As a widow, it’s normal to feel like your life is out of control at times. Grief can take over and make it difficult to make decisions, think clearly, and feel like you’re in the driver’s seat. Do you ever wonder who is running your life? The truth is, your life is being run by two parts of your brain: your primitive brain and your thinking brain
Understanding the differences between these two parts of your brain can help you regain control and start making decisions that are in line with your values and goals.
The Primitive Brain
Your primitive brain, also known as the reptilian brain, is responsible for your survival instincts, such as the fight-or-flight response. This part of the brain is also responsible for regulating your basic bodily functions, such as heart rate and breathing. It operates on automatic and doesn’t require conscious thought.
The Thinking Brain
On the other hand, your thinking brain, also known as the neocortex, is responsible for complex problem-solving, decision-making, and thinking. This is the part of the brain that allows you to think critically and make conscious choices.
Unfortunately, our primitive brain often takes over when we’re under stress, and this can lead to decision-making that’s not in line with our values and goals. For example, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, your primitive brain might make you reach for comfort food, even though you know it’s not the best decision for your health.
It says: “Stay in the cave. Stay safe.”
The good news is that you can train your thinking brain to take over, even in stressful situations. By learning to identify when your primitive brain is taking control, you can make a conscious effort to shift to your thinking brain. This can involve practices such as mindfulness, deep breathing, and journaling.
As a widowed person, it’s important to understand that your life is being run by two parts of your brain. By learning to identify when your primitive brain is taking over and making conscious efforts to shift to your thinking brain, you can regain control and start making decisions that are in line with your values and goals. Take care of yourself, and remember that with time and effort, you will come out the other side stronger.
You can do this and I’m here to help.