The LAF Brain (the function few people talk about)

Uncategorized Dec 14, 2020

Today I have a mama-drama-at-grocery-store story for you.... AND I am about to get sciencey on you, but it's worth the read. There are three parts to the brain. Many people know about them... but there is one FUNCTION of the brain that few people talk about, and I refer to it as The LAF Brain.

THE BASICS (and the mama-drama)

First up is the brain stem, the part that makes it possible for your body to function without thinking about it. Meaning: your heart pumps; blood circulates, food digests, you to breathe, blink, sleep, and have the ability to move your muscles WITHOUT having a conversation with your body.

(AS IN: "OK, calf-muscle... time to contract so I can stretch and pretend to ALMOST reach the chips on the top of this grocery shelf." #shortpeopleproblems)

Second is the limbic system, which controls the emotions you FEEL in your body... for example, when you feel angry, the heart races, your face feels flushed, and your palms sweat. This physical experience indicates that your FIGHT response is now triggered. OR When you feel scared, your body starts to tremble, your vision distorts, your hearing becomes super sensitive, and your FLIGHT response is triggered. Or you have activated the FREEZE response when, say, you are embarrassed or feeling shame. You shrink your posture, essentially making yourself smaller and easier to "hide," you lose your voice, and your body might feel like it's weighted down, making it hard to move.

(AS IN: Feeling flushed, annoyed, and crabby when some dude at the grocery taunts your inability to reach something and mocks you by needing to hear the "magic word" to get the damn chips down from the top shelf... ahem. That's the limbic system.)

The third part of the brain is the cerebral cortex, and it serves cognitive functions, meaning it is what allows you to have conscious thoughts.

(as in: "Seriously, Dude? <insert eye roll> Why? Why is he talking to me like that? OMG. I wonder if he talks to his girlfriend like that. Whatever. I'd be surprised if he has a girlfriend. Why did that guy have to be such a jerk? GAH! What is wrong with people. I just need a hand... without the freaking drama.")

This is the "higher" part of our brain that makes us humans different than the other creatures of the world in that we process, sort, retain, and decipher information. It's not just our body saying we are hungry... but the thought process afterward: I'm hungry. What should I eat? How about something healthy? Who am I kidding... It needs to be easy. But yummy. Nachos for the win. Did they move the chips? Oh, wait... here they are on the top shelf."

Now... I call this the "higher" part of our brain in quotations because -while it is higher thinking than the critter's instinct to simply eat/mate/survive- these thoughts are often lower-level thinking that can be FULL of drama. This is what I refer to as the LAF Brain. Lazy As F*ck.

LAF Brain thinks the easiest, lowest, most reactive thoughts without taking a moment to ASK: are these thoughts even real or accurate? Are these thoughts worth my energy? Are these thoughts even serving me? Is this rabbit hole I am going down worth my time?

If you read through my thoughts about the dude at the store (true story, btw), you will notice the fact that the 8-second interaction with a random guy ended up with me have several minutes of unintentional thoughts that were FULL of drama... the exact thing I BLAMED HIM for creating. When, in fact, it was MY brain that went on the downward spiral of lame judgments... aka, boring-AF mind drama.

BUT. I caught myself. I didn't "go there" for long and let it ruin my day because I work on my brain EVERY DAY.

It is incredible to know that we have the capacity to moderate unintentional thoughts... so that we can mature the mind's journey to creating useful, helpful thoughts... so that the instincts of the primitive brain can go from being LAF to #BrilliantAF.

Undoing your LAF Brain takes time, energy, and effort. Most people never give their mind drama a second thought to it being ARBITRARY. Mind drama is a choice. Mind drama is within your control. Your LAF brain is a creature of habit, and it does what it wants unless you demand otherwise.

So, I encourage you to take a minute and notice your thoughts... see where they go and watch the journey your mind takes when you are thinking about things, without really *thinking* about what you are thinking. (<- Also... How annoying and yet thought-provoking is this sentence?)

You can eliminate mind drama. You can take back all of the time, energy, and effort wasted with untrue, unhelpful, and unnecessary thoughts. Ready to unravel the habit of your LAF brain?  I can help. 



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