We’re not quite there yet [We need to know how the brain works first] | RISE Macclesfield | Group Personal Training gym weight loss programmes

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Yesterday I covered an overview of the “The 7 “big fat lies” you’ve been told about yourself”.

And I said I’d start with number one today.

But, I’ve changed my mind.

I started writing it.

But there was something ‘missing’.

There’s more that you’d benefit from me covering before then.

It’ll put context to the rest of it.

It’s worth it – I promise.

We need to cover how the brain works.

What can be called the “rules of neuro-science”.

1. The brain is a pattern recognition machine

All day every day it’s taking in tonnes and tonnes of information.

It has to quickly process all that and decide on appropriate responses.

To keep us safe primarily.

It looks for patterns in what it “sees” (other senses are available).

“Where’ve I seen this before?” it might say.

If it had to treat every bit of information it receives as completely fresh, with no comparison to past exposure to that information, we wouldn’t be able to handle a fraction of what we do.

There are no “good or bad” or “right or wrong” patterns.

Just patterns.

That our brain has discovered.

And it hates that ‘open loop’.

When it doesn’t know what to do.

It seeks to close that pattern however it can.

2. It then uses the patterns to make predictions

The speed and angle of that car coming towards us.

The position of those steps, that knife, the chair and everything else.

What that person just said.

The words in that email.

Our brain quickly makes predictions as to what that means.

What’s going to happen next.

What that means to us.

3. It uses those predictions to create a responses

Based on what’s happening and a comparison to what happened before in similar situations, the brain decides how to respond.

4. It uses those responses to create safety

We make sure that car doesn’t hit us, that we safely descend those steps, that we sit directly onto the chair and so on.

We reply (verbally or on the email) in what we feel is an appropriate way.

5. A safe brain gets to ‘play’ in creativity and forward thinking

There are studies that show the more creative ‘right’ side of the brain literally ‘switching on’ only when the left side of the brain knows we are safe.

6. An unsafe brain gets chained to historically safe behaviours (habits)

The brain knows a way that will quickly alleviate how we’re feeling right now.

It might not be the perfect way (especially long term) but it’s a way that works at that point.

Inhaling a bottle of wine or a tub of Ben & Jerry’s.

Binge watching box sets when we have important work we know we should do.

Staying late at work when we could be going for a workout or to spend time with family.

Part of us knows that they’re not the best decision(s).

But they make us feel safe in some way at that point.

7. Everything that your brain allows you to do is the result of minimising threat which, in turn, is the result of increasing prediction

We get stuck in a position of feeling ‘threatened’ than there’s no way we can just force ourselves to do that more creative, forward thinking stuff.

Protect – Connect – Project.

Trying to force ourselves to do things in that ‘Project’ phase when ‘Protect’ and ‘Connect’ aren’t (at least sufficiently) taken care of…………..

Is just setting us up for failure and frustration.

Much love,

Jon ‘I will cover ‘More positive thinking’ tomorrow, I promise’ Hall

P.S. If you like the idea of a programme that’ll help you understand how the brain works and how to approach change in a way that maximizes the chance of it happening (rather than just giving you the same list of what to do that you’ve had before), then check out www.myrise.co.uk/apply


RISE in Macclesfield was established in 2012 and specialise in Group Personal Training weight loss programmes for those that don’t like the gym and find diets boring and restrictive!

About The Author

Jon Hall

When not helping people to transform their lives and bodies, Jon can usually be found either playing with his kids or taxi-ing them around. If you'd like to find out more about what we do at RISE then enter your details in the box to the right or bottom of this page or at myrise.co.uk - this is the same way every single one of the hundreds who've described this as "one of the best decisions I've ever made" took their first step.