Do You Suffer From Emergency Mind?

When we afraid everything around us looms large and chaotic.

Lately though it seems that fear has become the norm and we are living in a perpetual state of emergency.

Perhaps it has always been this way but I am noticing something else at work that needs questioning.

Emergencies Are Not Innocent

Emergencies have become a way of life for many of us.

Notice our entertainment. They are mostly about emergencies. Whether depicting our health care system, focusing on national security, or relationships, many of our movies and television entertainments are based on the idea that life is an emergency.

Of course, we have some emergencies – some of the time.

However, I think we need to ask why emergencies have become the norm for our lives. It seems to me that we have been suffering from emergency creep for a long time, and now emergencies have reached a critical mass to the point that we may not recognize life without them.

Emergencies are not innocent. They take huge amounts of energy and resources. When they occur, they replace any other priorities. A continual state of emergency is a great way to control the social and even political agenda of a family, community and society.

The Consequences Of Emergencies

When an emergency is over we are often poorer for it.

If we have a hospital emergency we certainly understand the enormity of the bill, even if paid by our insurer.

When we have major storms, it is obvious how much damage is done to the physical plant of a community but also how disruptive of the ives of the people affected it is.

It takes no imagination to grasp the horrendous losses created by wars.

Occasional major emergencies create small disruptions.

Large and continuous emergencies do much more:

  • they make it impossible to plan. What is the point of planning anything if those plans will be destroyed by the next emergency.
  • they create a situation where people lose planning and life creating skills.
  • they consume resources that would be allocated differently without the emergency. Sometime they even take basic necessities. When you are taking care of an emergency, you may need to neglect rest and healthy food. If you do so as part of an emergency lifestyle, then you will end up sick and become an emergency yourself.
  • as people who have studied evolutional psychology will tell you, war stops all growth. So if you want to keep a people down, start a war or other major emergency. They keep people from thinking beyond surviving for the day – day in and day out..
  • they consume everything around them. The giant sucking sound that we have been hearing for a long time is the sound of emergencies taking over our lives.

Emergencies And Highly Sensitive People

Emergencies can be particularly damaging for highly sensitive people. Not only are they intense and overstimulating situations, but they are exceptionally harmful as a lifestyle.

Highly sensitive people are unlikely to make emergencies their chosen way of life because:

  • the continual adrenaline rush is very damaging to us.
  • we already suffer from stress. Emergencies are stressful situations on steroids.
  • it feels like a superficial way of living
  • emergencies do not bring out the best in us.
  • stress is so debilitating that we will not be able to work in a constant state of emergency
  • they do not use our best attributes: our intuition, insights, wisdom and creativity.
  • we cannot sustain them.
  • we do not want to sustain them

It is unfortunate the degree to which emergencies dominate our lives.

Highly sensitive people cannot afford the effects of continual crises. They are damaging in too many ways.

HSP’s are wise to notice emergency creep and work to minimize it in their lives.

About Maria Hill

Maria Hill is the founder of Sensitive Evolution. She is the author of The Emerging Sensitive: A Guide For Finding Your Place In The World. In addition, she has created the immersive Emerging Sensitive Program using cultural and personal development frameworks to help sensitive people master their sensitivity and turn it into the asset it can be. She also offers The Magic Of Joy program for quantum healing and the Emerging Sensitive Community focused on living in the world as a sensitive person and navigating the challenging cultural shifts of our times. She is a longtime meditator, reiki master, student of alternative health and Ayurveda. Maria is a Certified Theta Healer and certified in Spiral Dynamics. She is an abstract painter whose portfolio can be found at Infinite Shape and also very interested in animal and human rights and the environment.


  1. Elizabeth Scala on February 1, 2013 at 10:10 am

    This article shares some very wise points. Recently I went to a workshop on a resiliency model for healthcare professionals. The women presenting the model discussed that when our bodies live in this dis-regulated state for too long we have more difficulty coping and bringing ourselves back into our “resilient zone”. As you share in this article- the overuse and sort of ‘daily’ acceptance of emergencies in our culture leaves us struggling to cope, thus breaking down our resiliency. I also went to a conference last week and one of the MDs there spoke about how when we witness- even just see with our eyes and not experience- a stressful event (maybe an emergency)… even on TV… we are activated in ways that resemble us actually going through the experiences as if we were a part of them!! Very interesting, yet frightening stuff. Ways I like to cope, calm, and live in a resilient way are through meditation, surrounding myself with positive people/information/sights/sounds, and moving my body in fun and healthy ways! Thanks for another great article!! Have a healthy day, Elizabeth

    • Maria on February 1, 2013 at 11:09 am

      Hi Elizabeth,

      Thanks for your insights. I think you are dead on. Since everything is energy we are affected by the energy around us. We cannot help doing so. I think it is particularly difficult for HSPs to deal with but I believe everyone is affected.

      I am glad that the health care industry is discussing this issue. I have been very concerned that TV shows life Emergency and House add to the bias that live is nothing more than a series of emergencies. Unfortunately they also seem to treat health as a military operation – a battle to be fought, when what most people need is care, compassion and rest.

      God for you to have such a healthy lifestyle.

      All the best,

  2. yuki on September 24, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Hi Maria,
    Here in Japan,we are constantly facing the fear of earthquakes.Ever since the mega
    earthquake that occured 3 years ago,we need to be alert at all times, and the smallest earthquake can seem like a big warning- that could attack us any time.

    I agree that T.V shows,news and all kinds of information are constantly falling on us ,telling us to be prepared at all times, anywhere for some big emergency to occur.

    It’s really scary, and as an HSP, I don’t need anymore stress than I already have from my daily life.

    Thank you for this article!

    • Maria on September 24, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      Hi Yuki,

      It must be frightening to be worrying about earthquakes all the time. The big one 3 years ago has to have been devastating. Preparation is a good thing but when your life is all about fear that is a big loss of life. I hope you find a balance between preparation and living. Thanks for writing!

      All the best,