According To California’s National Institute of Mental Health, more than 18% of adults in America suffer from chronic anxiety and depression, which are characterized by excessive tension and worry that further lead to physical problems.
But, did you know that every person has two brains?
Well, actually and structurally we have one, but cognitively we do have two brans – one “thinking” and the other “unthinking.” And, somehow, we tend to first worry than think.
Joseph LeDoix is a New York Scientist who said that “connections from the emotional systems to the cognitive (thinking) systems are stronger than connections from the cognitive systems to the emotional systems.”
The ’emotional systems,’ according to Dr. LeDoix, are the limbic systems in the brain which are responsible for the brain’s emotional response. The limbic system consists of the amygdala and the hippocampus, which are among the oldest brain structures.
The prefrontal cortex (the ‘thinking system’), on the other hand, is among the newest and this is probably why we are susceptible to make bad and stupid decisions no matter how intelligent we are.
So, it is very important for us to learn how to overrule our emotional ‘worrying’ part of the brain and start to use our thinking brain more. Overwhelming and overstimulation usually equal bad decisions.
How can we ‘overrule’ the limbic system?
The truth is, even though we can overrule the limbic ‘worrying’ system of the brain, the process takes time and real effort.
But, when we are finally able to do it, we can notice some amazing changes, such as: we’ll become less stressed and anxious, we’ll be more productive, and we’ll save money.
So, here are 5 basic ways how you can do it according to Susan Krauss Whitbourne, a Ph.D. and a Professor of Psychological and Brain Science at the University of Massachusetts.
1. Start Examining Your Irrational Thoughts And Beliefs
We all are guilty of having illogical beliefs and fears that are causing us to see threat where there is no threat involved. These thoughts are usually connected to our trying to live up to someone else’s expectations and worrying when we fall short. So, try to distinguish between your ‘perfect’ and your ‘actual’ self, find the perfect balance between those two, and you’ll notice an improvement.
2. Set Your Feeling Aside When Faced With An Important Decision
We all know that we can be tricked into doing something mostly when we are emotional. Trial lawyers know this. They know how gullible the human mind is in being governed by emotional arguments.
They use this emotional response of the brain to make the jury’s sympathy for the accused to outweigh their legal duty and liability. So, the more you are able to separate your feelings from your judgment, the more likely you’ll be to make a fair and a reasonable decision.
3. Build Self-Confidence Through Self-Control
According to Dr. Susan, people gain confidence and are able to make good decisions when they feel that they have control over themselves and the situation. By beginning to control their problematic behaviors, they are more self-confident and thus more in control over their limbic systems.
4. Learn How To Talk Your Way Through Your Feelings
Cognitive-behavioral psychology offers a way for people to control their irrational thoughts with a simple technique. The technique involves substituting the negative feelings with positive or neutral ones.
5. Get Support From Someone Who Can Help You
When you feel emotional and overwhelmed, it’s best to ask someone close to you for guidance and insight. That person can be your ‘cortex’ because they are not involved emotionally in your situation, so they will help you to make a clear judgment.
Mary Wright is a professional writer with more than 10 years of incessant practice. Her topics of interest gravitate around the fields of the human mind and the interpersonal relationships of people.