touch with our “gut feelings” and instincts. It’s just another one of the many resources that we have available to us.