Psychological Development

Human beings have this wonderful natural tendency to simplify things in an effort to make them manageable. We would like to have one answer to a particular question that works all the time irregardless of the situation or circumstance. On the question of how do we develop mental Balance, the tendency to oversimplify would not serve us well. Mental Balance is a moving target. The criteria for and the satisfaction thereof change as we go through our life and indeed may well change on a daily, if not hourly, basis.
Consider, if you will, the different stages we face through our lives and whether or not we have the capacity to deal with them.

The human brain works by activating thought modules (cognitive modules) The human brain contains millions of billions of synaptic connections. This vast size, and the capability to rapidly find appropriate modules in this large storage, is central to human intelligence.
Refer to this link for the full article;

The human brain and mind is a huge area of study by doctors and scientists alike. We could easily get lost there. What follows now is a condensed study of psychological development (or mental balance ) gathered from many viewpoints and sources.

Abraham Maslow (Humanistic Psychologist) studied human behaviour and created a hierarchy of human needs. He ranked them from low to high and felt the lower order needs have to be satisfied before the higher order needs can be attained.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Higher Order Needs———————————————–

Need for Self-Actualization

Esteem Needs from Self and Others
Belonging and Love Needs

Lower Order Needs———————————————–

Safety Needs,
Security, Order, Stability

Physiological Needs
Food, Water, Shelter, Sex

He saw the human mind as a composite of all the people you are in the many stages of your life, each with its own needs. (think of yourself as a collection of many people; young, adolescent, mature, adult and present day, and you get the idea). Depending upon a person’s life situation, their many parts may or may not have had their needs satisfied.

I’m going to say that the capacity to achieve and maintain mental Balance (at any age) is dependent upon your brain’s ability, at that specific age, to support the mind in the same task. So we ask ourselves; How does the brain develop?

(A) Through Growth.
The brain grows and develops the potential to perform more complex functions as we age. Note that I say potential. There is some debate that if you never use that potential than the capacity to do so may be lost.

(B) Through Usage.
The brain is similar to a muscle in that the more we ask of it the more permanent are the bumps and wrinkles that form in it. It responds to usage and creates the neural synapses (pathways) necessary for the task at hand.

(C) Through Language.
Language is the structure of thought. Some languages are better structured than others, to express certain thoughts, emotions, and concepts. Language could be the foundation that creates an inclination towards certain types of thought which leads to certain types of behaviour, which leads to certain types of results. The final results could be positive or negative. The connection between language and thought may not be obvious if one is surrounded by people who all speak and think in the same manner. If we translate text from one language to another is there a small and subtle something lost in the translation? When we speak to people do we express our meaning and intent precisely and do they understand us perfectly? I know of one voice coach, trained in Asian methodologies, who went so far as to state that the quality of your voice and the vibration pattern of the language you speak has a direct influence on the development of your physical form and your overall well being. That is a separate subject in itself and will be explored at a future time.

(D) Physical Health
The human brain has two halves, each of which control one half of the body, and each one responsible for different patterns of thought and response. One half would be responsible for reasoning and analytical thought, the other for emotions and intuition. I’m glossing over the details because the functions of the brain are a huge field of science and medicine. My point is that if this functioning of two mental halves is in any way imbalanced you end up with people who’s behavior is imbalanced as well. Their responses to situations are inappropriate, in the wrong measure, or non-existent. They may be brilliant at some things but woefully lacking in some very simple skill.
Also, the function of the brain may be impaired by a stroke, trauma, or the onset of a degenerative brain related disorder. In all cases mental imbalance will be immediately evident.

(E) Through Patterning.
Humans pattern themselves after people. We may do it unconsciously such as modeling our thoughts and behavior after our parents. Or we may do it consciously and aspire to emulate role models in our society. Or we may make no choice at all and simply do whatever the heck everyone else does.
I’s been said that a person is the sum equivalent of at least six of the people they most associate with. A person may choose to be their own person but in order to do so they will, of necessity, have to swim against the current of their society. What if you accept the patterns of your current society and that society happens to have negative beliefs? What happens then? Do you have mental Balance? Check any news media source and you will find no lack of harsh social events triggered by a differences in beliefs, self-worth, emotions, and basic necessities.

