Reptilian brain update

Which gets more sympathy, a broken leg or a broken heart? You guessed it ... the broken leg. "When we see someone with a broken leg, we feel his pain instantly. But it takes a bit longer to feel compassion for a broken heart, say researchers from the University of Southern California." (NPR story)

So, now that our "processing" handicap on the feelings side is on record ... what are we going to do to bring balance to the mind-body equation? How can we speed up the processing of complex feelings? Could feelings be the future of our species development? Or have we left the mind behind (temporarily or permanently) for some evolutionary reason?

It's my bias that insight into how we (and others) process (or don't process) feelings is a key component of adult development. Shit happens and knowing how to process it gives you (and your offspring) a key evolutionary advantage. With rates of addiction, anxiety and depression on the rise, I wonder whether better processing of complex feelings holds the key to healing psychic pain ... This is a thought/belief that lots of us share.

It is exciting to envision the comfort a human might receive in that moment when he/she is full of grief and a friend remains confident in her understanding about how to soothe it. She doesn't avoid or skirt or buckle the messiness of the feelings before her. He doesn't turn the complexity of the friend's stress into a Hallmark moment, with "Love, John" scribbled onto the $2 card.

What about you? Do you think feelings like grief might heal faster if we had a bit of mastery to offer one another? Might we be able to elicit healing and help "birth" feelings the way we "birth" athletic achievements in our communities?

The mind has a powerful influence over the body. If the system discourages processing complex feelings (it does) then we fail to learn how to master the flow and surge of emotion as it unfolds within us. This is a major loss of potent intelligence. ...

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