Feeling of Security
People switch between two basic states. In our open mode, we have access to intelligent, creative solutions and can perceive the overall situation. In our closed, tense state, however, intelligence and creativity are as if switched off. Only simple strategies remain available: fight, flight, fold (head-in-the-sand) and submission (fawn).
What makes the difference? Basically, humans need three things: protection, the ability to act, and connectedness. In the end, all three lead to a feeling of security. Protection is the feeling of "passive security". The ability to act corresponds to the feeling of "active security". And connectedness corresponds to the feeling of "interactive security" or security in interaction.
The need for security is deeply rooted in the neuro-physiological development of the human being. The oldest parts of our brain, such as the brain stem, were already responsible for the safety of the individual being when that being was an earthworm. Somewhat younger brain parts are responsible for the ability to have relationships with other people. And even younger parts make it possible to be a "social animal". This enables us to live in a group context as we know it.
The newest part of the brain, the neo-cortex, is by far the most complex and youngest part. It provides us with the awareness and the possibility to overcome difficult challenges. But it is also the slowest part of the brain. So if any one of the older parts of the brain considers our security threatened, its reaction is always faster and stronger than our conscious reaction.
Our ability to successfully deal with major challenges in today's world thus depends heavily on generating and maintaining a situation of multi-layered security for us as whole human beings.