Mental shifts or M-Shifts?
are very commonly experienced by members of therianthropy
community (also called therians or weres).
Source: Werelist Encyclopedia
An altered state of consciousness, commonly experienced by weres, wherein they take on a more animal outlook, feelings, or perceptions.
Some weres report that this happens to them more or less unexpectedly, or involuntarily, while others either have, or develop the ability to trigger or prevent them in themselves at need.
M-shifts denote a change in one's mental state, not a physical, bodily change into a were-creature or animal.
While this can be different for different people, some people report either heightened senses (or at least noticing more with the sensory organs they have). Some report that they either lose some capacity for speaking, or at least the desire to speak as much.
It has been posited that involuntary m-shifts are more likely when the therianthrope in question is still coming to terms with their animal nature, , when they have not fully realized that they have it, or when they have attempted to push it aside in order to be more "normal". When the person is more in-tune or more comfortable with their animal side, apparently the "need" for their psyche to force an involuntary shift lessens.
These changes in consciousness, whether voluntary or involuntary, are not always at the same level of intensity. Usually, the human mindset never fully vanishes. By the same token, many weres claim that even when not "shifted" the animal mindset is never fully dormant. An m-shift is when the normal, average mental state of the individual temporarily changes to their more animal side.
A condition known to affect "weres" (even if said humans don't know about their awereness) when one species within their own spirit or soul is dominant over any other. In most cases weres are generally in their human mindset. The actual shift occurs when the mindset changes from human to animal (e.g. Wolf) or Vice Versa. A mental shift can also occur with a physical shift, whereas you change in mind or soul, as well as in body.
Mental Shifting, as the name implies, deals with the mentality of a lycanthrope. This, of course, varies from person to person, but there seems to be a common thread. The most common is an ability that I too have experienced. It is the ability to shut out all human sapience, that constant dialogue playing in our heads, human thought. Then, our senses becomes acutely heightened. It's a lot like what the Army calls "Condition Orange", only our instincts and reactions are more lupine.
Then there's "Active Mental Shifting". This behaviour tends to involve running around or any other state of heightened physical activity, while physically acting out the phenotype. The mental processes become similar to that of the phenotype, sharing similar "mind sets".