I was at a community parent group meeting recently in which we had a psychologist come and speak. She said something fascinating that made a lot of sense. She said that when we are under stress, we think less with our frontal cortex and more with our brain stem.
She suggested that our frontal cortex is more responsible for our maturely developed rational thinking and reason. Our brain stem is more to do with our instinctual and habitual thinking that is more juvenile, selfish, and bare survival oriented.
So by this assessment, if we let stress get to us, we become less rational and more reactionary and think more of basic survival than creative problem-solving and advancement. Is that not what happens to us when we let stress get to us and we lose our “courage under fire”. We often say, ” #&@* growth! I just want to survive this thing”.
This can be any problem; work, family, business etc. How many times do we do this in our parenting? Where we feel overwhelmed by the chaos in our home and we end up just wanting reprieve from the chaos rather than solving the problem and helping ourselves and others grow?
I have contended many times that addictions and dysfunctional patterns act as if they have minds of their own. And their goal appears to be to drive us to the sidelines of life, rather than in the game. On the sidelines, we cannot help move the ball up the field. We are laying there injured and unable to contribute to the progress of our own life.
To keep moving the ball toward the goal, we must remain in the game. Therefore, our ability to handle stress must improve as we recover and mature so we are not just surviving, but thriving. We can build success upon success. This can take us to newer and greater heights in whatever area of our lives we wish.