How to start something, if you don’t want anything? How to make a decision and act? Before to answer these questions, let’s understand how our brain works.
“The most important are connections … good neural connections,” — the author is not known.
The prefrontal cortex is responsible for our social, cognitive and creativity skills. When we experience emotions — both positive and negative — stable neural connections are formed in the brain and thus a certain mental pattern is fixed. If we often repeat the same actions or experience the same feelings for a long time, stable neural connections are formed not only in the cortex, but also in the limbic system of the brain, which is responsible for the formation of unconscious behavioral responses, learning abilities, long-term memory, motivation. and emotions.
Repetitions can create automatism, and then connections will be firmly strengthened in our cerebellum, a part of the brain that plays an important role in fine motor skills, coordination, sense of time, as well as participates in cognitive functions such as attention and language acquisition, and also in reaction to fear and pleasure. It receives information from other parts of the brain and processes it to fine tune motor activity. Due to this we, for example, drive a car and at the same time talk on the phone, breathe and walk, without thinking about it. These actions are “recorded” in the deep parts of the brain and are performed automatically, without the involvement of consciousness.
When we experience stress, the body produces the hormone cortisol. It blocks the work of the prefrontal zone, impairing memory, cognitive functions and emotional abilities. And even when the need to worry is over, the “side effects” do not go away overnight. Prolonged exposure of the brain to cortisol reduces our concentration and will, making it difficult to make adequate and timely decisions. Being in constant fear and stress, we cannot objectively assess the situation, hesitate in making decisions, do nothing or act inadequately. Emotional reactions and unconscious fear hidden in the limbic system are pushed to the foreground.
When something good happens to us, the pleasure center is activated in the temporal lobes of the brain and dopamine begins to be produced — a hormone that gives us feelings of euphoria and happiness. Its action is rather short — up to several days. This is natural for us to feel joy of victory a maximum of three days. However, we can suffer from a break with a loved one from six months to three years.
Another interesting fact — the pleasure center is adjacent and almost coincides “geographically” with the center of dependence. That is why, when we get pleasure, we want to extend it. This is how nicotine, alcohol, drugs, sex, food affect us, as well as physical exercises as soon as we get used to them. So we can literally run away from stress. But only sport is not enough in a period of severe stress.
It is very important consciously, with volitional effort to activate our pleasure centers to increase the level of dopamine to return the work of the cortex to normal.
To do this, you need to include dopamin and othre hormones of happiness into your diet or in your “emotional nutrition” in any ways available for you: drawing, listening music, watching your favorite movies, cooking your favorite dishes, striving to get more positive emotions.
To get out of depression, it is important to maximize the work of all areas of the cortex — motor, visual, gustatory, olfactory, cognitive.
This is the basis of the technique of working with the unconscious, which I often use in my practice. If there is such an opportunity, try to change the environment. Go to a place where you can be alone with yourself. For example, I am going to the sea. I have intuitively found this method long before my hobby for psychology. Once, at a critical moment in my life, I had to cope with a difficult situation and make an important decision. I gave up everything and flew for three weeks to the sea.
One day, walking along the shore, I noticed a poster. The poster called to jump with a paraglider. I am not a sports person at all. It is still not clear to me, how I found myself on a grief in the company of athletes, and how I decided to jump along with them. I remember very well that extraordinary, indescribable emotional feeling of free flight. The sun, the wind, the sea and the earth below…
At the evening before go to bed, I asked the Universe to give me a solution. And it came — simply and naturally, in a dream. When I woke up, I made my important choice. Since that time I have loved this technique. I hope, you will love it too.
Technique of working with the unconscious to make decisions.
- Highlight and free the weekend for yourself.
- If possible, change the environment. For example, you can go to another city, to nature or to the sea.
- Divide the weekend into equal periods of time and plan the time for:
— Physical activity (cycling, running, swimming);
— Sensation experience (body care, sauna, massage, delicious food);
— Emotional experience (visual and acoustic like music, painting);
— Spiritual experience (meditation, prayer);
— Mental activity (planning, thinking).
- During the mental activity formulate your question to get an answer.
- During the meditation or pray and before to sleep, ask the Universe or God or your higher Self, depending on in what you believe to give you an answer.