Welcome to part 3 of 3: Courage Rewires the Brain
In Part #1 we learned about the types of “10x stress”, a quick embodiment exercise from Charity Martin that we can use any place, any time, as well as some emergency measures to not create more stress, while we are already behind, from Martha Borst.
In Part #2, we learned about the new (and old) skill of Noticing. Dr. Blanchard gave us a simple recipe: “Notice something you’ve never noticed before. Let it go. Notice something different”, an almost absurdly simple instruction with profound results, if practiced over time. Patricia James’ indigenous perspective gave other angles, with the same message, just keep noticing.
Today, we talk about how the skill of courage (redefined) is critical to move to action, to take concrete, tangible, conscious action in parts of our lives where stress sneaks in. It’s the taking of the action, and seeing the results, that rewires our brain. It’s the rewiring that’s profound here – and the latest neuroscience teaches us now better than ever on how to use “neuroplasticity” to our advantage. By now, you should not be surprised that both ancient peoples and today’s Indigenous peoples have pretty much the same lessons, just from millennia ago.
Ready to go?
Part #3 of 3: Courage to Take Right Action Rewires the Brain
3.A. Neuroplasticity and Stress
Stress causes not just chemical secretions we really don’t need coursing through our veins, but also literally shrinks and swells parts of our brains. But we can also rewire it the way that works.
3.B: Breaking it Down: Step by Step
Problem: “10x Stress”
One possible solution: Train yourself to pause, embody, notice, choose courage (in small steps), take action, see feedback from your action –-> create new neural pathways.
3.C: Different Views of Courage
Different perspectives on courage from various traditions are often far removed from the everyday notions we have of muscular, fearless heroines and heroes, leaping off buildings and rushing into the fire without a flinch. Emotional courage, mental courage, and spiritual courage are much more subtle, and much more useful, frankly.
Wait, wait, there is one more thing… 3.D: Punchline and Next Steps 😊
Putting it all together!
Here we are, some different perspectives from science, nature, and cross-cultural wisdoms on other ways to understand and develop courage, and with that courage, to take thoughtful and heartful action. IT’s the seeing of the results of the action that may contribute the most to the rewiring of our brain, because our brain knows “it worked” – we don’t have to use willpower to remember, the body and the brain will store the lesson in the same place it stores all working lessons – everywhere! This one takes a bit of experimentation, start small and safe, and build from there. Let’s put it all together for today: