Low self-esteem and the brain 3

Low self esteem and the brain

I have already talked about the interesting mechanism in the brain that strengthens new thoughts, behaviors and emotinos. So, again, if two neurons in the your brain give signals at the same time, the connection between them will get stronger. This was probably created in this way because it fills a biological function. If you for example have burned your hand on the stove, you will probably be more observant so that it does not happen again. In other words, there has been a coonnection formed between two neurons so that you can remember to be careful when you are in the same situation again.

This mechanism is of course also important when you are for example depressed.The more negative feelings you have, the more those feelings form pathways in the brain so that it gets more and more easy to experience negative emotions. This applies to all negative feelings that you want to get control of in order not to be destructive. If you for example express anger in a way that has become destructive, the result will be that the more you express it the more you will have difficulties controlling it. If you recognize yourself in this, what you have do to is to learn coping strategies to get control over the anger in order to express it less. A very important part here is that you make a plan about your strategies before you are in the “angry” situation. It is very hard to make plans when you have high levels of negative emotions. In that situation it is good to already have a plan and walk into a “robot role” and just do what you have planned before.

If you train yourself in getting control over your negative emotions your brain will not experience the negative that often and moreover you brain (the frontal part) will also get more control over the negative emotion when it gets activated.

Strategies for getting more control over the negative emotions by which you feel overwhelmed

– Trace in what situations they get activated, for example by having a daily chart record where you register all the behaviors you have during a day.

– I you trace the for example the anger feeling to Tuesday afternoo, go through what you did in the afternoon, whom did you talk to etc. If you trace that you taled to your friend, go thorugh the whole conversation to trace what in the conversation made you angry.

If you are not used to recognize your feelings, it is common to feel for example anger when in fact you are afraid of for example being abandoned. Always try to see if there is another feeling under the feeling you are aware of.

– Remember that you have to train on your new strategies like you train your body when you go to a gym. Don´t give up, because after a while you will notice that there a more and more situations that you can handle.

Low self esteem and the brain 2

Low self esteem and the brain

The brain consists of 100 billion neurons. The neuron is like a computer which receives nerve impulses from other grey cells. The contact betwwen two neurons is called a synapse. When a nerve impulse arrives, the synapse releases neurotransmitters like dopamin and serotonin (very important in order to feel more pleasure, it fights anxiety and negative feelings about yourself). The neuron receives nerve impulses from other gray cells through a net of outgrowths called the dendrites.

When we learn something  the neurons change, they even get a different shape. Some dendrites disappear and others grow, and there can also grow new dendrites. This is important to remember when you work on your self esteem. It is possible for you to get a better a better self esteem but you need to find out what new thoughts and behaviors you want to acquire and after that you need to repeat them often and during a long time. When you go to a gym you can´t build a strong body by going there five times during one week and then quit. In the same way you can´t build your self esteem by training on your new thoughts and behaviors for one week. In order for the brain to think is worth the effort to change the neurons and let new dendrites grow it has to get many signals, otherwise it thinks that the new learning is too unimportant to make a whole new change because of it.