General

The human brain is akin to a supercomputer built on top of a clunker. The clunker is your primitive, reptilian, survival brain. The supercomputer is what does your proper thinking, is logical, fair and kind. When you are afraid, the bandwidth of your supercomputer gets used up, leaving the clunker to do all your thinking for you. You go from awesome to primal and basic in a heart-beat.

That means a few things. Firstly, those in society without enough resources to survive, those with more life problems than anyone can handle - will appear stupid. Yet in truth, that level of stress makes everyone stupid, the bandwidth of their supercomputer is maxed out.

Secondly, it means that stressing kids out to make them learn is dumber than a sack of rocks. The more they worry about, the dumber they get. The more relaxed, happy and curious they are, the smarter they get.

Finally, it means that with proper social safety nets, ones that actually keep people fed, housed and feeling secure - the nation gets healthy, smart and cooperative.

So avoid the things that make you afraid, seek what brings joy and love, and soon you'll find you are able to think better, your supercomputer brain in command.

By Angela Abraham (daisy), June 7, 2018.
General

The amygdala is a button they push, an ancient part of the brain triggered by fear. They scare us with so many things to make us easy to control - yet that also brings aggression, societal problems and reduced creative intelligence. So, if you truly want to drive your own brain, to feel its true power and potential - cut out the media, cut out stuff that scares you and replace it with sport, meditation, serenity. It'll feel odd at first and you might even feel an urge to watch a scary movie to bring the familiar feelings of fear back, but you'll be okay. So, come join the living... have the courage to leave the zombie state...

By Angela Abraham (daisy), June 14, 2018.
General

When we see pain in others or danger, the amygdala - the primitive part of the brain for processing fear - gets involved. Then, the brain takes one of two options, empathy/calmness or flight/fight. Either the calming pathways are used and the person uses their empathy and intelligence to help, or the person is alarmed, concerned for their own safety, and becomes another casualty. We need to know our own responses.

If we are calm, cool headed in an emergency, we are the hero type. We go toward danger to help others; we are the ones others co-regulate from. However, if we are the ones who feel an urge to fight or flee, we need to take care to control ourselves and refrain from making more work for those responding to tragedy - and this can be something physical, an event that has caused injury, or it can be a longer response to a systemic failure of government, society or infrastructure. Either way, some of us are wired to be calm and compassionate in emergencies and others, though they also have important skills society needs, lack that capacity.

Everyone is loved and needed, yet we need to know our own strengths and limitations so that we can be an asset, able to give of our talents in positive ways.

By Angela Abraham (daisy), June 14, 2018.
General

There is evolved fear and learned fear. At first, the learned fear part of the amygdala isn't "wired up" to the evolved fear bit; it just sits next to it. Yet with repeat exposure to a stimulus and a fear, it becomes hard-wired into the central (evolved fear part) of the amygdala. So when we see "the bad guy" on the news over and over it rewires our brains to instinctive fear of "the bad guy." But what happens when "the bad guy" is another ethnicity or faith? What if "the bad guy" is another gender, sexual orientation or generation? Then our fear centre is constantly triggered, leading to anxiety and/or aggression. What else could we call these anxieties? Racism? Sexism? Hostility toward youth? Islamophobia? Anti-Semitism? We may naturally be afraid of snakes, yet those who seek financial gain by using fear are rewiring us into a species we are fighting hard not to be.

By Angela Abraham (daisy), June 14, 2018.