Stress and the brain

Stress and trauma keeps you in your survival brain. Your body’s energy and attention are instinctually put on the defense to try to answer the question, “Am I safe?” 

This makes it difficult for incoming information to move up towards your learning brain, which is necessary for cognition, problem solving, and making informed decisions to guide your behaviour. 

Stress can feel like a boulder that you are trying to drag out of a swamp. Its weight can cause you to slip back into the swamp toward the survival brain. The more stress you carry, the easier it is to for you to stay in the swamp of the survival brain — a state of increased vigilance and threat detection, and further away from the bright sunshine of your learning brain — where you are able to think, plan, and problem-solve.