There’s a lot of new research dealing with brain plasticity and one of the leaders in the field is Dr. Daniel Amen who is a neuro-scientist and a psychiatrist. Dr. Amen speaks about an area of the brain called the deep limbic system which is located in the center of the brain and is about as big as a walnut. The area controls our emotional well-being and is also responsible for activating our appetite, controlling our sleep and libido.
The limbic system colors events based on our emotional state of mind. If you’ve been traumatized in some way or emotionally abused, these highly charged memories are stored in the limbic system, and you react accordingly. So, problems of inadequacy, moodiness, irritability, negative perceptions and social isolation are perpetuated in an over active limbic system.
One of the tools for controlling an over active limbic system Dr. Amen suggests, is deep belly breathing for 10-15 minutes a day, or more if you have time. What you do is take a deep breath into your belly and expand it like a balloon. Then let the air work up to your lungs. Hold for about 3 seconds and release, first from the lungs and then down into the belly as you contract it. If you have trouble doing this sitting up, you can put a book on your belly when you lie down to make sure the belly is expanding first.