Teddy Bears and Corn Snakes

Joshua 1_9

Do you consider yourself to be courageous?

Do you see courage as being something only heros have? Do you have to be like David taking down Goliath or Daniel surviving a lions den or the Avengers fighting against Thanos? Or can you be courageous in your everyday life?

According to Dr. Yadin Dubai, from the Weizmann Institute of Science Rehovot, Israel courage is something that can be practiced. He came to this finding by splitting a group of volunteers into those that were afraid of snakes and those that weren’t. The volunteers were instructed to choose whether to move a teddy bear or corn snake closer or further away. While the participants were making their choice there was a functional magnetic imaging scan done of there head. This scan picked up on activity in the part of the brain called the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC). When the participants who feared snakes chose to overcome fear and move the snake closer the sgACC increased, versus those that gave into fear and moved the snake further.

This research found that our brain can learn courage. We can activate and increase the sgACC or part of brain that houses courage by taking conscious, deliberate steps to overcome fear.

Many of us won’t find ourselves facing a literal giant, surviving a lions den or even battling an intergalactic space villain (although that would be sick!). We do however find ourselves facing fears each day. Sometimes those fears are simply getting up out of bed and starting a new day, maybe it’s forgiving someone that you thought you never could, or maybe it’s flying across the county to do mission work or start a new ministry. Whatever your fear in life may be, know that you can overcome it with a little practice and a little patience.

Joshua 1: 9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

-Elleigh Dylewski

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