If you thought you’d learn new skills or get creative during lockdown, you may have been disappointed. And it's not your fault, whatever your critical inner voice tells you.
The reason is that your brain has three distinct regions, described by neuroscientist MacLean as the triune brain. One section, the brainstem, focuses on survival. Another, the limbic system, is linked to emotions and our need for connection, while the third, the prefrontal cortex, controls intellectual functioning, language and self awareness.
During life-threatening situations like the pandemic, your brain defaults to its survival instinct. We can rarely learn new skills or think logically when we are experiencing fight and flight reactivity. But once the danger has passed, we can recognize which skills we would like to develop to prepare for future challenges. How can we learn to maintain equanimity in the face of struggles?
With the easing of restrictions and increased access to the support of loved ones, now is the best time to train your mind. A kind mind knows how to take care of your triune brain, with compassion for its difficulties. Mindfulness and Compassion are innate skills, yet can also be cultivated for the next time we face a threat to our equanimity. If you would like to learn how to ‘be kind to your mind’, have a look through the different options below:
What practices can you learn to be kind to the mind?