Did you know…?
Your brain reacts to media-induced fear much like it would to a noisy city street.
If you’re watching any amount of mainstream media these days, likely you’re receiving too many logic-defying “inputs” for you to process…. and you perceive them all as threatening.
Much as if your body was overwhelmed by the noise on a busy city street (think any 1MM-plus city on a Monday morning), your impulsive brain reacts as if the media inputs are threats, and ramps up the heart, lungs, emotions, shuts down the gut. You may get queasy, feel anxious, and tense up as your amygdala (the brain’s “smoke detector”) revs you up to respond through fight or flight to the perceived threat. Daniel Goleman calls this “amygdala hijack” because you’re literally being removed from your body and its current situation (sitting at your computer reading today’s breaking news).
Even worse is when you completely shut down, as in the freeze response of the parasympathetic nervous system (as a “deer in the headlights”). This too is what your brain looks like when overwhelmed by the influx of news stories about world events over which you have no influence.
Regular panic, and a routine sense of not being able to affect your personal situation, or the world you live in, creates a more routine freeze response to life.
Either the sympathetic or parasympathetic responses to stress (or its twin, fear) actually make us even LESS available to respond to the real threat.
The sympathetic amygdala hijack or the parasympathetic tonic immobility shut down our prefrontal cortex (the higher brain) causing disorientation, inability to make complex decisions or have expanded perspectives, along with decreasing the function of our memory.
So what’s the alternative, when faced with the maelstrom of political and economic circumstances right now? Even the most practiced among us are still periodically faced with gripping fear when we are facing the complex tasks ahead in society. And we know we must keep our cool.
For us to find our way out of this… we must activate the Vagus nerve and the “rest and digest” pattern to achieve grace under pressure. In addition to the many suggestions I made in this blog, there are a few additional tactics I’ve begun that have made a difference in my life:
- Balance Skill & Challenge: continually challenge yourself through new tasks to stay actively growing/learning, balancing the brain’s need for stimulation and developing a practiced “flow” state as you master new skills;
- Wire your Brain for Positive Thinking: New ways of thinking can not only create new neural grooves but also create positive results in your life (enhanced relationships, job promotions, new customers) [Rick Hanson’s Just One Thing is a great primer]
- Avoid Anxious People (and media): when’s the last time you felt good after arguing with an angry or anxious person? Or watching mainstream news? Seriously, reach in and have compassion, but turn off the news and turn down time with those who don’t have control over their reactions.
- Energetic Clearing: wiping out the toxic residue of your energetic structure can make a huge difference in how much of you is available to your busy life- clearing your layers, template, or human electromagnetic field can greatly reduce the stress you feel, and removing your soul path congestions, chakra shadow or plaque, energetic signatures or hidden agendas, or clearing loaded karmic signatures can yield a more spacious energy structure to support you. Learn more here or ask me how!
- Intensive Gratitude Practice: while occasionally acknowledging how grateful you are for facets of your life can be helpful…. Serious practices (naming 10 new things each day) can greatly affect your ability to see your life as rewarding and stimulating and create an optimal neurotransmitter environment for your brain and energy centers to function in. Yes, I said 10!
And that’s what your Brain on Love feels like.
Holly Woods PhD is a SuperPowered™ Healer, Coach and Mentor. She initiates and activates Reluctant SuperHeroes, Visionaries, & Innovators who know they have more profound work and lives to be fulfilled.
Holly will help you realize your full potential by stepping into your SuperPowers and then getting out of your own way to take action that matters – in your life, work, relationships and in the world.
Ready to live your most Epic Life?