There are a number of things that someone can do when they feel overwhelmed and are unable to handle what is going on. They can get away from what is taking place or they can get away from themselves.

If the former takes place, it can show that what is going on externally is the problem. Therefore, by getting away from what is taking place, they will be able to settle down again.

A Different Scenario

On the other hand, if the latter takes place, it can show that what is taking place inside them is the problem. Thus, through creating space between themselves and their body/emotional self, they will be able to regain a sense of control, if not settle down.

Now, having said all this, one can also leave an environment even though what is taking place inside them is the issue, and, they can disconnect from themselves even though their environment is the issue. This is then, like most things, is not something that is black and white.

A Time and A Place

Ultimately, these two survival responses are there for a reason; to keep one alive. However, if one has the tendency to leave their body, and the present moment in the process, this will probably show that this response is doing them more harm than good.

Of course, one could live in a very dysfunctional environment where it simply isn’t safe for them to exist, which is why they continually leave their body. Yet, even if they do live somewhere like this, it would be better far better for them to stay in their body and to go into flight mode - another survival response - and to leave their environment.

A Common Occurrence

With the above scenario aside, if one regularly leaves their body, their life is likely to be far harder than it needs to be. Through having the inclination to leave their body as opposed to dealing with what is going on around them, they may find that their life doesn’t change.

In fact, if they were to look back on their life, they may see that it has got worse as time has passed. This is because they will rarely deal with the challenges that they have, they will just avoid them.

An Analogy

It will be like having a garden that has a few weeds, and as time passes, it ends up being totally overgrown. Not only this, there can be a shed that only had a small leak and now this shed will have fallen apart.

In one’s own life, and in this case, their life won’t have ended up this way overnight; it will be this way as they have continually ignored their challenges and not faced them head-on. Disconnecting from reality and going up top, so to speak, would have given them the impression that everything was fine, but this would simply be an illusion.


Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that one needs to lay in themselves for how they have behaved for so long. The truth is that, for all this time, they have been doing the best that they can with what they.

What needs to be brought into focus is why one would behave in this way. Behaving in this way will be harming them now, but there is a strong chance that behaving in this way kept them alive at one point in time.

Back In Time

Their early years may have been extremely traumatic, with this being a stage of their life when they were routinely overwhelmed. Due to how undeveloped they were, they wouldn’t have been able to run away or to fight back.

Along with freezing up, the only thing that they could do would have been to disconnect from themselves. In other words, making what was causing them to suffer go away wouldn’t have been an option, so they had to go away.

An Automatic Response

Disconnecting from themselves and becoming ‘disembodied’ would have just taken place during this stage of their life and the same thing will happen now that they are an adult. At this point, it would be easy to say that they would have formed a number of beliefs at this point, but what took place may have occurred before their mind was even developed enough to form beliefs.

Instead, their being would have formed a number of different associations or ‘imprints’ around what took place. They may have formed the following associations: that it is not safe enough for them to be in their body, that it is not safe enough for them to exist, that it is not safe enough for them to express themselves, and that it is not safe enough for them to be seen.

Two Parts

On one side, there will be the associations that they have formed, and the impact that what took place had on their whole being, and on the other, there will be emotional pain and trauma that they are carrying. For them to change their behaviour and to start facing reality, they will need to deal with both of these parts.

If they only deal with the first part, the baggage that they are carrying can still prevent them from being present, and, if they only deal with the second part, the associations that they have in place can do the same thing. The important thing for one to keep in mind is that changing their life won’t happen overnight.


If one can relate to this, and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or healer.

Author's Bio: 

Author, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With over two thousand, six hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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