Hi there! In this video I share some different ways* you might want to think about what’s going on in your noggen & I recommend a bunch of awesome books for you to check out. Why bother? Well, as part of physical wellness, physical brain health is key, so there’s that. Also, taking a stance on how you view your brain will help you with your goals involving emotionality, stress (prevention, resilience and tools to navigate stress), intellectual wellness, focus, etc.
Your brain is the physical part of your body, and your mind handles consciousness and cognition. Each one affects the other. So the state of your physical brain affects your mind, and what you think affects what parts of your brain are being used. You can change both your physical brain and your mind. It’s kinda cool.
In this video, I was noodling on different ways of looking at it, with the idea that one angle might have appeal for one person while another angle might be more appealing and suitable for another person.
- BRAIN VIEW — that big ‘ol loveable lump (physical lump)! You may want to focus on what parts of your brain you are using — you know, the lizardy parts or the more beastly ones as described (though not in those words) in Wired for Joy. This BRAIN VIEW is also about focusing on what brain systems are being used, as well as which are physically (and physiologically) typical and atypical in your brain (Dr. Amen’s work is great for this).
- EMOTIONAL SYSTEMS VIEW — we have at least 7 emotional systems wired into each and every one of us (affectionately called “operating” systems in the video, but officially “emotional systems”). Affective Neuroscience deals with the neural mechanisms of emotion. Here’s a good visual.
- EMOTIONS VIEW — here you focus on your positivity to negativity ratio (this is one, albeit favorite, recommendation from me when it comes to taking an “emotions view,” in as far as a practical way to get results versus geeking out on science).
I also mention a few more things that I don’t get too deep into:
- Mindsets — these are apps for your brain. Mindset Crafting is a way for you to create an awesome app for yerself. You can grab our free e-Book, the Little Book of Big Mindsets if you’d like.
- Thought shifts — as you run your mindset, in your mind, in your brain, thoughts are in the stream of what’s coming out… the 0’s and 1’s if you will. In addition to thinking up all the things for ourselves, we all also have automatic thoughts, and Dr. Amen has great resources regarding ANTs — automatic negative thoughts. (You might also like CBT — Cognitive Behavior Therapy.)
- Connecting with PURPOSE (the spiritual wellness aspect) — I highly recommend this and claimed I was a “start on purpose” kinda girl thinking I wanted to switch to “start on positivity.” They are both an awesome place to start. Working with both can help bring you into the bestest polyvagal state. Check out polyvagal theory if you haven’t heard of this.
Are you ready? Let’s go!
*NOTE: This video is really glossing over some of the ideas as well as the books. There is so more depth to get into! I was sharing my brainstorming and wanted to see what angle people like. Some things are over-simplified. For example, I say “when I am talking mind, I’m talking consciousness and cognition,” that (hopefully) helps frame a conversation of brain and mind. If we were considering consciousness (the “hard question” in science) and/or spiritual wellness, I would consider “mind” as the mental stuff — as in the stuff we think, feel, believe, perceive and project onto our “minds eye.”
For the curious:
This is what I was holding in the video, which is a lot, I know. In my beginning workshops I end up talking about the PLAY system, etc, and saying that you can use this view as a “tool.” (Because a more accurate bottom-up representation would include, proto-affect bubbling up to affect, bubbling up to “full fledged emotions” that we reflect on, add thoughts to, etc, etc. There is much more to it than the 7 systems, even if that’s where your feelings “bubbled up from.”)
Any book by Dr Amen, plus The Brain Warrior’s Way podcast
(June 2020 note: In publishing his latest book, The End of Mental Illness, he hopes to help reframe the conversation from “mental illness” to “brain health issues” that rob people of their minds and lives.)