What emotion do you tend to default to?
We all have a default defense system we rely on to survive emotions we perceive as negative such as fear, sadness, or loss.
We tend to gravitate towards either anxiety or depression, addiction or obsession to process fear.
New research is helping us understand more about how the brain works. Only about 15 years ago did they discover that we have a “Default Mode Network” in the brain, a sort of regulatory hub that sees which parts of the brain receive and share messages and information.
It is the ‘traffic manager’ or hub of the brain.
It is involved in self-reflection, mind wondering, time travel (thinking about the past and future), theory of mind, the narrative-self: how we weave events of our lives into a story that forms our identity. That is to say if the Ego had a place in the brain it would be here.
This Network goes quiet when we mediate (or when you take psychedelics). It relieves fear, which always comes down to the preservation of ego. It helps us feel a part of something bigger, not needing to defend ourselves so rigidly.
When this Regulatory Hub goes down, the visual cortex for example talks to your emotional parts of the brain, and you begin to see things in new and different ways.
Several of the mental health problems we commonly battle share the characteristic of rigid thinking, and deep-rooted habits we can't break out of because the ego is telling us a certain story we won’t/can’t let go of:
Depression: overactive Default Mode Network.
Anxiety: overactive Default Mode Network.
Addiction: overactive Default Mode Network.
Obsession: overactive Default Mode Network.
What lowers it’s activity? MEDITATION overtime helps us silence this network (ie the ego) and helps us feel more connected to something bigger outside of ourselves.
This week I am focusing on all the ways you benefit in your everyday life and ability to change your own habits for the better when you commit to developing a mediation practice.
This post is based on what I learned from Micheal Pollan’s book called Change Your Mind.
Do you want guidance, support and accountability to get you out of rigid thinking patterns that are keeping you in a depressed or anxious default mode?
Let’s set up a Discovery Call to see how we could work on this together!