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Scientific monkeys

We know we get nervous before important situations in life. How to understand this? Centuries of evolution has made the human brain react to circumstances in one of two ways. 1 – Monkey, or 2 – Scientist.

When in Monkey mode, the brain is scared, escapist, releasing cortisol and looking to run. In Scientist mode however, it is calm, relaxed and looking to learn.

How do we maximize Scientist mode over Monkey mode? We can learn from Firefighters. The first fire breakout for a new firefighter is a scary experience. But as s/he gets to their 20th fire, which could be 10x bigger than their first, they are cool, calm and collected. Why? Because they are prepared and have seen this before.

Therein lies a clue. Preparation helps. Like if you are scared of the time-crunch of a 3 hour exam, practise taking tests within 2.5 hours itself. Laughter helps too. No better way than laughing about a problem you are going through. All of this is maya anyway, and really doesn’t matter in the long run. More laughter = less cortisol!

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