The Loops of the Teenaged Mind

The brain is a complex structure resulting in many different coping mechanisms to the problems at face.


Kaelee Hunter

There are three main portions of the brain which are the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brainstem.

By Kaelee Hunter, Co Editor in Cheif

Our minds work in mysterious ways. It can cause some people to feel limbs when they are not attached to their bodies. Then for others, it makes them do things they would not otherwise do.

Our brain tries to protect us, but in the process of protecting, it ends up hurting us. This seems very backwards as to why would our brain hurt us. The name for this part is the basal ganglia or other wise known as the reptile brain. Dr. Paul Maclean was the scientist who came up with this theory on the division of the brain. He believed the brain was divided into three different parts which all contributes to “our innate and automatic self-preserving behavior patterns, which ensure our survival and that of our species.”

As complex as our brain is, it also falsely identifies what a threat is. In other terms, our brain cannot tell the difference between staring a lion in the face to public speaking. Something that is not an obvious threat will still trigger the fight, flight, or freeze response.

Fight, flight, or freeze.

Going into the harmless actions that are our internal threats, our body responds in a way that would protect us from this internal danger. For example, a person might be scared to fail so they don’t try with their schoolwork. In return they fail and just continue this never-ending cycle. That is why people say you are what you think, because you will prove yourself right each time.

The end goal of this is it to be able to move your thinking from your reptile up to the frontal cortex where we have our reasoning and problem thinking. Now we can list the steps into getting out of this loop of protecting yourself.


  1. Realize you are in this loop
  2. Know that the change is going to be uncomfortable
  3. Take one part of your life to focus on to get out of the loop
  4. Make a stair step plan on how you are going to get comfortable on your main focus
  5. Take that first step until you are comfortable
  6. Then move on to the next steps pushing out your comfort zone


When you are in these situations trying to push your comfort zone, it can be very overwhelming. To calm yourself, try box breathing. First you breath in for four seconds, then hold for another four seconds, then breath out for four seconds. You can repeat this until you are able to calm down. Another way you can calm down is by repeating that you’re okay and nothing bad is going to happen. One other way is you can take yourself to the side to be able to have a break from this overwhelming situation. Now just remember, this will not be an easy path to forgo. Surround yourself by others who will help you grow and be there for you. Go easy on yourself during this transition phase. With enough practice and time, these tasks will become second nature.