Sunday, January 23, 2011

Embracing the Rational and Intuitive Parts of our brains

Being in a transition in your life can be frightening. Not knowing where you're going to land a job, relationship, or social circle is enough to make you cling to what you know-even when it's bad for you-rather than let it go so that you can follow your intuition to a better life and better health.

Our left brains frontal lobe is a censor and can dim our intuition. The left brain is good at dulling pain, including painful insights that ask us to change our goals, careers, or relationships. Here's what can happen if you ignore your intuition and allow your left brain to overrule intuitive insights.

1. Argue with intuition. Explaining away possible solutions to your problems
2. The right side of our brain may warn us that our life is out of control, while your left brain may "reason" away the feelings. The left brain may then dominate, causing you to:
a. judge your fear
b. ruminate and obsess
c. feel shame
d. feel artificially happy

Ultimately, your left brain is important in helping you control your emotions, fit into society, and function in relationships and a career. However, if your left brain dominates and overwhelms your right brain and drowns out your intuition, you will end up with an imbalanced brain, and an imbalanced life.
Neither man nor woman can live in one brain alone. 
You don't want to trap yourself in the comfort of your left brains more tidy, pleasant, socially ordered environment. If your right brains emotions and intuition don't have equal input into decisions and actions, they initiate biochemical and hormonal events that trigger physical and emotional problems.
Our Western society favors the left brain centric thinking, since it is tidier, more easily controlled by rules and regulations, and generally more pleasant. Ultimately, its less common to have a dominant right brain, because anyone with that mind-set will have a difficult time surviving and thriving. Individuals who think and feel in a more right-sided way most likely train themselves to pass as "normal". By virtue of genetic and hormonal makeup, women generally have more contributions from our right brains in almost every area of our life. Right brain thinking results in a number of characteristic tendencies:
1. we become overwhelmed by emotion
2. we become overly global in our thinking
3. we take shortcuts through someones psyche during conversation
4. we focus our attention so much on others feeling that we may not know what WE want
5. we experience mixed negative emotional states of fear, anger, and sadness that make it hard to see the world optimistically
Ultimately, for a heathy mind, body, and intuitive capacity, we need to use both of our sides of our feminine brain. 
During the childbearing years, as estrogen levels rise and fall within each menstrual cycle, the brain regularly cycles between the left and the right hemispheres. When a woman's social status rises, her testosterone levels rise, further rewiring her brain.
A female brain that has been masculinized by testosterone in the womb is more likely to have unusual intellectual gifts in right hemisphere areas, such as; map reading, math, technology, athletics. If a girl is born with a strong masculinized right hemisphere brain, she may choose to stuff her "non traditional" brain into a more traditional mold, resulting in low self-esteem, depression, eating disorders, addiction, etc. Prenatal stress feminizes a male brain and masculinizes a female brain. 

Estrogen=antidepressant and critical for bonding
Progesterone=mood stabilizer and lowers anxiety
Testosterone=initiative and motivation 

If you have a non-traditional female brain, its critical for your emotional and physical health that you do what Dolly Parton suggest, "Find out who you are and do it on purpose". Don't try to fit your unique brain style into a career and lifestyle that makes people accept you but makes you miserable. 

When a woman suddenly interrupts a high-voltage career, she is at greater risk for depression and other mood disorders. If she trades in that high-testosterone career for the estrogen soaked one of motherhood, her brain will be two in one. 

Anorexia is said to develop when the role of the perfect child becomes too difficult.

PET studies of patients with bulimia show loss of normal, right hemisphere activity. 

Create first, then rationalize how to make it happen. Right brain (general)--> left brain (specific) 

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