What happens when you know for sure that you aren’t in Brain State 2. That sweet clarity of knowing your feelings — really nailing the strongest feeling — and knowing precisely what you need is NOT going to happy. What’s more, you know for sure you aren’t in Brain State 4, because that slight lost feeling is not there. You aren’t being cut off at the knees by unreasonable expectations. Sure your expectations may be a little shaky, slightly unreasonable, but all in all, a veritable anchor: solid and sustaining. You’re in Brain State 3. Perfect. A good flurry of feelings — emotional housecleaning — and you’re back to Brain State 2 and often to Brain State 1.
What do we know about Brain State 3? Continue reading
Brain State 2 often is under-rated. It is the “meat and potatoes” state in which the brain is working as it should. Into the limbic brain flows input from all the senses, from the body, emotional memories, unconscious expectations and thoughts. In an ongoing flow of functionality it sizes up all the potential threats and rewards, prioritizes them, then settles on an emotion. That emotion is the message to the neocortical brain that is evolutionarily-based, and the sign post that directs us to meet our most important need. The strongest emotion points to the most important need.
Over the past decade neuroscience has shown that what’s important is the perceived threat, not the objective threat. Stress can be psychological, metabolic or physical and it is still stress; the downstream chemical effects are the same. Meaning that there is no difference between the chemical cascade that is triggered by being chased by a lion and by a rejecting lover.
They both can send you to Brain State 5. Continue reading
We have had a lot of input from EBT providers who are responding to the changes in the method directed at bringing it in line with neuroscience. Yesterday, I received a message from one long-term provider, Sue, who wrote who was very enthusiastic about the changes but said . . .
EBT was born 30 years ago in 1979 in the form of a child obesity program called Shapedown. Shapedown grew and developed to the point that it was a national hospital-based intervention for children. During the first 20 years we worked on scaling up the impact of Shapedown, and developing YES (Youth Evaluation Scale) a way of finding out what is really going on with a child’s weight, so the treatment is more effective. In 1991 I started to realize that what I had been developing for children also was effective with adults. The Institute for Health Solutions was born and I wrote The Solution (which focused on adult weight loss) in 1997 and The Pathway in 2002, which broadened the method to all stress symptoms.
Neuroscience is affording more attention to brain states, so the question is what are they?
The flow of energy in the brain varies with some areas of the brain dominant based on the varying needs of the organism. The organism, including humans, has one primary goal, which is survival. The secondary goal is procreation, but that is a distant second, as one cannot procreate without surviving the charging hungry lion that is on our tails.
The location of the emotional brain is somewhat controversial (see New York University’s Emotional Brain Institute, directed by Joseph LeDoux) because some of the most emotionally salient areas fall are situated in the neomamallian/neocortical brain, the anterior cingulate cortex, and the areas that put conscious thought into context, the hippocampus, is situated in the limbic brain. However, thinking of the brain as triune, three interaction brain areas can be quite useful in understanding emotions.