Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Our complex brains

A recent article in AARP The Magazine reminds us of the three parts of the brain and how differently they function. The limbic brain controls emotions and is that part that helps us love our young and connect with others. The reptilian brain is the control center for fear and aggression and runs on negative reinforcement; it's purely physical. And the thinking brain is all about thought and words.

Interestingly, the article says that research has shown that most of the time our emotions are in the lead, perhaps because we are social creatures. Staying connected is vitally important to us. Connections used to be for sheer survival but now they're also about adding joy and pleasure to our lives. Connections with others have been shown to extend life in humans, too. And we consider it a quality of life issue.

That said, it's important that we nurture those connections and relationships in our lives and maintain them, especially as we age. Fostering connections fosters positive emotions, and that reduces stress and loneliness.

To whom can we reach out today? And which relationships need some nurturing and tending? Let today be the day to put relationships at the top of the list.

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