Fear and Stress or Trust and Insight, Which is it to Be?

“A head full of fears has no space for dreams.”

The part of our brain that sits above our eyes is called the pre-frontal cortex & this is where the trust, wisdom & insight live. This area of the brain sets us apart from animals as this is where we are conscious & show our intellect. Fear & distrust networks originate in the amygdala in the lower part of the brain. Fear is one of the emotions that elicits the stress response. Cortisol is the hormone or neuro-chemistry, that is released, & it closes down the brain, especially the prefrontal cortex so we become unable to think clearly, or to think & feel about our future. I have been doing some training about a subject called “Conversational Intelligence.” Judith Glaser wrote the book of the same name & it is fascinating to hear the research they have done about how the brain reacts under pressure or stress.

We can feel stress or threatened by our interaction with others within .07 sec. this can be to things like the tone of their voice, if we feel someone is being judgemental ; if we feel that what they are saying is hurting us in some way, or making us feel bad; if we feel like we are taking a risk, we’re scared or feel that we’re going to be rejected; if we feel excluded; if we feel that someone is angry at us; if they’re minimising our power; or make us feel that they are much more important than us. The part of our brain that helps to protect us gets activated and we close down. Think of some environments where you are aware that you are being affected by any of these threats and you know that your brain doesn’t function as well as it could. If you want to make good conscious decisions and dream about your future in a clear way, then you will need to take some strategic actions to keep yourself safe from others harmful ways. When you are feeling safe the prefrontal cortex releases oxytocin – the hugging hormone, dopamine and serotonin, the feel-good hormones.

Enjoy making decisions from your pre-frontal cortex!

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