Emotions can be disorienting, detrimental, and downright challenging. One moment your life can be all peace and ease and in the next chaos! As many of us have experienced, in the blink of an eye, everything can change.
Whether it be challenging transitions, the passing of loved ones, or a stuck emotional pattern, our Nervous System is taxed with the responsibility of helping us process what is happening in our life. If we are clear and connected, emotions can become a guiding compass for us understanding ourselves on a deeper level.
And yet, we can struggle to find clarity through all sorts of life’s crazy challenges. Processing and learning from our emotions is much easier said than done. As you continue to make decisions with your Ideal 100 Year Lifestyle in mind, it may be beneficial to consider the possibility that your emotions hold more value than you think!
Our emotional brain is essential for our body’s ability to process. It is called the “Limbic System,” a complex compilation of different nerve groupings with different functions. Here is a quick guide to understanding the key aspects of your brain’s Limbic System:
Amygdala: This tiny almond-shaped structure is known for helping the Nervous System evaluate potential threats. It can trigger the “fight or flight” response and is also responsible for conditional learning (based on reward or punishment).
Hippocampus: Memory formation and storage.
Thalamus: This is the “Amazon Prime” of the brain, delivering messages from the coming up from the body to the appropriate processing centers. It plays an essential role in connecting the rest of the Limbic System to other aspects of the Nervous System.
Hypothalamus: This is the key regulatory center, constantly taking in physiologic messages such as breathing rate and metabolism. This is the part of your brain that triggers you into the agitated known as “hanger” when your blood sugar levels have dropped.
Cingulate Gyrus: Associates sights and smells with pleasant memories of previous emotions. It also plays a role in processing our conscious emotional experience.
Basal Ganglia: Think of this as the “dimmer switch” for the brain’s motor output, capable of inhibiting certain behaviors such as talking out of turn.
All of these parts of the Limbic System play a crucial role in directing our Nervous System. We want to respond with the appropriate fear, “fight or flight” response should a big grizzly bear appear on your hike. And, how often is our body stuck in this type of pattern when there is no emergency?
When there is interference to the Nervous System, its ability to respond appropriately is distorted. With this distorted signaling, our emotional response may become unregulated and dramatic. We may become overly aggressive or act out in a way we later regret. Maybe, we find ourselves in a recurrent emotional loop, replaying the same pattern again and again.
Only once we make the healthy decisions necessary can we ensure our brain and body are working together with the emotions we experience. By receiving Lifestyle Chiropractic Care, the Limbic System receives clearer information from the rest of the body. When we eat a healthy diet with regular aerobic exercise, our blood sugar levels stabilize and our emotional response to hunger becomes much less dramatic. All of these decisions work together to help our brain and body form a healthier relationship through our emotions.
Perhaps most importantly, we need community. By reaching out to family, friends and other supportive roles in your life, you are taking the first step towards forming a more healthy relationship with your emotions: vulnerability. This act of bravery goes a long way and can lead us to brilliant discoveries and experiences. When we make vulnerability a regular occurrence in our life, emotions become healthy opportunities to learn about ourselves and move through life challenges!
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