Our Brain Functions Emotional vs. Rational
Science has shown everyone’s brain functions are wired in the same way. We are wired in this way from birth. Are thoughts and actions are dominated from the left brain or right brain. I’m sure you’ve heard about the left brain/right brain concepts.
When we think about the brain functions, we think about two hemispheres, the left brain and the right brain. We also have three types of brain functions layered on top of each other. At the top is the top is the human brain (it looks a lot like a wrinkled towel). The next layer is the dog brain, sort of layered over the top of the bottom, the lizard brain (like a little ball). Each part is layered on top of the other.
The three brain functions.
The lizard brain functions or also known as the “reptilian brain” includes the brain stem and cerebellum. The lizard brain doesn’t need to think much. This part of the brain is all you need to just sit on a rock, bake in the sun and eat bugs all day. The lizard brain automatically takes care of all the functional behaviors and internal body controls like heartbeat, muscle movement and breathing type of functions.
The dog brain functions also known as the mammalian brain is called the limbic system it contains the amygdala, hippocampus, and hypothalamus. This is the emotional part of our brain. It’s called the “dog brain” because it’s like a lovable dog. This part of the brain generates strong emotions, passive and aggressive and positive and negative. This is where you decide to fight or flight. This part of the brain tells you when it’s time to eat or sleep or who is a good mate.
Finally, there is the human brain functions. The human brain functions handle the higher order skills. This part of the brain has the neocortex which is very powerful! It handles such activities as reasoning, deep thinking, the ability to learn from the past, and to solve problems and the ability to predict etc.
We could also think about the brain in terms of three other brain functions: consciousness, emotion, and reason.
Emotion and reason come from two different parts of the brain, but the brain functions work together. If you think about it they are often both competing for our attention. The two are often in conflict. The reason this is occurring is because they come from two different parts of the brain. The left and right brain also often have two separate agendas. For most of us, it’s like having two brains inside the same head.
Imagine that emotion and reason are two boxers. Many say the lizard brain generates consciousness and sits back and becomes a referee. The referee then decides with input from the rational brain and the emotional brain who should win the match. For most people when the emotion and reason go head to head, it’s NOT a fair fight. For most when emotion and reason get in the ring, emotion wins by a knockout!
So how does this Brain Functions work?
Usually something happens that sets your emotional brain off (your partner or your boss upsets you, someone cuts you off in traffic etc…) and your emotional brain functions start to throw you out of whack. Then your rational brain functions will start to try to calm you down. Your rational brain functions might say something like – “It’s no big deal, or let this go.” It’s hard to imagine this going on in your head? For many people this is happening 5-10 times a day. When this kind of conflict happens many times you become out of control. We all have been emotionally out of control many times in our lifetime. When you experience conflict your lizard brain becomes the referee and your emotional and the rational brain functions get into another boxing match. Once again, the emotional brain wins and you give into emotions and end up getting really angry or frustrated or upset.
In conclusion your actions and thoughts are dominated by five major brain functions. The left and right brain function and the lizard, the dog and the human brain function.
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Tags: Brain Functions