Primal Vs Prefrontal – a Tale of Two Brains

Photo by That’s Her Business on Unsplash

Did you know that, as humans, we function primarily from two different parts of our brain?

They’re the polar opposite of each other, and their functions are the difference between sitting down and working on a college thesis, or binge-watching Tin Star (highly recommend!) the whole weekend.

Let me introduce you to them:

The Primal Brain

Its job is to

1) Seek pleasure

2) Avoid pain

3) Be efficient (which, in this case, is NOT a good thing!)

Back in the primal days being full, being warm, avoiding uncomfortable situations, and thinking ‘inside the box’ literally meant staying alive. (We weren’t always at the top of the food chain).

The Prefrontal Cortex

This is known as the ‘higher-thinking’ brain. It’s the workhorse, the intentional, problem-solving brain, and it’s available to us 24/7. We can tap into it any time we want.

Most of us just don’t know how.

The primal brain is considered ‘efficient’ because it runs on default, which takes no energy or conscious thought to operate. Because of this, it tends to generate the same (often negative) thoughts so often, for so long, that they become our unconscious beliefs:

“I can’t do that”, “I don’t know how”, “I’m not good enough”, “Things like that are only available to other people, not me”. 

But imagine for a moment…what would be possible for us if we decided to challenge those default thoughts? If we chose an INTENTIONAL thought instead? How would those intentional thoughts feel in your body? 

We don’t have to choose an opposite thought right away because most of us have found that forcing positive thoughts doesn’t work. But we could decide to choose a thought we can believe, one that would serve us:

“What if I could do that?”, “What if I could learn how”, “What if I AM good enough, right now, just as I am”. 

Pick an intentional thought from your higher brain, make sure it feels believable, and make sure it’s a thought that will serve you. Then journal that intentional thought, every day. Make it part of your routine. “I AM worthy, just as I am”. “I AM capable of learning this new thing”. “I can do hard things”.

YOU CAN RE-TRAIN YOUR BRAIN to think thoughts that work FOR you. Tap into that prefrontal. Make it intentional. 

It will change your life.

I wish you all a very happy, intentional week!

And Happy Valentines Day my beautiful friends ❤️

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