What are you wired at?

Over the past few weeks we’ve introduced some of the Emotional Brain Training concepts (see this post and this post). Today we’ll discuss the foundation of EBT- brain states.

Laurel Mellin, the founder of EBT outlines 5 different brain states. (The following is just a summary; for more detail please see our EBT page or pick up Laurel’s book Wired for Joy.)

Brain State 1: My brain is balanced. I am in the present moment, feeling happy, satisfied and rewarded. My thoughts are focused and clear and I am creative and able to problem solve. It is easy for me to make healthy choices from this state.

Brain State 2: I am still feeling balanced although not quite as rewarded or satisfied as Brain State 1. My thoughts are concrete and I am productive. My feelings are mostly positive and I still make healthy choices most of the time.

Brain State 3: My brain is on the verge of a stress response. My thoughts are more rigid, my feelings more negative or I may find I don’t have any feelings (I feel numb or checked out). My cravings are starting to surface and it is hard to talk myself into making the healthy choices. The 4 year old is starting to take charge!

Brain State 4: My brain is definitely stressed. My feelings are more reactive which means instead of feeling angry, I am feeling hostile or I am numb.

Brain State 5: My brain is in a full blown stress response or I am totally shut down (in survival mode). My behaviors are not healthy and my thoughts are rigid and repetitive – I am stuck in a rut! Lizzie (my reptilian brain) is in charge and my cravings are on automatic pilot.

During a normal day we shift between all five brain states. The problem is when we spend too much time at 4 or 5 because we can get stuck there.

Take a moment during your day and see if you can identify when you are at 1,2,3,4, or 5. What brain state do you feel you are in most?

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Revive Wellness is a team of private practice Dietitians in Edmonton. We provide customized nutrition and wellness coaching that empowers Canadians to live with energy, vitality & health! www.revivewellness.ca

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