Acting on Instinct, Your Brain’s Natural Protection

April 26, 2022


On this show…we aren’t going to be quick to dismiss our emotions or shame ourselves for overreacting. Instead, we’re going to listen to our bodies, recognize the sensations, and be thankful that acting on instinct is our brain’s natural protection. Your mind is command central and in most cases, is working for you not against you. In certain situations, you have a heightened sense of awareness for a reason. Cause for pause isn’t just a catchy slogan but your brain’s warning signal. Laughter, tears, shock, connection, joy, and peace are all delivering much-needed chemicals from your brain to your body at just the right moment. We can become overwhelmed, over-stimulated, and over-tired without reason except to say, OK, I hear you. Thank you for always looking out for me. Before someone tells you to stop feeling a certain way or to start feeling a certain way - shouldn’t you take the time to understand where you’re mind is coming from?

I don’t know about you but I am fascinated by the brain! We have such complex emotions, thoughts, and reactions, that it seems like our minds never shut off completely. Now, we could dwell on those moments where we find ourselves ruminating, worrying, or in a state of unnecessary panic over the past or the perceived future. But let’s not. Let’s try and understand how our brains protect us, and how they trigger us to be aware, question, and reason. 

In 1784, philosopher Immanuel Kant penned a now-famous essay entitled, “What Is Enlightenment?” He called out people’s tendency to blindly follow thought leaders. “If I have a book that thinks for me, a pastor who acts as my conscience, a physician who prescribes my diet, and so on — then I have no need to exert myself. I have no need to think if I can only pay; others will take care of that disagreeable business for me,” he wrote. His thesis for the essay became a rallying cry for the era. “Sapere Aude! (Dare to know.) ‘Have the courage to use your own understanding,’ is, therefore, the motto of the enlightenment.”

Today I feel very led to think a certain way. Not because there has been some thoroughly researched revelation and I’m late to the party but more of someone’s ideas and opinions that spread and infect or impact large groups of people who adopt those same ideas and opinions as to their own. At times it feels like a tidal wave. Swim hard or get sucked down. What I want to say is HEY…wait a minute. Give me some time to sit with my feelings. Explore more than one point of view and come together with my own thoughts. THEN I might be ready to talk about it to see how my ideas match or differ from yours, or theirs, his, or hers. 

Does that sound reasonable?

Let’s look at why our mind behaves as it does, how our brains protect us, and what it means to be a free thinker. 

Caitlin Lance Hope gets us started on this exploration with Being and feeling safe – what’s the brain got to do with it?! Found at sfac.org

Z.Hereford teaches us How to Think for Yourself - just some ideas of course fund at essentiallifeskills.net

I found a few more ideas on the subject at aconsciousrethink.com

Remy Awika gives us The 10 Traits That Make You a Free-Thinker found at medium.com


CHALLENGE: Be informed, be inspired, be educated, but don’t be led to make your mind up before you are ready. Your thoughts and opinions are valuable and should never be discounted. Take your time.

I Know YOU Can Do It!

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