Tuesday, April 07, 2015

My Crappy Nervous System

I keep learning new stuff.  Scientists are learning more about how our brains and nervous systems work every year and I'm fascinated.  Examples:  Our DNA changes in response to our experiences and then can be inherited by our children.  Our brains and nervous systems change in response to our experiences also. 

Generational trauma is passed down through the generations - so populations like our native Americans and African Americans whose ancestors lived in severe trauma pass down damaged nervous systems.

I'm pretty convinced that I was born with a damaged nervous system.  I think a whole lot of other people are too.  I think that we experience more stressful emotions than "normal" people because our brains don't work right.  BUT we think the feelings we're having are caused by what's happening around us rather than our faulty brains.  So we get more upset and try to figure out how to change the people and circumstances around us.  It never, ever works but we don't notice that.  We just keep trying, getting ever more upset. 

Of course, we are terribly annoying people because the people around us are getting blamed for our upsets and they have no idea what we're talking about.  Finally, they just distance themselves from us or ignore us because - what else would a sane person do?!  And then we used that rejection as an explanation for some of our upsets!

It's a painful merry-go-round that digs itself ever more deeply downward.  We can live a long life in misery unless the stress causes us to contract fatal diseases that cause death before our time.  Or we can get lucky and learn that we have faulty brains and learn how to manage with our disability.

The good news is that the beginning of a better life begins with just finding out we have crappy nervous systems.  It's turns our whole world view upside down.  We stop being intensely critical of everything around us and turn our attention to healing ourselves.

The scientists are learning many, many ways of re-wiring our brains and nervous systems.  A couple of ways that are consistently helpful are meditation and yoga.  I guess those ancient wise people that invented meditation and yoga without having any scientific evidence that they would work were incredibly lucky.  Modern brain scans have been showing changes in the brain in meditators and yoga practitioners for a long time now.  Oddly, not many people seem to be paying attention.

"Mindfulness" of all kinds seems to help messed up brains and calm painful emotions.  I've experienced some mammoth change in my day-to-day life - I'm pretty peaceful.  I sleep better.  I'm less challenged by trying to get along with other people.  I'm more purposeful with my time.

Any way to slow down and pay attention, let go of my beliefs about the negative in life, and choose my purpose for each day will make for a beautiful life instead of the swirling upset I used to live in.

No comments:

Blog Archive