The Lizard Brain

The brain is the most beautiful and powerful computer in existence, and we all have one. I was thinking today about how lucky I am to have this amazing brain. But this brain is also very tricky. It can tell me to stay in bed, eat the cupcake, don’t speak up, get back in bed, no serious get back in bed. Understanding the make-up of how our brain works is key to changing our thoughts.

The lizard brain(amygdala) aka the primitive brain is the oldest part of our brain, it has been evolving for over 285 million years. It is responsible for our “flight or fight” responses. It wants to keep us safe. In the beginning humans lived in caves and there was a real fear of being eaten by an animal. Fast forward a couple hundred thousand years and we do not live in caves and for most of us, we do not have the daily threat of animals eating us.  But the lizard brain still exists, it tells us to go back in the cave. Be safe. It is responsible for our fear, procrastination, impulses. It does things that we are not conscious of. It is our brain, but it does things behind our back……

Good news, we have another part of our brain that has higher level functions. Our prefrontal cortex is the part of our brain that we use to plan, determine between good and bad, it stores our short-term memory, sets goals, and a host of many other high-level functions. 

Being aware that we have a lizard brain and its purpose is key to allowing and changing our thoughts. When we disconnect, avoid, or buffer, our lizard brain is in full effect. The first step is just noticing our thoughts. Realizing just because you have a thought, does not make it a true thought. You can allow a negative thought to be there, acknowledge it, and then have a different thought, one that serves you. 

Become a watcher of your thoughts. How many negative thoughts do you have about yourself, about others? Is this a thought that your very best self would think? Does this thought serve you? Is this thought something that will take you closer to reaching your goals?