Recently I have been stressed. I had a whirlwind inside me.
I wanted to know more about it and how it affects our body. I wanted to know what processes take part in the body when we are stressed, and what to do about it.
I want to start by stating the obvious : our brain is really old and created through millions of years of refinement.
Sometimes our old brain behaviour clashes with modern society and behaviour.
In today’s blog we will take a sneak peak at our fascinated brain and : stress. There is a lot to say in this subject.
How do you deal with stress ?
Let’s start with hearing what Seth Godin has to say about the old, what he calls ” lizard brain” in his amazing book : “Linchpin- Are You Indispensable?” .
“The lizard brain is hungry, scared, angry and horny. The lizard brain only wants to eat and be safe. The lizard brain will fight ( to the death) if it has to, but would rather run away. It likes a vendetta and has no trouble getting angry. The lizard brain cares what everyone else thinks, because status in the tribe is essential to its survival” …. ” The lizard brain is why you are afraid, the reason why you don’t do all the art you can …”
With art he means unlocking your genius and work with your talents and gifts.
Godin is pointing out how the lizard brain is in charge of the “fight or flight” mode.
When there is an emergency the lizard brain is in charge.
It is mini-brain, the old lizard brain = the amygdala that takes over whenever you are angry, afraid, aroused, hungry or even in search of revenge.
It is in this space of the brain that our oldest, most wild-animal traits are placed.
Godin continues to explain that it is not until very recently that:
“our brains evolved to allow big thoughts, generosity, speech, consciousness and yes, art”
It’s in the neocortex that those cool, modern stuff takes place. The neocortex is big , but weaker than the amygdala.
So our challenge, modern wo/man of 2013 , is to seduce the lizard brain.
To build a bridge between the lizard brains’ need for survival, anger, lust AND the neocortex values of creating civilisation.
Key here is : to establish new habits and better patterns, to keep the lizard …behaviour at distance.
When we train our brain to respond in creative and constructive ways we can avoid the lizard behaviour.
Think about a dispute you had with someone. – What feelings where behind ? Stress ? Anger ? Feel of being attacked? What reactions came out of that ?
– Do you see my point ? Stating the importance to train our brain. It is possible. But you need patience. Training the brain is like training a muscle in your body. The system of specificity : what you practice on you will get good at. Taken directly from my world of sports. Works equally well with the brain and our behaviours. If you train your brain to tell you are useless you will, consequently become useless.
Think differently. For example : if you train your brain to take a step back when you notice stress (at work !!! ) you can respond to your colleagues & the world in a more efficient and constructive way.
So, for the next couple of days, notice your own behaviour and the way you react on the world.
Training our brain and creating new high ways for new patterns is absolutely necessary and great. What really takes your behavior to peak performance and puts your whole human being in balance is : physical movement.
Our body is made for moving.
Back in the good old days we were hunters and walked long distances every day in search for food. Now we are recommended to walk at least 10 000 meters per day. In Danish newspaper Berlingske I read, how Denmark was a lazy nation of potatoe-eating non-moving people…and this is a place where most people BIKE everywhere !!!
There is a huge gap between modern society and moving about. Going to the gym in the evening is not enough they said.
In the very informative and instantly useful book . “Sparks, How Exercise will Improve the Performance of Your Brain ” the authors Ratey and Hagerman are stating the obvious : when we move about we can tackle stress better and we also become
They pronounce strongly how stress is a threat to the body’s balance. We all know that now. We can just take a look around and see what it does : burnout, neck/back problems, headaches, bad tempers/tantrums, sleep deprivation, etc.
They are writing about how school children got better results in school when doing sports, how ADHD patients got more quality in life when doing exercise, how executives performed better after a run, and the list goes on. The authors are taking this theme to a profound level and shows by scientific facts what we all can experience after a run or a zumba-class : Happiness, focus, stress out of the window, ready-for-the world, good health….
Being someone who has moved about all my life I second everything they say. Physical exercise is natural and needed. We were made to move about. It is NOT natural for us so sit and sit and sit more.
When we move about endorphins kicks in and they makes us
This is a subject I am very interested in and have a passion for and will come back many more times.
In conclusion :
train your brain to constructive behaviours & train your body moving every day : result: get into peak performance and peak balance
( I GOT WORK TO DO….!!!! )