Decoding the Salience Network
When we’re stressed, it is often a reflection of our internal thoughts–our inner voice that is talking to us 24/7. Human beings are creatures of habit and routine, and that includes our linguistic and speaking patterns. Our brains are constantly shaped by our thoughts, which influence our words and shape our actions and behaviors. But how can we get stressed out about something that’s isn’t even happening in the moment?
The answer is the salience network, a key region of the brain that decides which information is deserving of our attention. This network detects any kind of information coming from the inside (thoughts) and the outside (sensory information like pain, noise, smell, sound) and picks what you pay attention to consciously. Every millisecond we are bombarded with thousands of thoughts, sounds, sights, and smells – it would be impossible to pay attention to all of it. The salience network filters out unimportant information and only selects what it wants you to consciously pay attention to.
But what happens when our salience network tells us to pay attention to something we don’t want to? How do we stop ourselves from getting stressed out?
In this video, neuropsychologist and Chief Science Officer of The TouchPoint Solution explains how the brain processes important information to make a decision about stress – and how to turn the stress switch off.