Shift2

Shifts in the body

Your brain and body are deeply connected.

Many people believe they need to just think their way through change or rationalize through a transition.

While this may seem like a helpful approach, it is actually counterproductive and lacks logic and rationale, since it requires the dismissal of other inputs and information.

When interviewed in 2020, Jonas Kaplan a neuroscientist from the University of Southern California's Brain and Creativity Institute shared "The brain’s primary responsibility is to take care of the body, to protect the body. The psychological self is the brain’s extension of that. When our self feels attacked, our [brain is] going to bring to bear the same defenses that it has for protecting the body.”

Basically, our brain loves to be right and hates to be wrong. When our brain is made to feel wrong, it is like we are being physically attacked.

Our brain shuts down when our body is not safe, it does the same thing when our mind doesn't feel safe.

This does not help us engage our whole brain to think creatively and resourcefully about the change and transitions we're going through, but rather our brain goes into default mode. This works against our efforts to navigate through our changes effectively.

During changes, our brain can feel like it is constantly under threat.

One way to help put your brain and body at ease is to reframe what "right" and "wrong" look like during a shift.

Determine that the "right" way to proceed through a shift is to resource yourself and critically think and feel through your shift. Notice your body. Notice your mind. And get curious about what you may need to feel safe and move forward.

The only "wrong" you can do is to shut yourself off to what your mind and body are trying to tell you.

Consider your own body:

* How do you know when your body is feeling unsafe? What clues does your mind have for you?What are the triggers or patterns you notice?
* How do you know when your mind is feeling unsafe? What clues does your body have for you? What are the triggers or patterns you notice?

Example:

* I know my body is feeling unsafe when I clench my jaw. My mind tells me this consistently happens toward the end of the day. I notice the triggers or patterns are when I haven't eaten or slept enough.
* I notice my mind feeling unsafe when I start justifying my decisions. My body feels warm, sits up straight, and my chest starts pounding. I notice the triggers or patterns are when people ask questions about why we can't go back to how things were.