Our primitive brain can be an asshole sometimes.
This is the part of our brain that keeps us safe and alive. It is constantly scanning the horizon for danger.
You know, lions and tigers and bears and stuff.
It doesn’t know we live in a world of Whole Foods and WiFi now….so it can get a little confused.
It’s also the part of our brain that gives us the urge to do things…. Like punch someone in the face when they make a rude comment.
Luckily, as humans, we have evolved to have a prefrontal cortex to make our rational decisions…and to tell our primitive brain that punching someone in the face isn’t typically a great idea.
When our primitive brains offer us the solution of punching someone in the face, we choose not to listen to it.
So when it offers that everything is awful and we are not ok, we don’t have to listen either.
With the chronic daily stress we have as OB/GYN’s plus a pandemic, our primitive brain may be in overdrive telling us that we should run back to the cave to escape the lion.
This often shows up as anxiety and fear of the unknown and BURNOUT.
Of course our primitive brains are worried. Of course they are. We’ve never been through a pandemic.
But it doesn’t mean we aren’t ok. Right now, in the moment, nothing has gone wrong for most of us.
Sometimes it helps to remind our primitive brain that we aren’t being chased by a lion.
Some of my favorite thoughts to practice when my primitive brain is in overdrive:
“Of course you’re worried brain, but it’s OK. We are safe.”
“Things ARE hard right now brain, but we will figure it out. “
“Thanks, no thanks brain. I’ve got this.”
“Everything is figure-out-able.”
Borrow one of mine or find your own. But tell your primitive brain to chill out. You’ve got this.