Mind Your Amygdala

Source: Mind Your Amygdala

Advertisements

Mind Your Amygdala

Continuing with the series called “Your Brain is Playing Games on You,” I used another clip from the popular Netflix and TV show called “Brain Games.” We watched an episode on stress from season 3.
Romans 8:5-8 says, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.”
I spoke a lot about the amygdala (with help from the video). This is an area of the brain that regulates many things, including decision making, emotional reactions, stress, and fear. When we are stressed, hormones are released that overstimulate the amygdala and sometimes put us into overdrive. This can also leads us to become preoccupied with our negative emotions which can lead to responding to a situation poorly (according to Daniel Goleman). We must be aware of this and remember that God is in control. When we learn to submit to Him and live according to His Spirit, we are able to take that deep breath and trust Him to get us through our tough situations.
We must choose wisely what we spend time concentrating on as to prevent a stressful situation from trickling into every other part of our lives. Commit to the Lord all your plans and trust in Him (Proverbs 16:3).

Gratefulness

Two weeks ago, we celebrated our Canadian Thanksgiving. It was fitting that I spoke about how we can combat feelings of anger by becoming more intentional about our gratefulness. Noteworthy author Brene’ Brown has done significant research around gratefulness. We watched a clip of her on YouTube where she explains that, upon practicing gratefulness, we will become joyful in turn. James 1:19-21 tells us to “…take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”
Continuing with the series called “Your Brain is Playing Games on You,” I used a clip from the popular Netflix and TV show called “Brain Games.” We watched an episode on anger from season 4 and learned that our brains are hard wired to recognize fairness. Our brain automatically becomes angry when it feels we have been treated unfairly! It also explained that anger often comes from a place of fear or pain. Thus, it is not a sin to get angry (as this is a natural emotion). However, Ephesians 4 tells us that we should not sin in our anger.
What can you do today to begin practicing gratefulness?

Don’t Trust You’re Myelin

I started a new series called “Your Brain is Playing Games on You” on Sunday. I used a clip from the popular Netflix and TV show called “Brain Games.” This week’s message was called “Don’t Trust Your Myelin.” Myelin is a part of your brain that tracks and encourages patterns. In the video we watched, we learned how our brains try really hard to comprehend things by taking the path of least resistance. It does that by searching for its previously understood patterns.

This is not always a good thing and the practical spiritual application is in the way we respond to life’s difficult situations. We often remember the most recent outcome when faced with a new struggle. It is easy for us to assume things will always turn out badly if that’s the pattern we’ve become used to. We fall under the pattern of “learned hopelessness.”

Romans 12:2 (NIV) tells us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Patterns are hard to make or break BUT we can train our brains to create a new response to difficult situations.

I encourage you all to beware of the conditioned response which you may already do when faced with trouble. Remember God’s Word and His promises in these times. Philippians 4:8 reminds us to think on good things. I came up with a clever way to remember this: “Be a good thought P.L.A.N.T.E.R. Think only on things that are Pure, Lovely, Admirable, Noble, True, Excellent, and Right.” It’s time to create new thought patterns!!