top of page

🧠 Brain Science 101: Survival Instincts, Then and Now.

A scene of early human ancestors during the Stone Age. Four individuals are around a campfire outside a cave. On the left, two figures are engaged in a conversation, one holding a spear and the other with a bundle of sticks, possibly discussing hunting or fire maintenance. Seated in the middle is another figure, intently working on a tool or garment. On the right, a person stands holding a spear with a tip ablaze, perhaps using the fire to harden the spear's point. The environment suggests a communal living space with a focus on survival and daily life tasks of early humans.
Your 200,000 year old family photo 📸

Our early ancestors relied heavily on the primitive part of their brains for survival. They responded to threats like extreme weather or wild animals by hiding in caves, covering themselves with bearskins, and avoiding danger until it was safe to emerge. This ancient reaction has evolved into what we now recognise as symptoms of depression, anxiety, and anger.

Modern Symptoms, Primitive Causes

It's fascinating to learn how our primitive reactions, honed over millenia, still influence our modern-day challenges. Take panic attacks, for instance. They can be quite similar to our ancestors' reactions to immediate threats. Imagine being in a situation that triggers a sense of danger. Even if it's not an actual physical threat, this perception can lead to a panic attack, an overwhelming experience filled with fear and dread, reminiscent of our forebears' feelings when facing a predator.

Then there's irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Stress can trigger our 'fight or flight' response, a mechanism dating back to our earliest days. When we're stressed, this response can affect our digestion, similar to how the primitive brain would prepare the body for action, diverting resources away from non-essential functions like digestion.

And let's not overlook anger. Anger was once a way to increase strength against wild animals; today, it might be a reaction to workplace stress or personal conflicts. It's a bit like our ancient selves still trying to protect us in a world where the challenges have changed.

These examples show how our primitive instincts and reactions are still a part of us, even in today's world. They demonstrate how deeply ingrained these responses are and how they can manifest in various aspects of our lives.

The Negative Mind Sees the Worst

Our primitive brain is wired to see things from the worst possible perspective. It's like an internal alarm system, always on high alert and prepared for the worst-case scenario. This is a throwback to our ancestors, whose survival often depended on being cautious and ready for danger. Yours and mine did a good job, it's why I'm here to write this, and you're here reading it!

If you were to encounter a polar bear, you'd probably assume it's a threat, possibly hungry and ready to attack. This kind of thinking was crucial for our ancestors' survival, but in the modern world, it can sometimes lead us astray.

Imagine receiving a bill that's much higher than expected. The immediate reaction from this primitive part of our brain might be to panic and think of the worst outcomes, like financial ruin. In reality, what we need is to stay calm, assess the situation, and find a solution. But our ancient instincts can sometimes make this difficult, leading to unnecessary stress, anxiety, and even depression.

The Obsessional and Vigilant Mind

Another aspect of our primitive mind is its tendency to be obsessional and vigilant. This trait harks back to our ancestors, who had to be constantly on guard against potential dangers.

Today, this hyper-vigilance can manifest in ways that aren't always helpful, sometimes leading to conditions like OCD or constant anxiety. For instance, always checking whether the door is locked is the modern equivalent of being on red alert for a nearby polar bear. While it's wise to ensure safety, repeatedly checking might be our ancient instincts kicking in, telling us to be extra cautious, even when the level of danger doesn't warrant such vigilance.

Stuck in Old Patterns

Our primitive brain prefers well-established behaviours, even when they're not particularly helpful in our current lives.

Consider the example of avoiding motorways due to a fear of fast driving. This is akin to our ancestors hiding in a cave for safety. It might feel safer, but it can make life more difficult. Similarly, choosing to have a drink in the evening, especially when trying to quit, is another instance of this primitive reaction. While familiar and momentarily comforting, this pattern can lead to poor sleep and waking up feeling sluggish the next morning, a cycle that doesn't serve us well.

How Hypnotherapy Can Help

Hypnotherapy can be a game-changer in dealing with these deep-seated, primitive responses.

Understanding the primitive brain through hypnotherapy is an important first step towards breaking free from deep-rooted responses. Hypnotherapy offers a personalised approach, providing tailored strategies that help you specifically overcome the negative impacts of the primitive part of your brain. By understanding these instinctual reactions, hypnotherapy empowers you to forge a path to wellbeing

Whether you're dealing with panic attacks, anger, or unhelpful patterns of behaviour, hypnotherapy helps you harness your own inner skills and resources to shift from instinctive (emotional) reactions to more balanced (rational) responses. It's about taking control back.

So, if you're struggling with anxiety, depression, or anger, consider solution focused hypnotherapy. By working together, we can create positive change tailored to your specific needs, guiding you towards a more balanced and fulfilling life.

Feeling Inspired?

Are you ready to tap into your full potential and break through the barriers holding you back? Trance, a natural state we all experience daily, can unlock this potential when used therapeutically.

Working together, we'll focus on helping you bring out the best in yourself, typically in just 8 to 12 sessions. It's a fascinating, effective, and efficient journey towards personal growth and wellbeing.

Start exploring what hypnotherapy can do for you with a free online 30-minute initial consultation. You can book it through the online form which you'll find at the bottom of this page.

Your transformation begins here. Contact me today to begin your journey towards a healthier, happier you, and let's get started!

Recent Posts

See All


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page