#mind, anger, anxiety, awareness, brain, emotion, emotional, fear, guilty, Joe Dispenza, limbic system, mammalian brain, metacognition, mindful, mindfulness, neocortex, reptilian brain, Rick Hanson, shame, Tara Brach, triune brain theory
Fear, anxiety (my whole armour – defense system), and anger … are the negative emotions that I run into my mind, usually a result of a situation or experience perceived as dangerous or stressful by the brain and mind. And if do not take good care, it can create chaos.
And last week when encountered them, I decided to listen to a compassionate video from Tara Brach among other attitudes . Now, I see that I was not going to my regular tendency to let my negative thoughts prevail, but to pause, and create the space to cultivate compassion towards myself.
In the talk she addressed some of these emotions, and also told the story about a person that had some irrational responses, acted on auto-pilot; thus creating painful situation between those closer to him. But the worst was the baggage added into with shame and guilty , when he realized he has done it once more. (I mean the situation is painful enough to have to add more judgment to it, but still we do it).
Her simple, but powerful, words to him were: It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault that your mind is wired that way, when hi was in total desperation and kept repeating that he could not hold himself…
This part resonated with me, because my tendency is to add the second arrow (add the baggage of shame and guilt) when I make a mistake, when I act in the auto-pilot mode, when I let fear take control of my response system. Which then gives space to that strong critical voice inside myself , and it becomes louder and louder and starts repeating incessantly the well known , but false, statement: “You are a bad person, and you are never going to change!!!”
Having the fear, anger emotions is natural, there is a reason for it, and it’s not our fault that unconscious responses happens, or past experiences get in the way, it’s kind of the default mode (there many factors that will influence this).
(I mean there are days that I feel there different minds taking control, as emotions come and go.)
I’m not here saying that I am not responsible for my actions. I am RESPONSIBLE for my reaction to those emotions, and that IS THE REAL WORK, manage and not condemn my emotions. It is my responsibility to be more aware of my emotions, to investigate when painful situations happen due to my action or lack of it, to find out why is this happening, and re-learn how to react, respond in better ways (Yeah, I know, not an easy task). 🙂
So I decided to go deeper into how our brain and mind usually work.
Differences Between Brain & Mind
As some classify the brain is the hardware (physical) and the mind is the software (abstract). They seemed separate entities, but as I can see they are more connected than ever, and one can greatly influence and change the other.
Video-talk about the differences between the MIND and BRAIN (by Dr. Joe Dispenza): “Mind is the brain in action.”
“This integration of mind and brain has three important implications.
First, as your brain changes, your mind changes.
Second, as your mind changes, your brain changes.
Many of those changes are fleeting, as your brain changes moment to moment to support the movement of information. But many are lasting, as neurons wire together: structure builds in the brain.
Mental activity is like a spring shower, leaving little traces of neural structure behind. Over time, the little tracks in the hillside draw in more water down, deepening their course. A kind of circular self-organizing dynamic gradually develops, and then the mind tends to move more and more down that channel, and soon enough you’ve got a gully (pic below).
The third implication is the practical one, and that’s where we can focus: you can use your mind to change your brain to benefit your whole being— and every other being whose life you touch…”
Understanding a bit of the Brain
“Your brain has three essential parts:
1)The first part—the brain stem—sits at the base of your skull. This part is commonly called the reptilian brain.
It’s the oldest and most primitive part of the brain, and it controls balance, temperature regulation, and breathing. It acts out of instinct and is primarily a stimulus-response machine with survival as its focus.
2) Layered on top of the brain stem is the mammalian (emotional) brain. The mammalian brain controls and expresses emotion, short-term memory, and the body’s response to danger. The key player here is the limbic system, which is the emotional center of the brain where the fight/flight/freeze response is. Its primary focus is also survival, though it is also the seat of anger, frustration, happiness, and love.
3) The third part of the brain is the neocortex. This part of the brain is most evolved in human beings. The prefrontal cortex enables us to plan, to innovate, to solve complex problems, to think abstract thoughts, to have visionary ideas. It allows us to measure the quality of our experience, to compare it to an abstract ideal, and to yearn for change. The prefrontal cortex has enabled us to have a number of advanced behaviors, including social behavior, tool making, language, and higher-level consciousness. (by forbes.com/sites/christinecomaford/2012/10/21/hijack-how-your-brain-blocks-performance/#14a6dc92b7bc)
And I finish this post with the TedTalk from Dr. Joe Dispenza which encompasses some many interesting topics and explanations on how brain and mind works and also introduced me to a new word: metacognition (below).