Change Your Operating System from Survival to Thrival

Have you noticed the tempo of the world lately? It seems like things are moving quickly. Too quickly. Information travels around the world in seconds, and yet we scream at a slow internet connection. The signal from your computer actually has to leave the planet, go to a satellite somewhere in space, and find its way back to your computer! The sequence of events necessary to receive this posting is extraordinary! We have all of these modern conveniences and technological advances and yet we can’t seem to be able to come up for air.

Speaking of extraordinary, your body responds to this pace very predictably. It makes your computer appear ancient in comparison. The body goes into “survival mode”. You can always tell when you’re in survival mode. Sleep patterns are out of balance, digestion is off, energy levels drain quickly, attitude is dull, tongue is sharp, sex drive is non-existent, thoughts are foggy, decisions are poor, fear is present and joy is absent. Scarcity is the rule because you see the world as a finite place. Ringing a bell? 

Finite means limited. Some see money, possessions, talent or energy as a limited supply. If someone else has it that means you can’t have it. There’s just not enough to go around. If you divide a pie amongst a given number of people, you’ll only have so much to go around and someone gets left out, rather than understanding more pie is available to those willing to seek it. It’s this mindset that creates scarcity, fear and chaos in a population. It starts riots, looting, wars and destruction. It’s also programmed into the mind when you watch the news, read the paper or surf the web. 

The physiology of survival is brilliant and necessary in a stressful situation. If a bear jumped out at you, you’d automatically shift to this mode. Heart rate and blood pressure increase. Sugar levels and cholesterol levels increase. Memory, digestion and immune function are suppressed as is your ability to absorb serotonin. It’s a protective mechanism for self-preservation. It is not, however, meant to be a lifestyle. When the body is locked into this pattern it begins to break down…quickly. It’s why some 40 yr. olds look 60.

You’ll usually reach for “fuel” in the form of carbohydrates, usually junk food. Tense muscles to be used for fleeing or fighting begin to lock joints and promote osteoarthritis. Chronic elevation in cardiac function begins to wear out heart muscle and blood vessels prematurely. Hormone balance becomes impossible to maintain, as does body weight. Your emotions will convince you that your spouse is an idiot and the whole world is against you.( No, I don’t have cameras in your house, I just know you’re American.) The spiral is predictably downward.

Thrival is different. Don’t bother going to the dictionary, you won’t find it there. It’s a way of expressing the opposite of survival. In Thrival, you realize that your needs are being met. You see the world as a loving, caring, forgiving place. Abundance replaces scarcity. Ideas and creativity flow freely to and from you. This is your natural state when survival mode is extinguished. The physiology of Thrival is the exact opposite of survival.

Heart muscle is relaxed. The immune system is strong. Joints move freely and with intention. Remembering and prioritizing your to-do list is a breeze and your emotions are in-check. Your clothes even fit and feel better! In this mode, harmony is the rule, not the exception.

Thrival understands the unlimited possibilities in the universe. It knows the sun is 93 million miles away and has unlimited energy. It recognizes the potential of a seed to produce many more seeds. It recognizes that sharing an idea multiplies the idea, not divides it. It recognizes that achieving health is a different concept than fighting a disease. Thrival is, and don’t hate me for this, more fun. For some reason we’ve been lead to believe fun isn’t important anymore. There’s actually joy in focusing on what’s possible. A dream job, vacation, relationship is waiting for the dreamer to claim it. (Those in survival mode need not apply.) Why not you? Does it take effort? Absolutely! I’m merely suggesting a change that promotes what you’d like to have happen instead of the dread that comes from not doing it.

Want a place to start? Take a one week break from all media. (Gasp!) It’ll be there when/if you return, I promise. CAUTION: It takes roughly 3 days to de/reprogram a kid in this plan. Prepare for some cranky time. You’ll get to bed on time and actually sleep. You’ll hear sounds in your house you’ve never heard. Your mind will find creative ways to begin appreciating and loving your life. Go ahead, I dare you. You have nothing to lose and much to gain.