What IS the Matter of the mind?
June 24, 2012, 1:22 am
Filed under: Behavior, Brain, Mind

Several posts ago – Deep Limbic Happiness – was an intro into the work, research and resulting book Change Your Brain, Change Your Life by neuro-psychiatrist Daniel G. Amen, M.D.

Why am I talking about brain function? Because knowing your own mind is important in the journey to living a happier, simpler life. If you want to create space, simplify or change any negative habits – best to start from the inside out.

The idea is that your brain function will determine how happy you are, how effective you feel, and how well you interact with others. The purpose of the book is to explain brain function and how to optimize it.

There are four brain systems most intimately involved with behavior:

Deep Limbic System – Bonding and mood control center. When off kilter, people struggle with moodiness and negativity.

Basal Ganglia – Controls body’s “idling speed.” When it works too hard = anxiety, panic, fearfulness and conflict avoidance. When underactive = concentration struggles and fine motor control problems.

Prefrontal Cortex – Supervisor of the brain right in the front. Helps focus, plan making, impulse control, decision making. When underactive, people have problems supervising themselves and have issue with attention span, focus, organziation and follow-through.

Cingulate System – Gear shifter. Allows you to shift attention from thought to thought and between behaviors. When overactive = people become stuck in certain loops of thoughts or behaviors.

“I believe it benefits almost everyone to know as much about how his or her own brain works as possible. Most of the problems discussed… such as moodiness, anxiety, irritability, inflexibility, and worrying, are faced by large numbers of the population. Most do not require professional help, but rather effective, brain-based prescriptions to optimize the brain’s effectiveness. Since the brain controls our behavior, optimizing its function can help nearly anyone’s ability to be more effective in life.” – Daniel G. Amen M.D.

To read more find the link “Brain Change” on the left-hand side of the blog.

Be Happy.


Improve Focus.

Get Over It!


1 Comment so far
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That makes a lot of sense. Just as learning about healthy eating will give you a heads up on the best way to maximize your physical health, so is learning about the brain, for our mental health. Let the search begin.

Comment by Daidree

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