Scanning for threats with the thought radar is more commonly called being hypervigilant. Hypervigilance is a great protection tool as it allows you to ‘guard yourself 24/7, 365 days a year’. By scanning your environment for hidden dangers as your brain makes up escape plans to free you from ‘dangerous people or places’. Often, these dangers are not real. But because your body is so sensitive to danger, it can misread the ‘danger’ cues and react to protect you from a danger that is not present.
It’s a survival mechanism as it is the body’s way of protecting you from threatening situations, places or events that could be dangerous to your survival. But living in survival mode is exhausting and undermines your day to day life and your relationships with others.
If you are hypervigilant you are always on the lookout for threats and planning your escape routes.
You may start to:
▶️ shut yourself in to avoid an “attack,”
▶️ sit near an exit so that you can escape quickly,
▶️ sit with your back to the wall so that no one can sneak up on you.
▶️ avoid public places where “escape” might be difficult.
2️⃣ Hypervigilance can be characterized by four common features:
▶️The overestimation of a threat:
▶️ The obsessive avoidance of real and imaginary threats:
▶️ An increased startle reflex: Where you jump at any sudden:
➡️ unexpected event