5 Signs You're Leaving Survival Mode

Sometimes we don't realize just how far we've come.

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Finding yourself in survival mode can begin to feel suffocating. It might always feel like you're on edge, anxious, and drained.

And even though we do our best to help ourselves, it can be tricky to gauge our success. So, how do we tell if the steps we're taking to get out of survival mode are actually working?

Therapist and trauma expert Logan Cohen shares five signs that you're on the path to healing and getting out of survival mode.


5 Signs You're Leaving Survival Mode

1. You understand that what our culture sees as normal can be dysfunctional

Wondering if you're getting out of survival mode? One sure sign is when you start to recognize that what our society considers normal is actually dysfunction.


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I had a personal experience with this when my fiance and I watched a video of a girl who insisted that her boyfriend shouldn't be allowed to open doors to other women.

"It's disrespectful," the girl expressed to her followers. Flabbergasted, we both looked at the comments, and to our surprise, many people agreed with her.

I found myself asking if it was truly that bad. I mean, wouldn't you want your partner to be kind and respectful to other women? Wouldn't you want your partner to treat women with decency and respect?

The reality is, that those with this mindset don't feel secure in their relationship. And unfortunately, they often find themselves trapped in survival mode because of it.


So, if you start disagreeing with these normalized unhealthy behaviors, chances are you're moving out of survival mode and into a healthier mindset.

2. You're feeling motivated after spending your life chasing achievements that now feel empty

As we grow up, many of us are taught to be go-getters, always ambitious and focused. But as time passes and you enter survival mode, the drive to pursue your goals can begin to feel hollow.

What you wanted so badly becomes meaningless when you find yourself completely burnt out.

But if you start feeling passionate again, congratulations — you're moving out of survival mode and starting to thrive once more.


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3. You're comfortable being alone

In survival mode, you might find yourself holding onto friendships and relationships that made life feel stable and meaningful.

And listen, there's nothing wrong with meaningful relationships. However, depending on them to get through the day is problematic.

The thing is, there'll be times when you're on your own. And if you can't handle that and be comfortable in it, you won't ever be emotionally stable.

But if you start to really enjoy your alone time, that's a sign you're moving out of survival mode.

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4. Small talk takes a lot of energy out of you

Have you ever been in a conversation and suddenly felt completely drained? Likely, this conversation was filled with small talk and meaningless topics. Yet, why does this happen?

It's because you crave a deeper connection, says Cohen. When you're in survival mode, all you're focused on is getting through the day.

However, when you're leaving survival mode you now have renewed energy. With this, you unconsciously begin to crave deeper connection because you went so long time without it.


5. You realize you've spent most of your life people-pleasing

To tell if you're getting out of survival mode, think about if you used to be a people-pleaser. If you can admit to it, then you're likely on your way out of survival mode.

With your renewed energy, you now crave to understand who you are. Moreover, you don't care about other people's opinions and you learn to put your own happiness first.

Getting out of survival mode is never easy, and most of us struggle to see our progress. However, if you're showing these five signs, congratulations — you're breaking free from survival mode and beginning to thrive.


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Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.