The Three Brains

The Three Brains: From Stress & Anxiety to Peak Performance!

Although we think we have one brain, in reality we actually have three, these three brains are layered on top of each other, the bottom layer is the reptilian brain which has the basic survival and instinct programs, some psychologists say we are programmed for survival with the three f’s feeding, fighting and fleeing, we are also programmed to reproduce for a period of time in a life span which is obviously for the survival of our species. 

In fact, most of what we do is automated, fortunately we can change add and take away the less desirable beliefs from the program when we know how to access the part of the brain were these are stored. 

Let us look at that part of the brain now! 

The second brain is the limbic system, this sits on top of the reptilian brain, and this houses the thalamus, amygdala and hippocampus, this is where emotions are stored and should act as a sort of filter and reference point for incoming information from all the senses. It is worth adding here that this is where the system can fail if a person has experienced prolonged periods of stress and anxiety. I will explain more how this happens after we look at the third brain. The neocortex, this third layer is the reasoning brain, speech, logic, and higher thinking are processed here, it is rational by nature. 

Going back to the second brain, one of its main tasks is when information comes in to the system it is picked up by the thalamus then it should go to the cortex for a rational response then should go to the amygdala for basically a body reaction, but when a person has been experiencing long periods of stress and anxiety the information goes straight to the amygdala, now the amygdala assumes this is a past memory it can relate it to a past trauma and mistakenly activates the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system which then creates more stress, this is why some talk based therapies struggle to have much of if any effect on people who suffer from stress and anxiety. A huge amount of people get struggle because of this, fortunately there are ways of bringing the system back to normal allowing people to find relief from stress and anxiety which as you can imagine is life changing. 

As a certified HEARTMATH coach I have taught many people how to self-regulate by teaching them heart rate variability practices. In short, the frequency of the heart affects the frequency of the brain and when you practice HRV training regularly you become more coherent and when the heart becomes more coherent so does the head which then allows the brain to function as it was always meant to, when this is working efficiently, we become more resilient and are far less likely to experience stress and anxiety. Essentially the system is resonating, and we are now in flow state, which is what most high performing sports people, artists and business people try to attain, it is also worth mentioning that when you have a group of people in this optimal state, the collective consciousness of the group resonates at this high-performance state (flow) which is obviously game changing and can happen in any group from a football team to an orchestra or  a group of co-workers in any industry. If this is something you would like to learn more about whether that be personally or in a group for your business/team feel free     to contact me at 


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