Updated: Aug 5, 2022
You have an AMAZING brain!
The brain is so complex. I am constantly in awe of all it can do. It is the core processor for your body, mind & spirit. Think about just a few of the things it does automatically. It constantly sends messages to your organs to function properly. It releases the right amount of chemicals and hormones at the right times. It collects and delivers information through your five senses. This all takes place on its own for a very good reason. The brains #1 job is to keep you alive. Many functions take place without your consciousness in order to preserve your life. The part of the brain that's responsible for this, I like to think of as the primal or lower brain. Automatic, reactive, efficient. As humans, we have another important part of the brain that sets us apart from all other species. The prefrontal cortex. This part of our brain allows us to think, reason, plan ahead, make logical decisions and to create. I think of it as the higher or conscious brain. Considering and exploring these two key aspects of the brain is imperative to understanding ourselves (and others) specifically in the realm of behaviors. When we realize that our primal brain is wired to avoid pain, seek pleasure and conserve energy in order to keep us alive, it makes sense why getting out of our comfort zone to do something we’ve never done before can be so challenging. We are wired to stay sheltered and comfortable, do the things we’ve always done. It’s our brain's way of protecting us (thanks brain!). In addition to these unconscious tendencies, our culture is constantly selling comfort as well as convenience. It comes in many forms such as food, entertainment, shopping, social media, substances etc. Most of these things aren’t a problem in moderation. It’s when we find ourselves seeking too much comfort and pleasure or avoiding things we need to deal with that it can become a setback. Poor health, strained relationships and unrealized aspirations are often the result. Stagnation can set in, we lose motivation and end up unsatisfied with our lives. When we become aware of the cause, we can engage our prefrontal cortex and override the lower part of the brain that wants us to stay safe. When we use our prefrontal cortex, we have the ability to quiet the primal brain. Help it see that we are not in any real danger. We can step out of our comfort zone and begin to intentionally seek opportunities for growth, embrace discomfort and use our energy wisely. In order to live our BEST LIFE, we must learn to face our fears, be willing to work through challenges that come and get really good at making decisions about where to spend our time and energy. If we’re willing, we can learn to manage our brain. It needs supervision and guidance. This takes awareness, commitment and practice. It’s not easy, but it’s exactly what living life to the fullest is all about!