Command and Control Series

Cry ‘Havoc’!: Invoking a Sympathetic Response

The other night, I had a friend coming in from out of town. He arrived late, around midnight. He was trying to find my apartment building in the dark and rain, so I left my apartment to stand near the road and flag him down.

I was in shorts and a tank top and had been sleeping lightly for a couple hours already.

I stepped outside and I noticed that it felt ‘chilly’, but I wasn’t concerned. After all, it would only be for a few minutes.

But as the rain fell upon my bare skin, I began to experience a series of autonomic triggers.

First, I began to shiver. Not just light shivers, but hard seizing of the muscles as they begged for blood flow.

My diaphram contracted. Over and over again. And as I held my cell phone, I experienced difficulty speaking through the shortness of breath.

As I stepped into a puddle of water, my other arm clasped around my torso, tucking my wrist under my armpit.

You see, my mind knew exactly what was happening. I was just going to spot my friend. But my muscles were launched into a sympathetic state of high alert, unaware of the benign circumstances beyond my flesh.

Within my body, metabolic and pulminary functions raced to meet the new and sudden demands placed upon it. For all my nervous system knew, I could have been fighting off a predator, or defending my family from an invader.

Fortunately, however, I was in no real danger. My friend arrived and we returned to my apartment.

As I lay down again to rest, I noticed two things:

One, I was not going to be able to fall back to sleep very quickly. My whole body was still humming from the exposure to the elements.

And two, as I lay there, I began to have highly creative thoughts and began drafting this post in my mind. Whereas before, while at rest for a couple hours in the warmth and safety of my apartment, I had enjoyed light fantasies.

It occurred to me that I often experience my highest creativity after exercise or when I first arrive at work and begin “getting after it”.

So, I have begun to experiment with invoking a sympathetic response by simple breath work.

In the medieval era, if the general declared, or cried ‘havoc’, he was in effect allowing his soldiers to abandon rank and pillage and plunder the enemy’s holds.

If we were to cry ‘havoc’, we would set free our muscles that are laden with tension and bound by imbalances.

…many of us are trapped in chronic sympathetic states. We are in constant states of stress and anxiety, and as a result, We lose our freedoms – specifically, our freedom to move without injury because of tight muscles and other imbalances.

– False Flags

On the subject of chronic sympathetic states…

I have said that many of us are in a chronic sympathetic state. You may be asking yourself, If I am in a chronic sympathetic state, WHY would I want to invoke a sympathetic response?

(At least, I hope you are paying attention.)

It may seem counter intuitive, but a solution to chronic sympathetic states is to help the body relieve tension through invoking a sympathetic response and then progressing back to a restful, parasympathetic state.

You see, sympathetic overload can lead to any or all of the following symptoms:

» Decreased Strength & Vitality
» Poor Concentration
» Chronic Fatigue
» Foggy Headedness
» Decreased Sex Drive
» Night Sweats
» Orgasm / Genital Inhibition
» Waking Un-Rest
» Anxiety
» Jittery-ness
» Fungal Infections
» Constipation
» Digestive Disorders
» Rashes & Skin Problems
» Decreased Immunity
» Increased Risk For Injury
» Poor Sleeping Patterns

– Symptoms of sympathetic overload borrowed from “7 Strategies For a Stronger Nervous System”, by Elliot Hulse

It is never a good thing for the body to remain in a sympathetic state for very long. Instead, the human body should experience both sympathetic responses and parasympathetic moods.

Furthermore, a brief sympathetic response – invoked – can result in:

» Newfound creativity
» Renewed passion
» Restored optimism
» Laser-beam focus

Meanwhile, when a parasympathetic mood is achieved, we can enjoy:

» Restorative sleep
» Contentment
» Faster recovery from workouts
» Improved communication skills
» New outlook on life

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