Our brain is always getting sensory info from our body - info about what's happening. This includes things like temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate.
And our brain has to decide what to do with that information - how will it distribute resources?
And so it makes predictions.
Let's go through an example.
For some, a racing heart and butterflies in the stomach equals fear. And so, they develop strategies for getting out of or avoiding the situation.
For another, a racing heart and butterflies in the stomach equals excitement. And so, they develop strategies to engage in and seek out similar situations.
Same info, different concept, and different end result.
Sometimes those concepts allow our brain to predict well. But other times they get in the way of proper prediction. As a result, our body mounts a response far beyond what we actually need to deal with the situation.
While we’re not responsible for the concepts we learned as children, we are responsible for those we keep.
We can seek out people and learning that can help us construct new and better concepts
We can build friendships with those who have different perspectives and experiences. We can learn from them how to be kinder, how to be braver, and how to make better decisions.
As we refine our concepts, our brain's ability to direct resources improves. The brain gets better at prediction.
Yet, as we work to deconstruct unhelpful concepts, sometimes, we need professional help. It’s not always a matter of willpower or wanting to change. Sometimes we need extra support to navigate those changes in a healthy way.
And it takes courage to recognize when our efforts alone are no longer enough. We may need help to face and understand our wounds and our weaknesses, our terrors and our traumas. And it takes courage again to seek out or accept that help.
If you need help reaching out to someone like that, please let us know, and we will help you take the next right step.
Now, with that said, I want to talk about a concept that can be helpful in reframing and refining our concepts.
I'm just feeling generally angry. Because I don’t know what to do with that anger, it gets directed at everyone around me.
But what if I can break it down? What if I get granular (see what I did there?)
What if, for example, the thing that happened was a breach of trust?
And what if I’m not just angry, but I feel weak and foolish for trusting that person?
What if I'm hurt and heartbroken that that person broke my trust?
And I feel resentful and defensive for the situation the breach of trust put me in.
And maybe I feel lonely and isolated because everyone else’s life seems so perfect.
Diving into what the anger means may seem like so many words. But what can that process do for us?
Bonus: Awesome Books to Check Out