When we feel overwhelmed or anxious, the front part of our brain can ‘go offline’.
There’s three parts of our front brain:
1.) The Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (front left).
Used for timekeeping; problem solving; planning; memory; impulse control and reality testing.
2.) The Medial prefrontal cortex (front middle).
Used for keeping us grounded; sensing the body; reflective functioning and empathy.
3.) The right orbitofrontal cortex (front right).
Used to keep us engaged; calm; rational and verbally reasoning.
So, when under stress, those three parts can go into despair, dissociation and disengagement.
I recently attended one of Carolyn Spring’s workshops where she discusses the idea of having an emergency box containing items that might be helpful in keeping your front brain online during a crisis.
I have previously created a similar emergency box with a client and they found it very helpful.
Below is a few of Carolyn’s suggestions to keep in the box and one of her mantra cards: