You and Your Brain
Who you are–and everything you experience–starts with your brain: your moods, relationships, energy level, creativity, intelligence, and ability to learn.
Your brain determines your personality, motivation, confidence, persistence, happiness, inner peace–and your ability to love and be loved.
If you’re anxious, unhappy, or unproductive..
…that, too, comes from your brain.
We all have brain areas that aren’t working optimally. A scan of your brain would reveal that some parts aren’t working at full strength, while others are overactive.
ADD, anger, fear, confusion, bad decisions, learning problems, lack of concentration, procrastination, motivation and confidence difficulties, an inability to stick to diet and exercise resolutions, and many other common life challenges…
…are the result of less-than-
optimal brain function.
Luckily, this can be changed–and often quite easily. Why? Because of your brain’s neuroplasticity–its ability to change in response to any repeated stimuli, thought, sensory impression, movement, or action.
Practice the piano every day and your brain turns over more neurons to pushing the right keys, playing the correct rhythm, hearing the music, and so on. Repeatedly think kind and compassionate thoughts…
…and your brain becomes better at
creating kindness and compassion.
Think anxious, fearful, or angry thoughts, though, and your brain will become better at being anxious, fearful, and angry.
With the right stimuli you can change your brain, and in doing so…
…change your life.
Two parts of the brain are especially important, often competing with each other (like the little devil and angel on each shoulder often seen in cartoons). Which part dominates…
…has a huge effect on your life, your
happiness, and your effectiveness.
Because of neuroplasticity, though, if the wrong part is running your life you can do something about it.
Let’s take a closer look:
Your limbic system, a more primitive part of your brain, instantly responds to danger–the famous “fight or flight” response–obviously important when we encounter real danger.
Unfortunately, in today’s stressful world, this fight or flight stress response often won’t turn off. We respond to many everyday events–being cut off in traffic, losing our keys, a disagreement with our partner, or a normal disappointment…
…as if these things were life-
threatening saber-toothed tigers.
Eventually, fight or flight becomes our underlying baseline experience and…
…we don’t even notice it.
What’s more, the constant stream of stress chemicals creates many common health problems–which we also come to think of as “normal”.
Your limbic system is great for fast decisions–if they involve fighting or fleeing. And because it causes blood to flow to your extremities (so you can fight or flee) and away from your brain, you can’t think clearly or make good decisions.
Another problem: your limbic system has zero ability to see or allow for potential consequences. When it’s active you’re drawn to eat the wrong foods (or too much of them), blow off exercising, check Facebook instead of working on your goals, and say or do things you later regret.
Your savior is your prefrontal cortex (PFC), the source of “executive function”, rational thought, problem solving, creativity, planning, impulse control (overruling the limbic system), delayed gratification, and willpower.
Those with a strong PFC (and a calm limbic system), experience many extraordinary benefits:
✓ Better grades in school, significantly higher SAT scores
✓ Higher income
✓ Lower BMI (i.e., less chance of being overweight)
✓ Better social function, more friends
✓ Better cognitive function, greater intelligence
✓ More self-control, a greater ability to resist temptation
✓ Less distractibility
✓ Greater self-reliance
✓ More confidence, more trust in their own judgment
✓ More organized, less rattled
✓ Greater resilience and adaptability, less sidelined by setbacks
✓ More easily pursue and reach long-term goals
✓ Fewer addictive behaviors
Best of all, you can make the brain changes that strengthen your prefrontal cortex and calm your limbic system, and…
…experience these same benefits for yourself.
You’ll be amazed at how your life will change–if your brain changes.
To learn more about applying current brain science discoveries to improving your focus and concentration, creativity, willpower, resilience, and many other aspects of life, click here.
To experience a tool that changes the brain by calming the limbic system and enhancing the prefrontal cortex, click here.
Blog: About Bill Harris
Blog: Opt-in Form
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