Brainpower concept with illuminated brain illustration. Brainpower concept with illuminated brain illustration.

How to Outsmart Your Primitive Brain?

Our brain is the most complex organ of our body, the controlling and coordinating center of the body. It decides and tells all our body parts what functions do they have to perform, so basically, the brain is the leader of our body.

Does this, in any sense, imply that we can not control our brain, or can we not outsmart its working? Surprisingly, the answer is no, and let’s see how.

1. The Decision Making

We clearly know that all decision-making is done by a leader, but it is our brain, and we are eventually the leader of this leader, so that means that we have to take care of the big decision-making process.

Let us understand where we lack, how the brain reacts, and what changes we can make to bring about the desired action.

So, let’s assume a situation where we are given a task to perform and assume that it is outside of our comfort zone.

How to Outsmart Your Primitive Brain
Image by holdendrils from Pixabay

Now, this can be different for different people; for some people, public speaking is very challenging. For others, it might be learning how to drive, yet for others, it can be something as basic as interacting with new people at a social gathering.

In such cases, we need to take care of the words we choose to describe the tasks at hand. If we say, I’m scared to do this/that, so I cannot do it, or I’m not so good at it so that I might fail or other similar phrases.

2. The Negative Thinking Loop of the Brain

Even without starting the whole task, our brain gets wired to fall into this loop of negative feelings about the task, and it is highly likely that it may not be able to perform the task now.

What should be done is that you should not create a mental situation where your cerebral brain thinking moves to the limbic brain.

This happens because when you are scared or skeptical, the logical and informative part partly shuts down, and the emotional and reaction-producing part of the brain gets activated.

How to Outsmart Your Primitive Brain
By Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

This obviously does not work in your favor because the task at hand can not be handled emotionally.

Rather, you should take a timeout, a few long breaths, so that your cerebral brain can catch up with the limbic brain and make more viable and logical reasoning to get the work done.

3. Feed Your Brain

You must have noticed that when you have a task with a deadline, you try to complete it as soon as possible because your effort might go completely to waste if the deadline passes.

If you compare the same with actually important tasks but without a deadline, you will observe that our brain tries to push those off or procrastinate somehow.

How to Outsmart Your Primitive Brain
Source: Depositphotos

This is a problem, but the solution to the problem is very easy and it is just that the brain needs to be fed with the exact and requisite information about each task. So, try to make small listicles or whiteboards for tasks that need to be done.

Decide days and fix times and schedules for each task. Make sure you have some form of constant reminder of what all needs to be done, and you have it in front of your eyes to create that mental trigger.

4. Preventing Procrastination

There is a plethora of small tasks that need to be done literally every day, which are sad, boring, or even monotonous. Our brain does not even feel like doing them.

Our brain is designed in a way that we seek gratification, so we are wired to find tasks that give us quick satisfaction and gratification.

How to Outsmart Your Primitive Brain
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

When this happens, we feel a sense of accomplishment and happiness, which releases a hormone called dopamine in the body, which provides us pleasure and, thus, motivation to do more and better.

4.1. Hardest First, Easiest Last

No matter how easy, quick or appealing small tasks look like, always do the more time consuming difficult tasks first, in this way you will not carry the burden of finishing it all the time.

Plus, when you do the most difficult task, you will feel very happy and satisfied and have a good dopamine kick. So, now doing other tasks will be super easy.

How to Outsmart Your Primitive Brain
Source: Depositphotos

4.2. Make Mini Umbrellas under your Big Umbrella

Since we know getting dopamine rushes is somehow the key to success at getting your tasks done, design your work in a fashion broken down into small tasks that can be completed easily.

Now, each time you complete a task, you will be motivated for more, and this will eventually help you complete your big goal.

How to Outsmart Your Primitive Brain
Source: Depositphotos

4.3. Take Timeouts and Reward Yourself

Try timed working; set up small time-based goals throughout the day, like 10-30-minute tasks.

After completing each task, take a small break and relax. Basically, you first work and then reward yourself with whatever makes you happy.

How to Outsmart Your Primitive Brain
Source: Depositphotos

With all the information that we have gathered by far, we know a few things. Firstly, we should not be stressing so that our cerebral/logical brain keeps on functioning and does not give access to our limbic/emotional brain.

Secondly, that gratification or dopamine release is necessary to motivate yourself continuously. So, to facilitate that, make sure you are aware of your gratification so you can either talk about your feelings or, even better, write them down in a journal.

Lastly, learn to be grateful for everything in life, appreciate life, and live happily.

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