Like others, you may question the value of getting to know the inner workings of your brain. What does knowing how your brain works have to do with your health and healing, and the health of key relationships in your life? Why get so deep, you may ask?
Studies show that knowledge of how your brain works has healthful effects on key relationships. In his observations, researcher and author of The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We are, Daniel Siegel, MD states that, “the human brain is a relationship organ.” It’s designed to relate. Here are at least five benefits of getting to know it better:
1. It builds your knowledge and understanding.
When you have another frame of reference from which to understand yourself, you increase your understanding of yourself and life. This understanding allows you to build a better relationship with yourself, based on knowing how your brain and relationships are designed to work together.
2. It centers you in the present moment.
This opens new possibilities for being “present” to loved ones in healing ways. When you attune to what is going on in your body and mind, physically, mentally and emotionally, you gain new insight and perspective, potentially answering many “why” questions about yourself and your past experiences. This also paves the way for processes that can physically alter the neural patterns of your brain in healing ways.
3. It helps you appreciate universal human attributes.
As you develop your understanding of how your brain operates, and the universal strivings for emotional fulfillment and purpose, you have new ways of thinking about your experience and human motivation. You “see” others as unique beings, yet also fellow travelers, on this amazingly mysterious, and shared journey called life.
4. It develops your ability to empathize with others.
The skill of seeing others and understanding where they are coming from, without getting emotionally entangled in “fixing” them or their emotions, is a critical one. Without this, human beings simply do not feel safe enough to give or receive love. Nothing moves forward. Understanding how your brain works, and connecting to yourself in present moments, develops skills for empathy, a foundational nutrient to healthy, mutually enriching relationships.
5. It increases your options, self-discipline and flexibility.
When you are attuned to your mind and body, your ability to regulate your emotional responses is enhanced. This increases your options, self-discipline and flexibility. These qualities make you stronger, more resilient and creative in your responses to challenges. You are less likely to be reactive in your communications. Studies show flexibility is an attribute of happy and influential persons. Others are more likely to be open to your influence when, despite a setback, you remain flexible.
In sum, knowing about your brain increases your self-awareness and connection with others, as it does your ability to be present, empathically connected, and flexible. You expand your range of options with possibility thinking. When you know how your brain works, you are prepared to take the reins of your life as a conscious creator of your emotional responses.
Are you ready to look at any challenges in creating healthy and happy relationships differently?
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Last reviewed: 8 Nov 2011