Discover Your Brain Strengths to Navigate Life
Do you have days when you are happy, energized and operating at peak performance? Are there other times when you feel stressed out, fearful and drained? What causes these swings? Most importantly, what can you do when you’re feeling out-of-sync? An easy to use neuroscience tool helps you monitor your daily state of mind. Powerful and safe neuroscience methods are your “elevator” to reach your higher brain state and potential.
1. You have three interconnected brains:
2. Your reptilian brain needs attention first
This is your oldest evolutionary brain, located at the base of the brain stem. It controls your breathing, heartbeat and basic sensory motor functions like balance and muscles. You may know this part of your brain as your “fight or flight” instinct. The reptilian brain communicates and responds to real and perceived safety, survival and physical pain issues. It’s impossible to function at high levels when you are in a “reptilian state.”
3. Your limbic system is your mood elevator to peak performance
This is your next oldest brain. It’s sometimes called the “mammalian brain” and is the seat of emotions. Your limbic system communicates how you feel, records positively and negatively charged memories and controls how your body reacts to emotional situations. It needs to communicate with the neocortex to process information. Your brain creates endorphins (you experience feelings, sensations and emotions) when you interact with external situations and think about certain things. The intensity will vary depending on the memory and value you place on them. Negative emotions like fear, anger, attack and danger can block you from thinking clearly and performing at your highest level. Positive thoughts and emotions (e.g. love, curiosity, feeling safe, good self-esteem and excitement about doing something fun or important) act as the “mood elevator” to your neocortex.
4. Your neocortex is the driver seat for performance excellence
This is your most recently evolved brain. It’s located over the limbic system and is your advanced “thinking brain.” The neocortex represents two-thirds of your brain mass. It has the most neuron cells, the building blocks for memory, intelligence, problem solving, decision making and performance excellence.
State of Mind Barometer
Use the State of Mind barometer as a quick daily check. Circle the statements that most clearly describe you in the present moment.
Lower Brain States
Higher Brain States
Higher brain states indicate you are probably experiencing towering levels of self-actualization. You undoubtedly feel fulfilled and are an inspiration and magnet to others. If you have one or more “lower brain” statements circled, and want to move to a higher state, consider using the following neuroscience methods to reach and function from your neocortex.
Methods to Shift from Lower to Higher Brain States
1. Body needs come first
This includes sleep, rest, play, food, fluids, proper diet, exercise, elimination, treatment of physical pain and disease.
2. Take a break from what you are doing
Fatigue can set in even when we are doing things we enjoy. Build in frequent breaks when working, thinking, solving problems and making decisions. Do something different and enjoyable.
Deep breathing, walking, stretching, sports and drinking ice water increase oxygen to your brain and make you feel much better.
4. Think positive thoughts
For every negative thought, think a positive thought (e.g. replace “I am stressed and angry” with “I am alert and forgiving.”) The brain can’t tell the difference between what’s happening “out there” or “in here.” “Fake it until you make it” means thinking what you want to experience until you experience it. This really works!
5. Music soothes the savage beast
Playing works from Mozart, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Brahms and similar composers activates positive “upper brain” (neocortex) pathway states. Think about the times when music had a beneficial effect on your state of mind. Music is a quick escape route from lower brain states.
6. Pay attention to what you look at, listen to and do.
Make your movie, TV, radio, reading materials and hobby selections align with the brain state you want to live in. If you want more peace of mind and calmness then avoid movies and materials that contain violence, terror, wounding words and war.
7. Pay attention to people and organizations you associate with
Make choices that align with the values and behaviors you want to experience.
In conclusion, you can experience a better, less stressful and more abundant life. Your higher brain is the engine for performance excellence and living the life of your dreams. A simple diagnostic check each day helps you determine if you are in a lower or higher brain state. These powerful and safe neuroscience methods are your “elevator” to reach your higher brain state and greatest potential.
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Did this article help you become more self-aware of how your brain “programs” create mood states and impacts on quality-of-life? A fun and safe way to continue your journey of self-awareness and self development is discovering how your brain is wired for success. Your personalized Brain PathWays report gives you practical neuroscience tools, based on your brain strengths to “be the best you can be.” The on-line process takes less than 15 minutes, the results last a life time. Click to purchase your Brain PathWays online self-assessment and download your report today.