Apr 17, 2021 in Life Coaching

Rational Brain vs Emotional Brain

This is a very simplified version of how our brain works.

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Prefrontal Cortex is our rational brain the most evolved part of the brain, it's what sets us apart from all other species. It's the part of the brain we use to imagine, to set goals, to plan, to problem solve, to manage our emotions, to keep ourselves focused on a task etc. The Limbic System instead is our emotional brain, it’s impulsive, in fact it’s much faster than our rational brain. It’s where our instinctive emotional and motivational behaviours come from. For example, when someone angers you and you feel like shouting at them (that is your Limbic system) but you keep your composure (that is your PFC that has intervened).

Unlike the limbic system, the PFC requires a lot of energy to work, and its energy gets depleted throughout the day like your phone. The lower the energy level the more the limbic system would take over during decision making, think about how impatient you get when you are hungry. While we might be tempted to find a way to only use our rational brain, our lymbic system is actually very useful because it's the that will keep you alive if all of a sudden you see a car approching fast while you are crossing the road, if we leave it to our PFC we might not have the time to just jump off the road and it's teh one that makes you jump out of joy when you receive a good news. The secret is to know when it's best to use one and the other, if you want to learn to manage your anger for instance you want to exercise your PFC for example. Coaching can you give you that space you need to find your own way to take a pause and manage situations in the best way.

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