How Subconscious Survival Fears Affect Your Physical Health


The subconscious mind acts as a storehouse for all our past memories. Unpleasant memories that are held in the subconscious mind can cause us to believe that our daily struggle to survive is under threat. These memories are not within our accessible conscious awareness, yet many of these memories are active and replay over and over again in the subconscious mind.

The subconscious mind has a protective mechanism that can keep these memories suppressed so we don’t have to remember what was unpleasant for us. It is not the actual play out of the events that we fear, but our perception of these events and how they made us feel. If these subconscious fears caused us to question our ability to be loved and accepted, then also in our subconscious mind are fears of our ability to survive in this world.

We are born geared toward survival. As infants, we are completely dependent upon others to keep us alive. When we perceive, by the words or actions of our primary caretakers, that we are deficient in some way, then fear takes over and we begin to imagine that we are being rejected. Along with these feelings of rejection are feelings that we are unwanted, unworthy and unlovable. If you believe in your subconscious mind that you are not good enough, that you cannot please your caretakers, that you are not accepted and loved, that loved ones will abandon you, that you should be ashamed of who you are, that you should feel guilty for something you did or didn’t do or that people cannot be trusted, then you could be carrying survival fears within the deepest part of your subconscious mind.

The subconscious mind has no concept of time. So every memory that becomes active in the subconscious mind feels like it is happening now. These memories will remain inactive until something in your current environment causes them to become activated. Whenever a feeling arises within you that resonates with a feeling you have suppressed, your subconscious mind puts you on alert that your very survival at this moment is being threatened. This feeling now instinctively lets the body know that you must fight, take flight or freeze (shut down). These survival responses put your body under severe stress.

If you felt like you must be perfect in order to receive love from your parents in order to escape rejection, then you may find your adult-self driven toward perfectionism with a subconscious fear that someone might notice your flaws and, therefore, reject you. You live in constant worry and fear that you will not be able to maintain perfectionism, causing you to constantly feel threatened, which causes your body to feel the stress of constantly jumping into survival mode.

If you are in a romantic relationship with the subconscious fear of abandonment, each time that relationship has struggles you may find yourself jumping into survival mode, causing the disharmony in the relationship to escalate by your actions of fight, flight or freeze response. Each time there is disharmony in your relationship and you react, your body feels the stress of trying to survive.

When you are in constant survival mode, you are continuously warning your body that a threat is near. Over time, you will deplete the energies that are necessary for proper functioning and balancing of your body on all levels (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual). Without proper functioning on all levels, you leave the door wide open for illness to take place.

Unfortunately, these subconscious thoughts are out of reach of your conscious reasoning. Many people are subconsciously reacting to fear of survival on some level, especially if they are holding onto any unresolved emotional traumas. These subconscious fears cause tremendous stress in their lives. Since the fight to survive is so frightening, your subconscious mind, in order to protect you from feeling this extreme fear, will cause you to create distractions. This is common in people that over work, over shop, over eat or over indulge in alcohol and recreational drugs. The subconscious mind will also create scenarios that it believes will aid you in your quest to heal your emotional traumas that are the cause of your survival fears. This is common in the people that jump from relationship to relationship in order to find that person that will heal their insecurities.  Some of us will indulge ourselves in deep spirituality as a coping mechanism for our internal uneasiness.

We are at the mercy of our subconscious fears until we heal the emotions behind these fears. No matter how hard you work at eating healthy, getting the right exercise and reciting positive affirmations, if you are harboring subconscious fears, then you are experiencing internal stress without realizing it.  Now, as an adult, add to this emotional stress, the daily reminder, through media and other sources, of the sad state of our world today. Not only are you subconsciously still living under the power of your parents or other caretakers, you are living under the power of a government that reminds you daily that we are under threat.

Emotional health is just as important as your physical, mental and spiritual health. All levels of your being must work together like an orchestrated symphony in order to live a harmonious life. If you find yourself over reacting to daily life challenges, then there are some unresolved emotional wounds that are causing fear within you. Fear suffocates your ability to be strong, healthy, vibrant and passionate about life. When you are living with fear, then you may find yourself suffering in many ways, especially physically, as the body continuously fights off the daily stress to survive until it can no longer fight; and then, it just gives up.

It’s important for your all around health to check in with your emotional-self from time to time. Whenever you become stressed, ask yourself the following questions:

• What is it that I fear at this very moment?
• Is this fear real or imagined?
• Is my survival being threatened?
• Is there something more productive I can do to resolve this?

Be sure to give your wise conscious mind time to find the answers to the questions. Then take some deep breaths and allow your mind to find a productive solution to your current issue. This may take practice as we are simply geared for survival and our subconscious mind does not know if the threat is real or imagined. However, our conscious mind knows when a true danger is near. It’s important to be able to bring our subconscious fears forward so they can be healed. If you are unable to do this work on your own, it would be to your health benefit to reach out to a qualified practitioner to help you resolve your subconscious fears and the emotions behind them. You do not have to keep reliving these fears. You just need to observe them and give them what they need to heal so they no longer demand your attention.

To your well-being,

Kelly Tallaksen
Board Certified Hypnotist and Soul Coach
Specializing in Healing Unconscious Wounds

Follow my blog: Hearts in Harmony Blog 
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  • The Power of the SubconsciousMind by Dr. Joseph Murphy
  • Understanding the Mysteries of Human Behavior, Professor Mark Leary


Kelly Tallaksen
Board Certified Hypnotist and Spiritual Life Coach