In today’s modern society, more and more men are renovating the concept of masculinity to be more adaptive and cooperative, reflecting behaviors and attitudes commonly attributed to femininity. The latest findings in neuroscience show that human brains have enough plasticity to consciously nourish and develop specific behaviors and attitudes, despite genetic predominance and tendencies. Many men are beginning to realize that the conventional anti-sensory, hyper-competitive, and narcissistic masculinity is holding them back, inhibiting their adaptability in today’s fast-changing social, family and work environments. Even though cultural expectations imposed on men and women are beginning to loosen their grip, the influence still pushes and pulls on even the most forward-thinking individual’s emotional intelligence and decision making. However, there are signs that our society is coming back full circle, incorporating matriarchal tendencies that highlight the complementarity of masculine and feminine qualities in the modern world. Many women have been able to successfully adapt to the business world where they are required to be assertive, competitive and less emotional. It is time men begin to better themselves by exploring their femininity.
Recent developments in the neurosciences have given us valuable insight into the differences between masculine and feminine brain performance. The presumption of a strong association between masculine/left brain and feminine/right brain is mostly a myth. In fact, the male brain is structured to facilitate connectivity within the left or right brain hemispheres, whereas the female brain is structured to facilitate connectivity between the left and right brain hemispheres. In other words, men think locally, and women think globally. Furthermore, the male brain is structured to facilitate perception and generating a coordinated responsive action, while on the other hand the female brain is structured to facilitate analytical and intuitive processing modes. The way we are processing emotions, intuition, our mood-state, etc. is structurally different, but these are not determinant attributes, we can and will develop diverse qualities over our lifetime, and WE CAN change our brains to adapt optimally to the evolving circumstances in the modern society. This means we can self-program ourselves to think with a feminine or masculine brain, adapting to the immediate reality.
Intuition, cooperation, sensibility, and empathy are commonly considered to be feminine traits, and they are becoming more valuable and respected at every level of leadership. Organizations now regard emotional intelligence and soft skills to be as valuable as technical competency. The matriarchal tradition explores the art knowing oneself through others, finding an equal balance between the masculine and feminine energies existing within each of us while avoiding the destructive traits of hyper-competitiveness, ego-centrism, excessive aggressiveness, and the non-disclosure of emotions. According to studies, people who embrace the importance of self-knowledge and intuition are better leaders and know how to build stronger relationships. They are more productive and innovative because they can think both globally and locally.
Try these suggestions to develop a high performing brain (balancing both the masculine and feminine qualities) to enhance emotional intelligence, self-knowledge, and quality of life.
1. Mindful self-study. Self-study is essential for self-knowledge and helps to recognize the patterns in your mindset and behavior. The tendency to overreact to stress signals deeper internal conflicts that can be resolved with self-study. Past trauma can develop a behavioral pattern of disproportionate overreactions. If the overreaction is unconscious it will hinder our ability to access one of the human being’s most powerful assets—intuition. Once you recognize your triggers and patterns you will be empowered to reprogram yourself optimally.
2. Breath practice. Focus your attention on the details of your breath. One of the simplest and most effective ways to heighten focus and mental clarity is to breathe slowly, steadily, deeply, and exclusively through the nose. Start by inhaling, allowing the air to reach the lower region of the lungs, causing the abdomen to expand and then exhale slightly pulling the abdomen in as the air is expelled. Take a moment to notice every detail related to the act of breathing. This will stabilize the nervous system and optimize the levels of oxygen circulating in the body without over stimulating, enabling the body and brain to function better, leading to more focus, insight and creativity.
3. Redirect negative emotions. One powerful way to overcome negative emotions is to redirect them towards a more productive purpose. For example, when two of my once successful businesses were failing I was full of fear, anger, and frustration. I felt stuck in a destructive mindset. Then, I took a five-hour drive that helped me redirect frustration into a burning drive to find a solution. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I got the idea to create a new business project and the anger was redirected into fearless enthusiasm and the new idea ended up being a huge success.
4. Focus Count mentally, visualizing the numbers from 1 on, until you are no longer able to concentrate. Continue, increasing your limit daily until you have reached around twenty minutes. Improve upon the exercise, applying a different color to each number.
As proposed by the DeRose Method.
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