What is the Limbic Lag?
It is what happens when we want to do something and something is holding back.
The two parts of our brain that this post will address are the lymbic system and the neo-cortex
The Limbic system is fully developed at birth, it tags experiences with emotions. When it is bad it will avoid it, if it is good it wants more. It sustains life and it adjusts its settings to what is safe.
It can be (re-)programmed through experience but not through knowledge, acceptance, being listened to, being loved.
The Neo-cortex is not fully functioning at birth it develops from age 5 to the mid twenties. It is the logic mind.
When the emotional and logic mind are both developed and ‘speak the same language’ we have the wise mind.
Changing our mind/attitude does not have lasting effects if it is not combined with the reprogramming of our limbic system.
Experiencing love and acceptance helps that change.
I.e. when we had a good experience and we talk about it, write about it, relive it and we feel love and acceptance doing so from ourselves and others it contributes to the reprogramming(the new neural pathway gets reinforced, bigger)
If we are under threat emotionally the logic shuts down. Our emotions trump logic when the fight/flight, freeze response is triggered.
When we are confronted with the pain and discomfort we end up staying in our comfortzone of being trapped in our small ‘safe’ world and we are unable to tap into the endless possibilities.
We react in old familiar ways with coping mechanisms in order to adapt and survive.
We experience feelings and are unaware of whether they are related to the past or present. We can be caught up in a distorted belief system or we may shut down to the point of not being able to think even to the point of not being able to remember our own name.
When we were little we started to develop ways/habits to protect ourselves like rage, aggression, hypervigilance, submission and automatic obedience.
We may be unable to set boundaries.
These coping mechanisms provided a way to either avoid or soothe uncomfortable stress symptoms.
We can learn to be aware and to consciously respond and adapt and not only survive but strive.
This awareness means being conscious of our feelings, images and thoughts which then results in being able to chose better/healthier ways to interact with ourselves, others, the world and beyond.
We can stay present in the feeling (pain, discomfort) and the logic will kick back in again.
We can be connected with our feelings and thinking which tunes us into our wise mind.
The result of living with awareness is the ability to tap into endless possibilities and live a life with purpose.
Instead of being trapped in our small world, our comfortzone, by fully experiencing the pain and discomfort, being conscious and aware and we are then having access to the expansion of endless possibilities.
We can observe our [intlink id=”1070″ type=”post” target=”_blank”]feelings [/intlink]in a compassionate way, just be with them, feeling them in our body without judgement or analyzing.
Accept the feeling, allow them, let them be, feel them in your body. How big is it? How strong?
Avoiding the pain is immediate gratification.
‘Pushing’ through the pain leads to a life with purpose where we have something to offer the world.
The basic steps suggested in the book ‘The Tools‘ by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels to
“Activate a force more powerful than the desire to avoid pain are:
1. Stand in your comfortzone and say “Bring it on.
2. I love pain – moving through
3. Pain sets me free!”
Read the Blog for ‘The Tools’ on Psychology today at http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-tools
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