Life Check Yourself Episode 395 How You Can Complete Your Lower Brain Development to Retrain Your Nervous System with Nancy Sokol Green
Marni welcomes author, educator and TEDx speaker, Nancy Sokol Green, to the Life Check Yourself Studio, where they discuss the physical and internal mechanisms that affect our actions and by extension, our behavior in relationships. The duo talks about what it means to look at our foundations with the intent to start fixing. Our behaviors are a result of an underdeveloped lower brain. But what does that mean? It means that, for some, automatic body functions that are supposed to be fully developed are not, which goes on to dictate much of the way they act externally. Nancy dives into the details behind these functions and their influence on us. But, ultimately, to change, it takes going back to basics, back to our foundations.
Takeaways from this episode:
- How to change the biology reaction in your patterns
- Fixing the Foundations
- How is your lower brain impacting your actions?
- If it’s not there internally, it won’t be there externally
- Why can’t you forgive?
- How to develop your lower brain
Look at the Foundation of the House, not the Roof [01:27]
It’s about asking the questions that are going to get you to where you need to be by looking at the root cause, and not hyper-focusing on the symptom. Nancy uses the analogy of a crooked roof to explain her approach. The author elaborates that it’s not so much about looking at the crooked roof and trying to fix it but rather finding the cracks and gaps that are in the foundations. Because once those are fixed, then the walls; the roof; and everything is set up right. Once, we’ve learnt to look at things from that perspective, our gears begin to shit, and our mindset starts to change.
In this context, we’re talking about our brain and our nervous system. How are they currently wired? Nancy talks about the concept of the lower brain and explains that parts of our lower brain are sometimes not completely developed.
As adults, we’re supposed to have all these automatic functions that we’re supposed to have when our lower brain is fully developed. But that’s not always the case. That being said, the way these automatic functions are wired affects a lot of aspects within our lives.
For example, there’s gravitational security, which is about whether or not we feel physiologically secure and grounded to the earth; some people don’t have that. And for them, it’s like they’re walking throughout life on a high rope.
I’m already more concerned in my life about falling than connecting with you. If I don’t feel grounded physically, how am I going to feel grounded emotionally?
The physical then transfers to the emotional state as well. Another example of physical functions that transfer to relationships is our peripheral vision. Some people who lack in that department find it manifesting into their relationship. Their world is literally all that’s in front of them; it’s all about them; there’s no right and no left.
Developing Your Lower Brain [14:50]
When plan A, which is developing the lower brain in the first year of life, doesn’t work out, all is not lost. Now, it’s time for plan B.
A lot of people are missing automatic functions. And they don’t realize what they’re missing because they don’t get it until they actually feel that function. And what makes the brain brilliant is that it allows you to change it. And it’s always changing, either way, whether you’re doing it consciously or not.
But if you don’t have a say in how it changes, there’s a good chance it might change in a way called maladaptation.
To change your brain, you just need guidance. It takes work, but once you’ve got it down, it stays with you for life.
Stamp Memories [19:38]
We all have a million things that stress us out throughout the day, the week, the month, or the year. However, what happens is that we’re supposed to solve these little incidents as we go along. And when we do, usually what happens is once we’re gone to sleep, the brain continues to work at night in order to consolidate these memories. Once consolidated, they’re given a metaphorical time stamp and filed away not to be brought up again.
But what if you haven’t resolved that issue that happened in your day? Then your nervous system, whose job is to keep you safe, becomes concerned. The incident hasn’t been resolved; the memory hasn’t gotten consolidated nor has it gotten filed in the archives. What happens then is that it’s likely to show up again throughout your life. Because as soon as there’s a trigger, and it could be a small one, your nervous system scans your history, remembers that particular unresolved issue, flags it, and you end up reacting in a more extreme way because it feels bigger than it is. It brings you back to that no-date stamp memory.
We don’t just have one or two no-date stamps. It’s not like you forget the memory if it’s a really big thing, but it’s the charge; it’s that charge that you’re bringing up to the present.