When it comes to understanding the Child brain Queen got it right. Their hit song I want it all – I want it NOW sums up the governing ethos of the child brain[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pm4fQRl72k]
The limbic (child) brain deals with the realm of emotion and physical sensory experience. This part of the brain primarily develops between the ages of 2 and 8 but the most useful age to think about is the 4-6 year old child. What differentiates the child brain from the baby brain, is the ability to experience the self as a distinct entity separate from Mum, Dad and others. The limbic brain also allows the child to begin to differentiate the range of emotional experiences. Where the baby brain swings between terror and security – children experience the full gamut of emotion – with an emphasis on the word EXPERIENCE.
Children experience emotion in every fibre of their being and understanding this helps us to see how a happy relationship could literally prolong your life and the failure to develop emotional intelligence can kill you. Candace Pert in her excellent book Molecules of Emotion outlines the psycho-physiological (oops mind-body) connection and how we literally have receptor sites for the hormones associated with emotion throughout our bodies – particularly in the body core – there are over 50 000 receptor sites in the lining of the small intestine along. So when we get anxious and our bodies goes tight its because adrenalin (epinephrine) cause the smooth muscle tissue in the small intestine to contract (squeeze). The design is to help us, so when we are running away from a tiger, we are not simultaneously digesting our lunch. However in a fast paced high stress world if we forget to make time to breathe and consciously relax then our bodies get exhausted from constant stress (more about this in another post).
On the positive side being in tune with connects us to our joyful, playful, mischievous and carefree side and this brain controls our experienced sense of happiness. In fact this brain is the one that is responsible for fantastic, mindblowing sex which will be the subject of the next post – I apologise for the delay between posts I have been attending conferences and presenting and its been a busy month – I promise not to make you wait to long for the next post . . . Thanks for reading