Brain Rules - Deepstash

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The way to tame the monkey mind is not to fight it, but to see it clearly. When you see its true nature, you are naturally liberated from its grip.



1.48K reads

The Survival Brain

The Survival Brain

The survival brain is the state of the brain when it is overwhelmed by stress and unable to process new ideas

  • It is focused on keeping you alive, not on helping you do great at daily life or in our relationships.
  • Chronic stress fuels this brain state.
  • Most common impacts of this state on the body include headaches, muscle tension, anxiety, depression, and digestive issues.

Switching the "survival brain" back to "learning brain" is a process you can do (with the right intel) which will help you overcome the negative impacts of living in survival mode.


1.18K reads

Morrie Schwartz

The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.



1.59K reads



When we are in survival mode, we are not connecting with the world around us.

You may be aware of this by feeling irritated or annoyed when someone tries to be nice to you, or even give you a hug, when you are stressed and upset. 

However, forcing ourselves to override the instinct to pull away and to physically connect with another being (human or animal) can help the brain understand that the world is ok and we can come out of survival mode.

Slowly, and maybe even it may take some time, the brain will relearn to lower it's barriers and allow us to feel connection and reapt its benefits.


1.06K reads


"The mind is like a wild elephant. If you try to grab it head-on, it will only run away. But if you follow it gently, with patience and understanding, it will eventually lead you to its home."



1K reads

Get Moving

Get Moving

The best way to move a brain state on is literally to get moving!

Exercise boosts brain function by improving blood flow, oxygen levels, and memory formation. Any type of movement is good and lots of different kinds of movements is even better.

  • Walking - can help decrease stress hormones, release of endorphins (happy chemicals) and give your brain alternative visual stimuli and input.
  • Yoga makes us move in many different ways including the option of going upside down (inversion poses). This can help increase ciruclation and oxygen delivery to the brain which can positively affect mood.


906 reads

Where attention goes, energy flows

Where attention goes, energy flows

Attention is selective and easily distracted, so the brain needs novelty, emotion, and meaning to stay focused.

The brain loves to focus in on what it thinks will help us in the moment, so if we are focusing our attention on stressful thoughts the brain will lean into those for us. This is when we need to force our attention elsewhere. 

  • Read a research paper that takes a novel work task to a place of meaninful application.
  • Listen to music that feels good and makes you connect with the moment.
  • Movement that helps you feel your body and be aware of the space you are in


870 reads


"If you try to control the monkey mind, it will only become more agitated. Instead, observe it with kindness and patience, and it will eventually calm down on its own."



881 reads



Short-term memory is limited and fragile, so the brain needs repetition, association, and chunking to store information temporarily.

Long-term memory is enhanced by elaboration, retrieval, and spacing, which help the brain consolidate and recall information over time.

  • Repetition: Repeating the information you want to remember several times.
  • Association: Associating the information you want to remember with something that is already familiar to you.
  • Elaboration: Elaborating on the information you want to remember can help you deepen your understanding and make it more meaningful.


790 reads



Sleep is essential for the brain to process, integrate, and strengthen memories, as well as to restore energy and mood.

For some of us, it may take a mix of things to truly get in a state that prepares us for a deep, healing sleep. Think of this as your personal recipe card. It may take:

  • Exercise or a late night stretching session
  • Particular eating habits and timing
  • Dimming lights and lighting candles
  • Turning off the TV and putting down your phone
  • Reading a good book
  • Playing some chill tunes

Find the right mix for you and get those zzzz's that help our brain.


709 reads

I see, I do

I see, I do

Vision is the dominant sense for the brain, which relies heavily on visual cues to interpret the world and communicate with others.

If you spend your day just looking at spreadsheets on a computer screen, then switch to TV and then to bed, this may not be setting your brain up for success. 

Looking at nature, reading a book, watch a dog playing in a park, looking up and into the distance through a window, try anything that will switch up your sensory input to optimsie your brain state.


687 reads

Play and explore

Play and explore

Exploration is the brain’s natural tendency to seek new experiences, test hypotheses, and learn from mistakes, which fosters curiosity and creativity.

By living with a belief that the world is here to explore, taking a sense of curiosity to the work place with us and into our personal and professional relationships, can help us leverage our brains natural desire to deepen it's connection with the stimuli of the world. 

Remind your brain just how big and interesting your world is, and by doing so you will in turn get the most back from your personal power station, the brain.


637 reads



Yogi ~ Buddhist ~ Garden ~ Digital Geek ~ Mum


For anyone that suffers from "monkey mind" this is a book for you. John Medina, your friendly neighborhood brain scientist, explodes the myths and lays bare the 12 fundamental principles that actually govern this marvelous, messy thing between your ears. Unlock the secrets to remembering anything, conquering stress, improving concentration, and boosting brainpower.

Curious about different takes? Check out our Brain Rules Summary book page to explore multiple unique summaries written by Deepstash users.

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