Understanding Yourself - The Inner Workings of Your Mind

PTSD brain
What PTSD does to your brain


As I've mentioned before, PTSD is a brain injury. For this reason, it's important to understand how our brain works so that we can work with it better. One thing you may be surprised by here is that there are so many things going on inside of each of our brains - things that we don't even realize are happening, let alone know how they're effecting our lives. These things are what are known as beliefs.

Beliefs are our brain's map of how we view everything in the world - God, relationships, money, sexuality, and everything else in between...
Each of us has some type of belief that's been woven into our brains because of how life has happened to and around us. These beliefs are both conscious and unconscious, meaning that sometimes we know why they're happening but at other times we may not even realize that they're happening. The weird thing is that most of these beliefs occur before our brains are fully formed because this full formation doesn't occur until we're 25-years-old - the age at which we finally have logic.

Unfortunately, most of us don't realize that we have these belief systems at work. Nevertheless, they still rule us and make our decisions for us based on the experiences that occurred earlier in our lives. Since our brains are yearning for unity, it will actively seek to attract experiences that align with these beliefs. This happens because we can pick up and feel what others think and believe about themselves - oftentimes without even realizing that we're doing so. For instance, those people who carry a spirit of rejection about themselves will repel you, making you reject them because this is the spirit they're carrying.

The Prover vs. the Projector

PTSD brain
How PTSD affects the brain

Now that you understand how your belief system has been formed for you, it's also important to understand the actions behind your brain. This can be categorized in one of two ways:
  • The prover is the part of your brain that scans the environment around you in search of information that can help you make sense of your beliefs. This is the part of your brain that looks for evidence in your environment to help you figure out why you believe that certain things are true.
  • The projector is how the prover and your beliefs are revealed in your life. Here your brain is busy at work projecting what you believe onto other people, as well as onto your own life experiences. Your brain does this to protect itself. Herein your brain is proving that things are true for you but, at the same time, it's important to understand that this isn't how other people have experienced the world.
Simply put, you tell yourself a story that's based on your belief system. Your mind and actions will then go out of their way to try to prove that these things are true. At the same time, you're also acting like a movie projector in that you're projecting this proven image onto whatever is in front of and around you.

How You're in Control Here

PTSD brain
How PTSD changes the brain


There are so many things your brain deals with on a daily basis, things that you're in control of, including:
  • Thoughts: You have 50,000 thoughts a day with approximately 30,000 of them being subconscious. Each of these thoughts works harmoniously along side of your beliefs but these thoughts can also veto your beliefs. It's important to realize that you can change your thoughts so you can shut down or recreate any beliefs that aren't serving you well.
  • Words: It's important to train yourself in regards to the words that you're using. This is because the words you speak train and create the emotions you experience. Therefore, the more positive, life building/affirming words you speak, the more your brain will start to feel these things. After all, your brain has been designed by God in such a way that it listens to what you say more than it listens to what others say.
  • Emotions: Although there are a lot of Christians who will tell you that emotions are bad, this really isn't the case at all. While you don't want to give them full reign to control your life, you do want to pay attention to them because they will help you know what's going on in your mind. When you've been alerted to these things, you discover what's going on inside of you so you can then work on taking care of that thing.
  • Actions: Your actions follow your thoughts, emotions, words, and belief systems. There are different things that you can do to make yourself feel better here. For instance, exercising will help you feel more energetic.

What to do About all These Things

PTSD brain
Overcoming PTSD damage to the brain

Now that you have a better understanding about yourself and the fact that each of these things is well within your control you're a step closer to getting more deliberate about who you want to be, what you want out of your life, and how you want things to change. This is important because you don't want to be speaking declarations over yourself that aren't connected to your heart or you'll simply be wasting your time and breath. After all, you want to produce good things in your life. This is why all you're doing right now is finding your belief systems, what your experiences are, and what your circumstances are showing you.

Once you understand what PTSD does to the brain, you'll be ready to change your belief systems - something that starts with acknowledging where you are then moves onto asking God to show you His truth about your life. Remember, this is only the beginning of the journey. Over the next few weeks we'll dive deeper into this journey but for now it's simply a matter of getting to know yourself and understand your brain. Hopefully, this is something you've been able to accomplish here today.

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Comments

  1. This was so interesting and informative. Thank you. Visiting you from the good random fun link up. laurensparks.net

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. It sounds like you learned something new today, which is music to my ears.

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  2. Amazing post! Thanks for sharing and educating me!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and being open to learning something new today!

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  3. Quite an insightful blog! We must strive to become our better selves and not just be defined by our fears or pain because eventually they make us stronger!

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    1. I was just thinking about this, this morning. Like the old saying says "There's no rose without the thorns."

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  4. Great insights here, and I need regular encouragement along these lines, to make truth paramount and to submit to it every day.

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    1. It's a real challenge but one well worth the undertaking.

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  5. Thank you, very interesting piece - and yes I agree we do need to listen to our emotions - they can be a great guide to refocus us!

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    1. Yes, but unfortunately a lot of Christians will tell you to ignore them. Now I'm not saying let them rule your life, but like you said "we do need to listen to our emotions."

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  6. Brilliant info. Loved the explanation of the prover and projector. Very interesting!

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    1. There's so much we don't understand about ourselves and our brains... This is just the start. I can't wait to delve into it more.

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  7. Replies
    1. The brain truly is interesting - something most of us don't understand or don't take the time to understand.

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  8. Love this post! The brain is so fascinating. We should always take sometime to understand ourselves!

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    1. The brain is a huge muscle. Taking the time to understand it really will help with understanding everything else about ourselves.

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  9. Our brains are so fascinating and it makes so much difference when we can understand more about them and us. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

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    1. Yes, there's so much to know about our brains it's hard to know everything but even the small bit we do know can be so helpful.

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  10. That's interesting. Prover and Projector....not really thought of them working together #KCACOLS

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