According to the National Institute of Medical Health, more than 18% of the adults in America suffer from anxiety disorders which are characterized by excessive worry and tension, causing additional physical symptoms later.
Do you know that we have 2 brains?
In fact, humans have 2 brains: a “thinking” brain and a “non-thinking” one. Both of them are programmed first to worry and then to think.
One of the most famous brain scientists, Joseph LeDoux, elaborates that relations from the cognitive to the emotional systems are far weaker rather than the relations from the emotional to the cognitive systems. In addition, he says that the oldest one in the brain which includes amygdale and hippocampus is the limbic system, that in fact, is a set of structures in the breath which evokes emotional response.
The newest one is the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which is actually the thinking part of the brain. Thanks to it, sometimes we make dumb decisions although we are highly intelligent human beings. Every time we don’t know how to override it, the worrying brain is going to overrule the thinking one. Therefore, it’s extremely important to learn how to overrule the worrying brain.
Most of the time, we are overwhelmed by stimulation because of the fast-paced way of life that the society has imposed on us. Regardless if it’s negative or positive, stimulation activates the brain’s response FoF (Fight-or-Flight). Over-stimulation, in combination with overwhelm, results in bad decision. Therefore, remember the following formula: Os + Ow = BD
Overriding the limbic system
If we have the chance to see what happens inside our brain when the eyes meet a particular object that we want for instance, shoes, clothes, a handsome man, a beautiful woman), you will be able to see a huge amount of electrical actions firing from the limbic system to the cortex.
The emotional brain gives orders to the thinking brain what to do.
Don’t panic since there is some good news: you can override your limbic system’s tendency and prevent your emotions controlling your life, but it takes a lot of time and effort! You can achieve it if you are persistent.
For that reason, write 3 benefits on a piece of paper which you thank of in case your emotions had not control your life. Take some time to think of them and don’t move until you have written these benefits. Then, keep the list somewhere you can read it all the time.
These are the mine benefits:
Save more money
Be less stressed
Be more productive
These will serve as a great motivation when things will get tough.
How to stop worrying so much
First of all, reverse your brain’s default pathway from the limbic system to cortex. In other words, get the cortex give orders to the limbic system. The following 5 steps will override your limbic system. For their purpose, you will have to delve into your thoughts. Take another piece of paper and write down your thoughts in order to remember these 5 steps:
- Examine your irrational beliefs – There are some illogical beliefs which can make us see a threat in cases where there is none. In order to retreat your worries, find a more realistic balance between your actual self and your ideal.
- Learn how to express through your feelings – Instead of your negative thoughts, start with a positive way of thinking.
- When you make important decisions set your feelings aside – The majority of people get easily swayed by emotional arguments. Separate the emotions from logic if you want to make reasoned and fair choices!
- Get support from someone who can help you – Our emotions react fast to certain experiences and we are not able to rein in those feelings. And, because of that, there are programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous where another person serves as the “cortex” since you are influenced by your limbic system.
- Build confidence in your self-control – Once people build confidence, people can control their problematic behaviors effectively. Gain a lot of strength from the good decisions, control your impulses, and conquer your worries.
As the time will pass by, you will understand that these impulses don’t dominate you anymore!
Other sources linked in Health And Healthy Living’s article: