According to Alexa the Earth has been in existence for over 4.5 billion years and humans have only been part of this journey for around 200,000 years. That’s only a mere 0.004% of the Earth’s history which we have enjoyed. In fact, if all of the Earth’s evolution was compressed into one day then, effectively, we have only been alive for a little under six minutes.
And what have we done with those six minutes? Well… Quite a bit as it happens. We evolved all the way from grunting and brutal cavemen wielding sticks and fighting off wild animals to sophisticated, cappuccino drinking, modern men and women with mobile phones and apps that control our central heating.
Yet all of this zip-wire evolution comes at a price. Whilst science may be advanced, our minds and our bodies still harp back to our Stone Age existence.
The Stone Age man and women would have survived on around 7lbs of sugar a day, now it is more like 100lbs. This rapid change in lifestyle has left our caveman bodies struggling to evolve at the same pace, leading to diabetes and heart disease. Our eyes, designed for seeking out food over huge forests and plains, are now being asked to stretch and focus on bright screens for hours at a time.
But we have also inherited good traits from our Stone Age ancestors. We associate food with communication and the ritual of sitting down to share a meal with friends dates back to the Stone Age when cavemen would sit down with other tribes to form communities and alliances.
Now if you look back at the evolution of stress, you will find it has similar roots in Palaeolithic man. The caveman would have felt a great deal of stress when meeting a wild animal. The primitive part of his brain would kick in and he would either fight it or run away. Similarly when we get a speeding fine drop on our welcome mat, the parts of our brain inherited from early man may make us shout and wave our hands…or avoid it entirely.
When the primitive man looked out of the cave and saw danger, he may have become stressed and hid beneath a fur rug. When we sense danger, such as unavoidable conflict, we sometimes do the same. This solution to the problem has simply been evolved into modern day symptoms of depression.
So stress is a hangover of the fact that we have just evolved far too quickly. Hypnotherapy can help by relaxing the part of the brain that acts as our panic button, allowing the logical part of our brains, born through evolution and inventiveness, to make decisions based upon rationality and logic.
I don’t think cavemen were ready for hypnotherapy which is a shame. Maybe if this practice had been stumbled upon at the same time as our ancestors tamed fire, we may all be just that little bit more zen.