Today’s world has seen advantages to human beings at a level beyond that in recorded history. Whilst we no longer are kept on our toes from those pesky carnivorous beasts wishing to make a meal out of us, the resulting good fortune has allowed for swapping health for comfort. In the developed world at least, everything we require is available to us in short time. This includes food, technology, sex etc.
In general, we’ve become a domesticated species. Our resilience levels have decreased leaving us susceptible to outside influence. Whilst the reptilian part of the brain (the oldest part of the brain) is still there and still functions as it needs, we live in a society now where those ‘fight or flight’ aspects of existence are no longer needed in order to be a model citizen of culture. The need to move and exercise our physical vessels has taken a backburner as we now live in a world that is conducive to the operation of the neo-cortex (the newest part of the brain).
Which is all awesome and everything. I don’t know about you but I value the fact that I don’t have to be operating on instincts based on whether I’m going to be attacked or not. Having said that, those aspects of the reptilian brain are still an important part of the brain and they too need to be exercised just like we do with the neocortex through playing puzzles and other problem solving exercises.
There’s a natural reward system in built into us through thousands of years of evolution. This system which once came from team work, achieving, doing etc. has now been supplanted by quick fixes such as TV, shopping, porn, Instagram. None of it is real (but that also depends on what your definition of ‘reality’ is). It’s made up, it’s inflated. Whilst we sit around and soak up the pleasures that are offered to us so that we can keep consuming things we don’t need, our most primal part of our psyche receives little of any real value.
Working with our primal, embracing the physicality of who we are is a balanced approach to living life. Utilising all of our inner strengths. Putting ourselves under discomfort and overcoming those hurdles is an important aspect of a healthy psyche. Whether it through exercise, fasting or any of the myriad of ways that we can use our innate will and non-emotional drive, putting ourselves under periods of hardship does wonder for how we view ourselves and teaches a lot about what we can overcome and endure.
We must embrace that aspect of ours that thrives on pushing ourselves. The adrenaline that gets released, the endorphins that come during and after a state of discomfort are invaluable to the makeup of our well-being.
Enjoy your comforts. We’re lucky to have them. Not everyone in the world does so we are blessed to experience them. But also remember that a feeling of health and well-being through consuming isn’t recognised by the reptile brain. It’s a choice. Happy choosing! 🙂
Note: With any vigorous exercise or fasting please consult your GP if you have any concerns around your health before starting.