My deep dive into NLP over the past few years has taken me on a huge journey of self – discovery and learning . Awareness of the three brains has been an eye opener . It is only when we truly know and understand how our brain controls our patterns and behaviours that we truly begin to understand ourselves. This places us in a position where we become empowered to change that which no longer serves us , paving the way for us to step into who we truly are.
We have three brains. Our reptilian brain, which is the oldest brain is responsible for our primal instincts. The reptilian brain controls movement, breathing, circulation, hunger and reproduction. It is concerned with territory, social dominance and ” fight, flight or freeze ” responses. The behaviours of the reptilian brain are largely automatic, unconscious and resistant to change
The mammalian brain or limbic system is where our emotions get processed and stored. This is our ” feeling ” brain. It connects events with feelings and is associated with memory formation and long – term memory. The mammalian brain links emotions to behaviour and operates on a subconscious level and without a sense of time.
The neocortex evolved much later and is our ” thinking brain ” This is concerned with decision – making, logic, reasoning, speech and writing. This is where the information from our senses gets processed and is responsible for voluntary movement
It is understood that our conscious mind is only 15 % responsible for our behaviours and actions . It is therefore our subconscious mind that is predominantly in the driving seat and drives us by similar experiences and emotions. Usually our sub-conscious will resort to recreating childhood responses which explains why we tend to repeat the same sabotaging behaviours again and again
Frequently the conscious brain is in conflict with the sub-conscious. I remember the roller-coaster ride of PTSD when my heightened emotional responses to simple triggers would confuse the hell out of me . My conscious mind would be screaming at me telling me to stop over reacting, leaving me with feelings of intense guilt and shame as if there was something intrinsically wrong with me. It took years for me to realise that this was a normal response to an abnormal event. My limbic system ( unconscious ) had stored up those traumatic memories and each time I was triggered by something seemingly small , it would react with what was the familiar , stored response hence those feelings of intense fear and anxiety would resurface. Our brains are designed to keep us safe and will usually revert to the familiar ways as opposed to what will make us happy
Dealing with emotional or heartfelt issues such as depression, anxiety , anger, stress or PTSD need to be dealt with at the level of the heart brain ( subconscious ) Trying to deal with them at a conscious level is like opening the boot of your car and attempting to fix the engine. It will never, ever work .
Learning to understand how your brain functions is the first step towards initiating lasting change in your life