Updated: Nov 20
Stress destroys mental clarity. Stress hormones redirect blood in the brain; preventing oxygen and energy from reaching the rational and intelligent ‘neo-cortex.’
Learn how to identify your brain state and redirect it back to joy.
Could you be suffering from neurological inflammation, and mental malnutrition? Switch your brain from stress to clarity and live your life to the fullest Now!
States of Stress
Your brain has been collecting data since before you were born. Every experience is captured in a subconscious database of emotionally encoded memories.
Negative experiences (feeling anger, sadness, fear, embarrassment, guilt, or shame) are remembered with immense neurological significance.
Positive experiences (feeling gratitude, joy, happiness, connection, or pride) are recorded with minimal emphasis.
Stress is driven by this negative emotional bias (the brain prioritizes ‘staying alive’ above everything else) distorting how we view reality.
Stress hormones (mainly cortisol) ‘switch’ us into survival mode. But many things that cause stress (inflammation, dehydration, arguments, loneliness, and uncertainty) are not immediate threats—making ‘survival’ mode inappropriate. The ability to analyze, strategize and creatively solve problems is only active when the brain is relaxed and well-nourished.
Who is in Charge?
Have you ever noticed that feelings can change quickly and dramatically? One moment ‘all is well, life is good then a minor incident triggers feelings of pessimism and despair. This variable perspective is like having multiple personalities, depending on the level of stress in the brain.
When calm, the neocortex (front-brain) is in charge. We think critically, appraise problems pragmatically, and resolve issues.
When mildly stressed the limbic (midbrain) takes charge and perception is guided by feelings. Feeling anxious makes life seem worse than it is.
When very stressed or scared, the R-complex (hind-brain) is put in charge. We react to problems like animals with aggression (fight), avoidance (flight), and ‘playing dead’ (e.g. procrastination, freeze response).
Thoughts & Feelings
By recognizing your own state of mind (representing regions of the brain receiving oxygen and nutrition), you can start to take back control. The ideal state is an emotional and intellectual balance (between calm and mildly stressed); engaging both the thinking and feeling brain regions.
How to spot your state:
Elated: Creative thoughts, close connections, joyous emotions, optimal habits.
Balanced: Rational thoughts, good mood, seeking companions, healthy behaviors.
Concerned: Inflexible thoughts, mixed mood, slightly social, some healthy behaviors.
Stressed: Reactive thoughts, irritable or manic, needy or aloof, unhealthy behaviors.
Frazzled: Overwhelmed, confused, irrational thoughts, lost or obsessed, destructive behaviors.
Can you relate to these different states? Sometimes they only last for a moment, in which we make poor choices (eat toxic foods, make irrational decisions, say things we don’t mean). Sometimes the state lasts for days, or much longer. The state tends to ‘stick,’ so it takes effort to change and create a new less-stressed set point.
This post was written by: Barry Nembhard
"The M Series"Motivation..Mindset..Money
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