Most likely you have a multitude of memories some worth remembering and some not so much. These memories have left some sort of emotional effect on you and possibly how you live you presently live your life.  How does that happen? Enter your brain.

Although “science” has recently come out with much evidence showing how the brain is the road map to our emotions, holistic medicine has known this for years. In her book “Buried Feelings Alive Never Die,” Karol Truman provides evidence of how when we don’t identify and name our emotions, thus unconsciously burying them, we let them ferment and keep us from loving ourselves and having fulfilling relationships. On her website, “Healing Feelings,”, she invites you to a questionnaire that will guide you to evaluate your feelings and what impact they have on your life.

To give a balanced view of science and the brain I took an excerpt from Anthony W. Richardson’s take on how the brain influences us. He was demonstrating how it effects marketing ourselves, but I thought his paragraph called “And Now, Science!” could shed some light on how our emotions are connected with our memories.

And Now, Science!

As mammals we have four major parts, or “lobes”, in the cerebral cortex of our brains. The frontal lobe has the primary responsibility of recognizing future consequences from current actions and to choose between good and bad actions. In short, it is built for your planning, reasoning as well as memories. It then takes these memories and associates them with the emotions that corresponded to the memories. If you do something and it feels good or bad, you gain an associated memory of that occurrence and you adjust your next actions accordingly. The frontal lobe is kind of like if a whiny kid was in charge of a Dewey Decimal system. It is ultimately sensitive but instead of candy it wants dopamine. Credit Anthony W. Richardson (@WebFugitive)

Here is a short YouTube version of how the brain works on our emotions. It says more in two minutes than a college professor can in a whole semester.

Perhaps the most demonstrative learning comes from a school teacher who holds a class on emotional and social learning. Please watch. It will tear your heart up!

In conclusion, you may find that the people you have encounters with have a difficult time expressing themselves to you, but I do believe that with trying to understand “where the other guy is coming from” thereby engaging in empathy, tense relationships can become better and good ones can become great!

From experience I know that as bitter a pill it may be, everyone on some level wants to hear the truth. And honesty is the only way to learn. Being honest requires thoughtful responses. There are strategies to this process, if you will.

  1. Consider the time you want to respond. Is this the best time? Is it too soon after the experience or situation with this person? Are you ready to be able to respond to anything they may dish out? Do you  think they’re ready to listen?
  2. Where is the right place? Surely, a special event or holiday is NOT the place to introduce your ideas of what is true to the recipient! Ask them IF they’d like to meet and how? Telephone? Local coffee shop? With another person present?
  3. The right intensity is imperative! Like a great speech you want to be able to control your voice and gestures. Can you lower your voice? It has great impact on the recipient. They will take you more seriously. Can you deliver in a paced, measured way? Reciting expletives like a typewriter will get you nowhere! But a slower, more deliberate way of talking can emphasize the right points.
  4. Lastly, “rehearse” this meeting with someone you know and trust; someone who has a level head; someone who may have insights you aren’t seeing. This will take out some of the anxiety of what you are about to do and help tell your brain what you want to remember to say and how you want to say it.

Here’s to creating meaningful memories!

If you want a “tune-up” contact me at 708.253.5600.

Linda McCarrin & Associates, LLC – Your Personal & Professional Development Resource.