By Kris Kile
Levers enable you to move heavy objects that you never would be able to move without the use of the lever. They very efficiently use a rod and fulcrum to amplify the force you are applying.
To many of us, taming our brain so that it is consistently working in harmony and balance looks like “heavy lifting.” And, in reality, it is heavy lifting. It is not the path of least resistance and it is not for the faint of heart.
Taming the brain requires diligence, patience and practice.
It rarely generates quick or obvious results.
It requires faith that the process will work,
even when you are not seeing any obvious results.
It is an ebb and flow process. Sometimes you will think you are “getting it.” And then you will do something that clearly shows you have “not arrived.” In fact, this process does not really include any definitive “arrival.” It often is two steps forward and one step backward, and even at times feels like one step forward and two steps backward.
So, why even try? Because, over time, cumulatively, it generates real progress and results. And, your alternative is to simply succumb to your innate survival instincts being the dominant influence in your life. This diminishes well-being and connection with others. So, it is worth the effort.
A Key Lever In Taming The Brain
A key lever that enables you to move ahead in taming the brain is in the arena of relationships. In the last blog post, I mentioned The Triangle of Well Being that includes the brain, the mind and relationships.
From a neuroscience point of view, relationships involve the sharing of information and energy as we communicate with one another. Healthy relationships value linkage of people through respectful communication. This enables differentiated parts of the system—both the internal brain system, the mind, and the broader system of networked relationships—to integrate. This integration is the foundation of good health—both personally, and relationally.
That previous paragraph is a mouthful. It says healthy relationships value linkage of people through respectful communication. The word “linkage” could also be thought of as “connection.”
Linkage is a key dynamic in taming the brain.
Focusing on increasing linkage with others supports the possibility of creating increased linkage between your emotional and thinking brain. And focusing on increasing the linkage between your thinking and emotional brain increases the potential to have healthier linkage with others. It cuts both ways.
A commitment to healthy connection to others is the lever that will enable you to make real progress in taming your brain. To pay attention to how I am impacting others and whether I am connecting with them in a healthy way cuts through all the subjective fog that tends to block our ability to see what is actually going on.
There is an explosion of attention on mindfulness techniques and learning that is happening in many circles-fueled by all the exciting research in applied neuroscience. I think that is marvelous.
But, in our rush to feel better, be less stressed and experience less anxiety, let’s not lose focus on the greatest lever in generating health through taming our brain.
In my view the greatest lever in making real progress is to always incorporate your efforts within the context of relationships. Are you creating healthier and deeper connection with others? That is the guiding light for measuring progress.
The end game is not just to feel better yourself (although that is important). It is to take that and pay it forward by creating healthy, connected, and balanced relationships. That is the fast lane to results that have the potential to stick.
What do you think? Let’s have a conversation. Post your comments and insights on our Facebook timeline.