While the brain is a complex organ and neuroscientists still don’t know everything about it (and may never find out), the research and studies that have been carried out in the field of neuroscience have given us a reasonable “working knowledge” of how the brain works to a certain level. In other words, science has given us enough knowledge to enable us to use our brains more effectively to significantly improve our day-to-day lives. We don’t know everything about how our phones work, but using the “Quick Start” guide we can learn enough to operate the phone more efficiently and make use of the applications we need.
The Quick Start Guide for Your Brain
The brain can be divided into many different sections, each of which produces specific functions; but for the quick start guide all you need to know are three of these sections. The three parts that make up your human brain for the purposes of this quick start guide are: The neocortex; the limbic brain; and the cerebellum.
This is where you do your thinking. The neocortex is made up of billions of neurons or nerve cells; and each time you have a thought, connections are made between specific neurons. When you have the same thought over and over again, the neurons are “wired” by a substance that allows that connection to become more permanent. This is how we learn information intellectually.
Thoughts that refer to the same topic will be wired in “gangs” or communities – forming neural networks. When you cease to think a certain thought, the connection weakens or atrophies. This is how we forget information. However, because the connection was present, depending on how long ago it was made, and the type of connection, it will take less time to rewire it – and as a result, relearn that information.
The Limbic Brain
The limbic brain is also known as the chemical brain, and is basically our “drug lab”. It is where chemicals are produced in response to the connections that are being made in the neocortex. When we have a thought, and a connection is made in the neocortex, the limbic brain is triggered to produce certain chemicals that will produce sensations that match that thought. In other words, when you think a sad thought, your limbic brain will produce chemicals that cause the sensations of sadness in your body. When you think a happy thought, your limbic brain will produce chemicals that cause the sensations of happiness in your body.
This is the oldest part of the human brain, and it is the seat of the unconscious. This is the part of the brain that allows you to carry out actions without needing to think about each aspect. It is also the part of the brain that produces your automatic reactions to triggers and stimuli. When someone “pushes your buttons” it is your cerebellum that responds with the automatic reaction – triggering chemicals to be produced in your limbic brain and the other organs in your body that cause an emotional response.
When you learn something, you will learn it using thought initially (through connections in your neocortex), which will cause a chemical response in the limbic brain and other organs. When this is repeated over and over, the connection in your neocortex becomes “wired” – allowing faster transfer of the information between the neurons. And as the repetition continues, the combination of the wired connection in the neocortex and the repeated flooding of matching chemicals through your blood stream causes the cerebellum to record that specific event.
However, the cerebellum does not need repetition in order to record events, responses and conditions. Since its primary function is your survival it is designed to prioritize any information that it considers a threat to your well-being. In other words, you will only need to be exposed to the pain of putting your hand on a hot stove once for that connection to be made in your brain.
A strong fight-freeze-or-flight response to a threat will usually be recorded in your cerebellum the first time it happens. From then on, whenever you encounter that threat again your subconscious will trigger your brain to signal your organs to produce the fight or flight chemicals – which will put your body into a state of emergency. You will experience state as fear, anxiety, anger, hurt or any other stress emotion.
The threat does not necessarily need to be real. Since your subconscious does not have the ability to reason, use logic, or distinguish right from wrong or true from false, it responds based purely on the data it already contains – whether that data is correct, logical and reasonable or not.
A child experiences a stressful situation in school – the teacher asks him to recite information he doesn’t know, and then ridicules him in front of the rest of the class for his failure. The child’s body goes into a state of fight-freeze-or-flight – the stress response – and the cerebellum is triggered to record the event as a threat. The brain makes a connection between the situation (being the center of attention) and the fight-freeze-or-flight stress response. The exact connection will depend on the data already held in his subconscious.
This may result in a fear of public speaking, or social anxiety, or a range of other possibilities – depending on what other memories he holds and continues to collect.
As you go through your life, your subconscious is constantly referring to the records it holds and triggering the brain and body to respond accordingly.
How to Use Your Brain to Change Your Life
Neuroscientist, Dr. Joe Dispenza points out that in the neocortex of the brain, nerve cells that fire together wire together. This means that the more you think and react in the same ways you’ve always done, the more automated your thinking and reactions become. He goes on to stress that in order to change your automatic responses, you need to consciously become aware of your habitual thinking (metacognition), and make different choices in the moment. When you cease to use a specific connection and use a different connection instead, you literally rewire the neocortex of your brain.
Consistent meditation practice and developing mindfulness “rewires” the neocortex. This causes a change in automatic thought patterns – and, as a result, in emotional states. However, there may be a faster and more direct way to make these changes. While FasterEFT is a fairly new modality, and has therefore not yet been the subject of clinical trials, the theory behind it suggests that it works directly with the memories recorded in the cerebellum instead of with the connections in the neocortex. The technique has been designed to change memories that cause negative emotions into positive memories. By changing a memory from negative to positive, the resulting positive chemical responses produce a very different effect on the body. In addition to this, the changes in the neocortex are an automatic result since all changes in thought patterns cause restructuring in the neocortex.
FasterEFT not only causes the user to think differently – using new connections in the neocortex – it does this with the original memory or record instead of with the current thought process alone. In other words, instead of working with the neocortex (and by association, with the limbic brain) alone, it is designed to work with the subconscious – the part of you that is in charge of your automatic reactions and responses.
The result is: very fast, significant changes in the brain and in the automatic responses of the body. Instead of the repetition that is needed in order to change the neural pathways on a more permanent basis (rewiring), the changes are made using the cerebellum – the part of the brain responsible for automated and instinctual reactions and responses, as well as emotional memory.
To find out how the technique has been working for others, visit the FasterEFT YouTube Channel.
Try it Yourself
Since it doesn’t cost anything, and you don’t need any special equipment or an expert in order to use it, you can carry out your own experiment, and test it for yourself. Watch the YouTube videos or follow the guidance in The FasterEFT Technique – Step-by-Step and visit: Tips on Using FasterEFT.
For more information on how to use the FasterEFT process to make changes to your automatic reactions, responses and beliefs, visit: The FasterEFT System and How it Works.
To watch videos on FasterEFT and to see it in action, visit FasterEFT in Action.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005
“Cognition, Emotion and the Cerebellum”