(F) Through Situation.
Challenge the mind and you challenge the brain. The brain responds to stimuli and challenge by adapting itself and creating new neural synapses. The brain, in effect, realizes its potential by creating the capacity to solve whatever problem it is presented with. You can choose to step up to the plate and deal with life situations or not. The active player walks away with new and permanent skill sets etched into the grey matter of their brain. We seem to have this capacity to adapt and survive hard-wired into our brains. But what if our current societal condition is negative. We adapt and survive. In such a situation we may not be mentally Balanced but we survive.

(G) Left Brain Development
This is more commonly referred to as education, discipline, learning thru repetition. It could be self-taught but more likely to be under the guidance of another. The left brain hemisphere (left would be the left hand side of you the reader) is where we realize our potential to master logic, reasoning, rational and analytic thought, facts, and symbols. Thought processes are very structured.

(H) Right Brain Development
The right brain hemisphere (right would be the right hand side of you the reader) is where we realize our creative potential, instincts, relationships.
This is where we create and deal with emotions and feelings. Thought processes are more fluid and instinctual.

There’s no one definition for the word ˜emotion˜. However, experts indicate that the following elements are essential: an emotion is a short-lived mental state, provoked by something touching a personal interest, and it causes action to take place.

I would not be the first to put forth the idea that a mentally Balanced person would have an appropriate balance of development in both their brain hemispheres for the stage of their life that they are currently passing through.

(I) Through Life Experiences.
As we pass through life we acquire skill sets based on how we deal with our life. Skill sets can be thought of as the compound-interest of our Life. We also acquire a maturity that allows us to act rationally and correctly for any given situation rather than reacting emotionally.

(J) Through Alignment.
Are our thoughts, desires, and actions all in alignment? Or do we wish for one thing but act in another direction thereby shooting ourselves in the foot. If we are not in alignment would we be in mental Balance?
One definition of insanity is ..to keep doing what you have always been doing and believe it will yield a different result.

I would think that non-alignment would cause us to self-sabotage our life goals and delude ourselves into thinking that we were really happy. Somewhere deep inside us a part of us would know the truth and be looking for ways to let us know.

(K) Through Filtering.
Scientists have puzzled over the apparent fact that our physical senses, particularly the eyes, have the built-in ability to perceive much more than we take for granted. But we don’t. The theory has been put forth that the mind filters what it receives from the brain before it presents the same information to us (spirit, soul, or super-conscious, whichever you prefer). The idea is that if the mind did not do this then what we would experience in our daily lives would be like a television with all the channels on simultaneously. We would not be able to function. We seem to get (filtered via the mind) what we need to operate daily but no more. Now remember that the mind can be trained; it does what we tell it to.

If we train the mind repeatedly through auto-suggestion then could we not alter the stream of information being presented to us? We could change our reality. We may be subconsciously putting blinkers on ourselves and thereby preventing ourselves from realizing our full potential.

(L) Through Spirituality.
Man creates his world through his actions. Behind his actions are his thoughts. Ancient wisdom and religion would say that behind our thoughts there is a subtle something else. A connection to something somewhere else.
This something has been described as an extended part of our consciousness that links back to the source of all consciousness. This is no simple topic and will be carefully covered in another section of BalanceScience.com.

All of the above affect the development of the brain and our ability to make sense of what our senses are presenting to us. If our minds have the ability to process the information we are receiving and we can act upon that same information with correct action then we have a feeling of control of our lives. We can then go where we want, do as we wish, and get whatever we want. We act with confidence and feel self-assured.
If we can’t act upon the information, make incorrect decisions, give away our options and cannot adapt, then we start moving away from mental Balance.
The first signs of mental imbalance start to creep in; stress, a feeling of loss of control, negative emotions, and a general unhappiness. In an effort to counterbalance we start taking shortcuts in other parts of our lives. In extreme cases we give up.

What happens if we pass through life but at certain points along the way we were out of Balance and the matter was never properly addressed at the time. Think of the analogy of a poorly maintained car. If one wheel is out of balance or under inflated it will cause a noticeable change in the ride and pull to one side. Yes, you still function but some small part of your being still calls for attention and thereby holds you back.

Mental Balance could drift apart from sensory overload. We may be asked to take on too many challenges and not yet have the necessary skill sets to handle it. It would be like swimming in the ocean with waves breaking over us, each one larger than the previous with no time to build up a comfort zone of pattern and repetition.

Take heart. There are means to achieve mental Balance. The mind will do what we tell it to.
We can train the mind or we can calm it.

Sincerely Yours In Balance
Editor-in-Chief
BalanceScience.com