The National Institute of Mental Health in California reports that over 18% of the adult population the US have some type of anxiety or depression disorder. These disorders are manifested through excessive worry and tension which usually leads to more serious physical and mental problems.
We all have two brains
Physiologically we only have the one brain we all know about, but on a cognitive level we actually have two, one that does the thinking and one that’s unthinking. This usually leads us to worry first and think later.
One renowned scientist from New York, Dr. Joseph LeDoix, says that the links from our emotional to the cognitive system are much stronger than the links from our cognitive to the emotional system.
Dr. LeDoix further explains that under emotional system he refers to the limbic system of the brain which are in charge of our emotional response. The two oldest structures in the brain, the hippocampus and the amygdala are what makes up this limbic system.
The other system, the thinking one is located in the prefrontal cortex, which is one of the latest brain structures and maybe that explains why we’re prone to making such stupid and rush decisions regardless of our intelligence.
That’s why it’s vital that we learn how to bypass the emotional system of the brain and take better use of the thinking part, use the thinking brain more.
But how can we do it?
To be honest, this takes a lot of time and effort and it’s not something that can be easily done. However, if we do succeed in doing it we’ll be able to feel significant differences, we’ll stop worrying so much, we’ll lower our anxiety, feel less depressed, more productive and better overall.
If you want to live a better life and rely more on rational thinking than emotions, here are 5 advices from Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne, PhD who’s a professor of Psychological and Brain Science from the University of Massachusetts on how to do it best.
- Examine your irrational beliefs and thoughts
We’re all prone to irrational fears and beliefs which make us worry about things we normally shouldn’t. This usually happens because we try to live up to someone’s expectations and start to worry when we’re unable to do so. Don’t try to be the ‘perfect’ self, other people want you to be, try to be the best person you can be according to your standards and you’ll feel much better.
- Don’t let emotions cloud your judgment when faced with an important decision
If we let our emotions guide us we’re lost. When we’re emotional we can be tricked into doing many stupid things, even lawyers know this and always advise their clients to never lose their cool. This is especially important when you need to make some important decision. Separate your feelings from your thinking and try to make a reasonable decision.
- Self-control can help you build your confidence
Dr. Susan says that when people feel they’re in control of the situation, of themselves they feel more confident and are able to make better decisions. If you start to gain control over yourself you’ll feel better and more self-confident, which will allow you to have a better control over your limbic system.
- Talk about your feelings
Whatever you feel, however you feel you need to be able to talk about your emotions. This technique will help you overcome your irrational fears and worries and will make you feel better. Talking out loud about something may make you realize how absurd it sounds and help you overcome it.
- Ask for help and support from someone close
If you’re overwhelmed emotionally and feel like you can’t help yourself ask for help from someone you believe can offer you guidance and more insight. Never try to deal with difficult situations on your own as a view from another perspective can help you overcome your emotional state much easier.
Article and image source : https://curiousmindmagazine.com/5-ways-make-brain-stop-worrying-according-science/