Many, many people, at some level, are locked in survival. Something may have happened in the past and become “locked” in the nervous system. (There’s a saying that helps explain this: The brain remembers what the body forgets.)
A person in survival mode is, at some level, waiting for something similar to happen again, and they are at the mercy of a nervous system that replays this tune like an old record. That’s often the reason people seem to make the same mistakes — again and again and again. Frustrating matters further is the fact that people can’t, by their own conscious control, reset the dial. It’s frustrating for the person, and for the people around him or her.
For many adults in our “hurry up culture,” stress keeps them locked up in a sort of survival state. For overly stressed people, the sympathetic (fight/flight or emergency) part of their nervous system is definitely on overdrive, and the parasympathetic (restorative and replenishing) part of the nervous system isn’t allowed to come in and balance out the system.
Children or adults with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) seem to have two speeds: fast and stop.