Updated: Jan 14
“Man is what he believes.”
Beliefs empower our core values and principles and offer direction for our choices. They are based on the perceptions of external stimuli or memory. Accepting something to be true without the executive function of belief can leave a person feeling empty and hopeless. We choose our thoughts based on experience, and they become our reality.
Beliefs mingle with our emotions, and the emotional brain receives external stimuli from our five senses or sensory framework. This has a broader impact on the concept of mind, body, and spirit than the structures of the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus alone. Sensory input gets analyzed according to stimuli from the environment. Once neurologically directed to the frontal lobes and prefrontal cortex, our executive function analysis-decision making, short-term memory, and planning of the stimuli begins. We become consciously aware and catalog this information as part of our beliefs.
For example, you get a ticket for a train; all the seats are assigned by car. You walk the long aisle going from car to car. But, when you arrive at the assigned train car, it is for animals where sheep, goats, and ducks are kept. There is a stall marked with your ticket number. How does that make you feel? If you're a city person probably mortified. If you are a country person who likes animals and grew up on a farm, you would feel at home. Two different realities because of previous experience using executive function. The city person accustomed to tea and crumpets or the country person accustomed to drinking black coffee from a porcelain mug and dunking day-old herb bread. The conscious analysis is based on memories or immediate stimuli if not experienced before.
We have choices; to be stuck in emotional disquiet with a feeling of lack (negative emotion). Or, we can choose to change our thoughts through the use of positive, more uplifting language. Embracing this can shift our behavior and change our beliefs. Over time can change the reactive behavior to one of forethought and responsiveness.
Consider a positive use of executive function. Embrace my favorite acronym for HABIT. A (H)ealthy (A)ttitude changes (B)ehavior and (I)nitiates (T)houghtfulness. Give your beliefs a boost with a random act of kindness. That thoughtfulness will envelop you and those around you with uplifting, positive emotions and nudge your beliefs.
Blessings in health this new year.