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    "Tips on Dream Work"


    Relationships * Mindfulness * Spiritual Counseling * Dream Work

The 2 Brains in the Head

“Brain 1 and Brain 2”

(with apologies to Dr. Seuss and to pain management physicians and health care providers)

Pain is all about survival. Pain is an intense warning that danger lurks and life may be threatened. Imagine this super-simplistic explanation:

We have 2 Brains.

Brain 1 is “old”, always looks for emergencies to help us stay alive. It hates pain because pain is an emergency and must be stopped. Brain 1 doesn’t think, it reacts.

Brain 2 is “new”, thinks and plans, uses logic to solve problems.

Brain 1 is so powerful, it floods Brain 2 with anxiety to stop the pain.

That is why we can’t think when we are in pain. Brain 1 is screaming “stop the pain!”

However, Brain 2 is powerful, also. You can train Brain 2 to be in charge more and reduce the screaming and pain messages from Brain 1. Here’s how to increase the power of Brain 2:

Breathe. Use Brain 2 to focus on your breathing for a few minutes. Breathe in, breathe out, deeply. This will give you a rest.

Direct Your Thinking. Focus your thoughts on a topic, memory, place or passion that captures your attention. Keep a list ahead of time to use when you need it.

Journal. Use Brain 2 to write down your thoughts, no matter what. On paper, vent your hurt, anger, pain, grief. No censoring. As you write, curse, scream, yell, cry, sing, pray or whatever your feel. Writing engages Brain 2. Keep it private. Maybe burn it later before anyone sees it.

Dr. Royce Fitts
(308) 631-2398