Relax, be calm, no Stress - that's how it says light. But what are the neurobiological Basics of relaxed, good decisions?

mind stress

What happens in the head?

What exactly is happening in our Head and body when we are actually supposed to relax and cannot. According to estimates, the human exists Brain from 100 billion to 1.000 billion nerve cells. These neurons are connected to each other by an extensive network of ramifications.

Each individual nerve cell is a cell specialized in stimulation and excitation. The individual nerve cells are linked by lines. They are called dendrites and axons. For these lines, the individual nerve cells exchange information through electrochemical impulses.

The amount of experience

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All the information that we have gathered in the course of our lives can be found in nerve cell networks. This means that everything that has helped us in our lives until today in our survival or has endangered in our lives, in the brain has a nerve cell network.

Once about our sense organs like Eyes, ears, nose or skin sensors, information about a recurrence of this stored situation is reported to the nerve cells, the nerve cells instruct the body with an emotional reaction.

How stress develops

An emotional reaction usually consists of an interplay between muscle tension and physiological excitation, such as an increase in heart beat and / or a sweating of the palm of the hand. Now we get this physical response to our consciousness level I-1 to feel. The process to this point is almost a fixed stimulus reaction chain.

You can compare the responsible nerve cell system with the board of an electronic device. There are also burned paths, which direct electrical impulses in the predetermined lanes. Now that the physical response has started, we feel it as a sensation on our conscious mind level Ich-1.

How decisions are made

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From there, we begin to look for more information and clues in the environment to trigger the reaction. At the same time, we try to coordinate the best possible behavioral response.

Depending on the degree of activation in the body, we then run through various mental simulation scenarios, where we simulate behavioral variants that we have already learned and that are available to us. Then there is one decision.

Experiments for decision making

However, in most cases this decision is less conscious than we imagine. So, in 1979, physiologist Benjamin Libet conducted an interesting experiment:

He had a light spot rotated on a circular scale, similar to a clock. His subjects should make the decision to press a button and parallel the current position of the light point. During the experiment, Libet has been able to determine when the brain responsible for motion has become active through brain current and muscle activity measurement. He noted that the brain part had already become active before the participants realized their decision. Libet concluded from the results of his experiment that man does not make decisions entirely out of his own free will. (Benjamin Libet (1999): "Do we have free will?" Journal of Consciousness Studies, 5, p.

Decisions often run unconsciously

Accordingly, the conscious mind on the I-1 level is much less master of the house than we would like to admit in one corner or the other. Even if Libet's experiment was a few Criticism was exposed, more modern test arrangements with so-called magneticResonance-tomographs or positron emission tomographs the originalIdea to confirm requests.

Philosophers are currently discussing how much conscious freedom of choice and how much conscious will man actually possesses around these experiments.

How is negative stress

In summary, it is very important for us to know that anything that puts us in negative stress either has an extremely high nonspecific reactivity (like the Martinshorn of a rescue vehicle) or is already engraved in our nerve cells. Also, the cells know about our abilities to master a tipping situation, which is also influenced by our daily form.

As soon as a learned or challenging situation occurs in the sense of perceived stimuli, this leads almost as a reflection to an activation of the body. At this moment it is over with our serenity and we can then only deliberately try to make the best of it at the level of the Ich-1. We are always as relaxed as our nerve cells have learned yesterday, last week, last month, last year and in the last decades. In fact, we can not react when we perceive a triggering stimulus!

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