Our Primitive Brain
MINDmgt | 3:34
Much of what happens in the mind is a result of automatic neural processing in the reptilian brain stem and mammalian mid-brain. Our 2 million year-old modern brain evolved on the savannas, as we banded together in small groups, and scanned the horizon for danger.
In that environment, any change in circumstance or behavior could be a signal of existential threat - and anxiety, apprehension and fear were critical survival mechanisms. As a result, we’ve inherited brains that instantly recognize and prioritize negative input.
Organized society represents less than .005% of human history, and it has emerged and matured faster than our brains can evolve to adapt. Life-threatening episodes have been replaced by mental challenges, but our brains can’t yet tell the difference - so the modern human condition is to be continually grappling with unpleasant and mostly irrational fear, anxiety and worry.
Reducing stress, depression and chronic illness starts with this fundamental understanding, and with mental strategies for overcoming this default evolutionary programming.