Christian Stress Release

What Is Stress Really – Your Brain (Part 5)

Plastic model of a brain, cut in half

God designed your brain to survive this cursed world. Unfortunately this includes losing some cognitive functions when you’re stressed.

Here’s a video from the psychologist who invented the hand model described in the podcast.

For the month of March, we’re going to talk about how God designed you to operate, looking specifically at the Anatomy of your Brain and Nervous System. These are the 2 main bodily systems that make up your mental health from a physical perspective.

 

By understanding how God created you, you can begin to look at why He created you in this way. From there, you can understand how satan is distorting God’s creation to hurt you. Finally, you can find the right resources to help counteract satan’s attack, to bring the peace of Jesus into your mental and emotional self.

 

Today, we’re going to start by talking about your brain.

Your Brain

God designed your brain with 3 main parts, that have 3 individual jobs, but work in tandem to run your entire life.

The 3 Parts of Your Brain

The 3 main parts of your brain include:

Diagram of the 3 parts of the brain - brain stem (surviving), limbic system (feeling), neocortex (thinking).

Brain Stem

("The Reptilian Brain")

The Brain Stem part of your brain is responsible for survival. It controls your breathing; heart rate; Fight, Flight or Freeze responses; all of your automatic functions that keep you alive.

 

It’s called the Reptilian Brain because it’s identical to a reptile’s. Their brain’s literally just exist to keep them alive with survival instincts.

Limbic System

("The Mammalian Brain")

The Limbic System part of your brain is responsible for emotional things. It controls your emotions, memory, imagination, dreams, rewards, pleasure and pain, and safety.

 

It’s called the Mammalian Brain because it’s identical to a mammal’s (think your dog or cat). Their brains include both the Reptilian Brain and the Mammalian Brain. They exist to keep them alive with survival instincts, and emotionally bond through their emotions and memory.

Neocortex

("The Human Brain")

The Neocortex part of your brain is responsible for cognitive thought. It controls your logic, reasoning, self-awareness, analysis and planning.

 

It’s called the Human Brain because it’s unique to humans. It allows you to know and understand that you exist in this world. It also gives you the ability to know and understand God your Creator, which animals can’t.

When your brain determines that you are safe, you live in the state of Rest & Digest, and all 3 parts of your brain are online functioning optimally.

What Happens to Your Brain When You're Stressed?

When your brain gets stressed (the bad stress), it prioritizes your survival. This means that it will promote the essential survival functions, and shut-down all the non-essential functions.

 

Here’s the order of that priority:

1.

Brain Stem

("The Reptilian Brain")

2.

Limbic System

("The Mammalian Brain")

3.

Neocortex

("The Human Brain")

Diagram of the 3 parts of the brain when stressed.

Your brain stem and limbic system are online keeping you alive. They record the moments in your life as memories, along with any details about the “potential danger” (ie. stress) that just came your way, so that you can avoid it in the future.

 

*This is a gift from God to keep you alive, and help you automatically avoid these situations later in life.

 

Your Neocortex shuts offline and literally doesn’t function. Consider it unplugged, like a power outage. You have no cognitive functions when you’re in survival mode. This helps save your life, as you wouldn’t be able to think your way through your own survival. (God knew you’d overthink it and freeze).

 

When you’re actually in physical danger, this is awesome. You don’t need to think about how to run or fight physical danger, like a mountain lion or a mugger in a dark alley. You just need to run and fight like heaven to survive.

 

It’s when you’re in emotional overwhelm (ie. stress), that it becomes an issue.

 

Your brain, as awesome as it is, doesn’t know the difference between physical danger and emotional overwhelm. These survival instincts kick in, assuming the worst, and now you have no cognitive function, even when you’re physically safe.

 

This is why when you’re stressed, you can’t think clearly and make irrational decisions that have unfortunate consequences. You lose our keys, forget your schedule, agree to things you can’t show up for, spend money you never should have, etc., etc.

 

Satan knows this. He uses this vulnerability to attack you and convince you to do all kinds of things that don’t help you. Which is where help comes in.

 

Queue mental health resources to help you release your stress.

How Do You Get Your Brain Out of Survival Mode?

When you shift your brain out of survival mode, you bring it back into the state of Rest & Digest. This brings your Neocortex back online, giving you cognitive function again, along with a whole bunch of other benefits.

 

The Christian Stress Release Membership is here to help you do just that. It helps you shift your brain out of the stress response (ie. survival mode), back into the safety of the present moment (ie. the state of Rest & Digest). And helps you get your brain fully back online so that  you can think clearly and get back to your life in the state of peace.

 

Jesus wants you to rest and live in His peace.

 

If you’re interested in on-demand mental health resources to help you with your stress, you can check them out here.

 

I’m praying for you

   – L aura

Want Laura On Your Blog?

Hey Beautiful Lady,

I just moved across the country and am unable to give the weekly podcast, blog and newsletter emails the attention they need and deserve. I’m postponing them until Tuesday (7/2). If you need help healing, you can find links for Practitioners here. I’m praying for you 🤍

Laura