Brain Science – Emotional Styles – Part 5

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 11.31.37 PMIn the last month, we have gone over the different emotional styles of the brain, deeply covering resilience to adversityoutlook and how brain patterns either persist or change. In this post, we will dig deeper into another part of the emotional styles – self-awareness.

Self-awareness refers to both awareness of your body – meaning the heartbeat or respiration rate and the feeling of what is on your skin – as well as what you feel emotionally. Have you ever had someone say to you “you seem angry?” and your response was “no, I’m not angry.”?  Or vice verse? It could very well be true that you or the other person was indeed angry and giving off the energy, yet not aware. Many of us at times have bouts of failure of self-awareness, which comes from the insula. The insula has what is called a viscerotropic mass – viscero refers to the interior organs and tropic refers to the placement, the representation of those organs.

People with a very active insula seem to be extremely self-aware, both emotionally and physically. When we discussed positive outlook and the ability to bounce back from a setback (being resilient), it sounds as if only one of the ends of this spectrum is the place to be as who would not want to be happy and ore resilient, right? However, this is not necessarily the case and with self-awareness you tend see where you may need to improve on yourself even more.

Self-awareness starts with just that – awareness. When you begin to analyze and pay attention to your mind (thoughts) and body (heartbeat, touch, etc.) you become more self-aware. Once one becomes even slightly self-aware, especially when analyzing where they currently are in their lives, they will likely try to change if they feel that it would improve their life. This is a great step towards a better life and better relationships.

Next post, we will wrap up our series of the emotional styles of the brain with ways to strengthen and improve all of the styles.

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