Today’s fast paced world offers no shortage of stimuli to our brains. And much of that stimuli is seen in the form of bad news and negative events.
When our brains register a reaction to these stimuli, several things happen as a result. Up to 80% of the blood can be preferentially diverted from the prefrontal cortex of the brain to the muscles, heart, lung and kidneys.
The production of adrenalin goes up to allow for increased blood pressure and heart rate in order to run or fight. Blood sugar goes up to feed the cells; insulin levels can also go up. Cortisol levels go up as well. Cortisol is designed for the short term. It can give a boost of energy and dull the effects of pain. Two important systems in our body are negatively affected when this happens, however – the gastrointestinal and reproductive systems.
This reaction is evolutionary; being passed down from our early ancestors who had to be on the alert for danger all the time. During their time they had to be on alert for predatory animals, or other tribes. For them, however, they quickly used up these hormones by either running away, or staying and fighting. They then returned to homeostasis. Our brains today scan for, register, store and react to unpleasant experiences – and there are no shortage of them in the news, etc.
As Dr. Rick Hanson mentions in his book, “Buddha’s Brain” – our brains are like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive! (p. 68). Over time, research has shown that constant stress causes atrophy in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus – the seat of learning. So, yes, stress can make you feel stupid! What to do???
Fortunately, in Eden Energy medicine, there is no shortage of easy and powerful self help tools. When you are feeling frazzled, frightend,anxious, angry, or upset- stop. Take a deep breath. Place the palm of one hand over your forehead; and the other at the back of your head where your eyebrows and eyes would be. Close your eyes and breath slowly and deeply while holding these areas for three minutes. Now, notice how you are feeling. You will likely feel much calmer and clearer. When you do this you are stimulating specific acupressure points called neurovascular reflex points.
Second, if you want to improve your memory – both long and short term, first scratch and rub your scalp vigorously all over for 30 seconds or so. Then, place your right hand over your heart, and your left hand at the side of your head in front of your ear. Take three deep breaths. Next, keeping your right hand on your heart, move your left hand to your forehead. Hold for three deep breaths. Switch hands. Your left hand is now over your heart; your right hand in front of your right ear. Take three deep breaths. Now, keeping your left hand over your heart, place your right hand at the back of your head. Take three deep breaths. That’s it! Both of these exercises, and lots of other great self help tools can be found in The Little Book of Energy Medicine by Donna Eden and Dondi Dahlin. It should be part of everyone’s medicine cabinet!