The Reptilian Brain – Are you Behaving Like a Reptile

The reptilian brain or R complex is known as the oldest part of the brain. Many people also refer to the reptilian brain as the lizard brain. The reptilian brain fundamentally influences our behavior and controls body functions required for sustaining life, such as breathing and body temperature.

Repeating patterns such as rituals, automatic responses without conscious thought, predictability, fear of losing job, or spouse, or home, or dying, lack of money & resources,  and the unknown are all response created by the reptilian brain.

I’ve always admired people who were willing to take a leap of faith and just go for it. Like quitting their job and moving to another country. Reptilian brains often label these people as crazy and unstable. I beg to differ.

These people acted in spite of their reptilian brain – allowing them to experience life as it was meant to be, free and boundless. Once people are in fear of not surviving the reptilian brain takes over and we are at the mercy of its reactions to perceived threats.

We see the reptilian brain in action when the news tells the latest tragedy or economic woes. There are many institutions that are designed and set up by the reptilian brain.

Human Brain

Examples of systems controlled and influenced by the reptilian brain:

  • Education System
  • Government
  • Military
  • Judicial
  • Religion

When someone is being controlled by the reptilian brain their behavior can affect other people’s brain responses as well.

We can be calm, cool, and collected one minute but if someone is displaying reptilian brain behaviors while in our presence, it can affect our behavior as well, unless we remain conscious.

The desire to control whether it be in relationships, circumstances, or life in general is a primary trait of the reptilian brain in action. We often call people displaying this behavior “control freaks” and “freak like” is what they appear to be.

Have you ever been so stressed out that you began holding you head with both hands for fear that your brain was going to explode? If so, it is your reptilian brain that you are trying to get under control.

Reptilian Brain

Reptilian Brain Characteristics

Territoriality, hierarchical structure of power, control, ownership, wars, jealousy, anger, fear, hostility, worry, stuck or frozen with fear, aggressiveness, conflict, extremist behavior, competitiveness, cold-blooded, dog-eat-dog beliefs, might is right, and survival of the fittest.

OCD, hoarding, looting, superstitions, deception, fight or flight, obesity from fear of lack of food, daily rituals, ceremonial re-enactments,

The reptilian brain overpowers the ability to have calm and rational thought. “Losing our heads.” These traits all stem from a belief of not enough or a lack mentality.

It’s all about survival when it comes to the reptilian brain. Emotional responses based on the fear of not surviving.

Power, status, reputation, basically the sense of self. The reptilian brain doesn’t like change or new viewpoints. That is why it seems near impossible to enact any real change as far as politics goes. The reptilian brain fears change and any real change as far as policy goes can be a real “nightmare” to get enacted.

New views in science, politics, religion, education, medicine, the reptilian brain sees this as a threat and will always defend itself. Consciousness always wins in the long run but not without taking out a few casualties.

The reptilian brain doesn’t know the difference between real and imagined. It’s thoughts about events are just as real as the “real thing.” Anxiety is a state caused by the reptilian brain even when nothing is happening that should cause us to feel anxious.

There is a gnawing away in the belly that something “bad” is going to happen. By the way, the reptilian brain doesn’t like surprises either.

Justin Mazza holding a Corn Snake

Me holding a Corn Snake.

Reptilian Brain Is Neither Good Nor Bad

The main function of the reptilian brain is survival and the ability to keep us alive. Without this body program we wouldn’t last very long here on earth.

The problem arises when you stay “stuck” in survival mode as a way of being. You become locked in the reptilian brain and will perceive reality as so. Everything suddenly seems like a threat to your survival. We become reactive, suspicious, paranoid, and delusional.

Justin Mazza holding a Carpet Python.

How To Manage And Free Yourself of the Reptilian Brain

Consciousness is the only way to be free from the effects of the reptilian brain. That means knowing the difference between real and imagined. The imagination is a wonderful tool but it can also create “doomsday” scenarios in our minds. Remain conscious of your thoughts and when you get unsettling feelings in your body focus on what thoughts that you have been having.

Redirect them to thoughts that make you feel good and empower you. The reptilian brain always responds to thoughts as if they are really happening.

An unhealthy lifestyle like eating junk foods and getting inadequate rest will cause the reptilian brain to go into over-drive as well.

Peace on Earth

Why Am I Telling You This

When you see these characteristics in yourself or others don’t be judgmental. Rather recognize it for what it is. Part of the human body and experience of being human.

Before I had found out about the reptilian brain I knew that something was off about these traits when I saw them being displayed.

Now that we are all aware of the reptilian brain let’s bring conscious awareness back into the picture to reduce or eliminate the destructive nature of the reptilian brain’s creations.

In my humble opinion I believe that part of the changes that we all will be experiencing when the “shift” occurs is that the reptilian brain will cease to control and influence us. It will feel as if a big burden has been lifted from our shoulders.

A great example of reptilian behavior in people was described by controversial author David Icke. He says people dominated by the reptilian brain want to know the score of the football game before it even starts.

The reptilian brain hates surprises, it needs to know, it needs certainty of what will happen next. The best antidote for reptilian behavior is emotional control.

When emotions get out of whack the reptilian brain will soon take command of the body and then and hell breaks loose. The world does not need this. What she needs is for her people to get some emotional control.

If you want an easy way for calming the reptilian brain than try listening to Theta Brainwave music on YouTube or try meditating if you can. Eat healthy, whole foods, avoid processed foods, and avoid stimulants too.

Author Seth Godin talks about the Lizard Brain

“The lizard brain is hungry, scared, angry, and horny. The lizard brain only wants to eat and be safe.

The lizard brain will fight (to the death) if it has to, but would rather run away. It likes a vendetta and has no trouble getting angry.

The lizard brain cares what everyone else thinks, because status in the tribe is essential to its survival.

A squirrel runs around looking for nuts, hiding from foxes, listening for predators, and watching for other squirrels. The squirrel does this because that’s all it can do.

All the squirrel has is a lizard brain.

The only correct answer to ‘Why did the chicken cross the road?’ is ‘Because its lizard brain told it to.’ Wild animals are wild because the only brain they possess is a lizard brain.

The lizard brain is not merely a concept. It’s real, and it’s living on the top of your spine, fighting for your survival. But, of course, survival and success are not the same thing.

The lizard brain is the reason you’re afraid, the reason you don’t do all the art you can, the reason you don’t ship when you can. The lizard brain is the source of the resistance.”

― Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

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