teenage brainYour brain needs to be engaged, directed and put to use, if not it behaves like a teenager and, meaning no disrespect to teenagers, gets up to mischief, becomes disruptive, self centred and negative.

(Ooh, that does sound bad for teenagers doesn’t it – read on, it will become clear)

Of course, I am generalising and I do personally know lots of lovely balanced happy teenagers, but  I’m sure we’ve all seen gangs of teenagers hanging around street corners smoking and drinking and heard the stories on the news about gangs.   I was using the analogy of the teenage brain with a client of mine at Old Town Hypnotherapy in  who suffers from anxiety this week and she said “you mean like the teenagers involved in the riots and looting last year”. – I wasn’t specifically talking about them, but yes, that’s exactly what I mean.  Bored teenagers are very adept at finding mischief or getting up to no good, being moody and, lets be honest, a little bit self centered.  Largely it’s not actually their fault, their brain is still developing and flits between the adult intellect and the childlike primitive brain.

Through evolution, we have been blessed with a vast intellectual resource.  It’s what had made us such a dominant species in the world and what many anthropologists  believe is the reason why homo sapiens (us) managed to win the evolutionary war against the bigger, more powerful, faster, aggressive Neanderthal.

Our intellectual brain gave us the ability to see the wider picture, to step back and, most importantly, to imagine different outcomes based on all the information available.  In primitive man, this skill turned out to be more important than strength and size and, used as a survival tool, made the difference between life and death.  In short, we literally outsmarted the other hominid species.

These days we don’t need to use this vast intellectual resource to hunt and survive – after all, the supermarket is not too difficult to find and navigate, and with modern health and safety regulations, it’s not that a dangerous place these days – but we do still need to use this intellectual resource in a positive way or our brain will get bored and get up to no good.

Our amazing imagination is not shared with other animals and it is our choice whether we use it to imagine a preferred future in a positive way or in a negative way and tell ourselves that our life is never going to get better, or when we can’t get hold of our partner he/she is obviously off with someone else or every little ache or pain must be cancer and therefore we’re going to die!

It is our choice and how we choose to think will influence our future.  We can choose to stimulate this vast intellectual resource with learning or hobbies and positive thinking, or we can let it become that bored teenager, up to no good and seeing the negative in everything!

Life is easy when we are happy and positive – given the choice would you choose to be happy or miserable?

Well, you do have that choice!

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