Our brain is always learning, adapting, and changing—whether we’re aware that’s happening or not.

But here’s the problem. If we leave how our brain changes to chance, there’s no guarantee that we end up with circuitry that serves us well. Yet, if we learn how the brain works and then apply that knowledge to our daily life, we can upgrade our brain (much like we upgrade our phones and software) in ways that we may have never imagined.

We all have an internal stress alarm.

Parts of our brain are always on the look-out to make sure that we’re safe. We even have an alarm that’s designed to blare as soon as our brain and body senses something’s amiss or is a threat. The problem is . . . our brain doesn’t have a clue as to what’s true danger or not.

Add to that, our brain is always going to err with a “danger” assessment than go with “maybe that’s safe.” That’s because if there isn’t really any danger, we’re still fine if our brain goes ahead and sounds the alarm. But if our brain takes a chance on our safety—and is wrong, well . . . we may not survive that decision. So, since our brain always prioritizes survival, we’ve likely experienced lots of false alarms.

We can learn how to turn off that internal stress alarm.

When it comes to stress, knowing how to turn off that alarm can make a huge difference in our lives. Consider how many physiological changes happen once that alarm is triggered (and those changes are hard on the body)—and how many times it’s just a false alarm.

And here's the great news! As part of our Calm Parents, Happy Baby: Reducing Prenatal and First-Year Stress course, we teach new and expecting parents how to turn off that alarm.

In Your Baby’s Brain: Easy Ways to Ensure a Great Future, we teach new and expecting parents how to facilitate their baby’s lower brain development. Without such neural circuits in place, we remain “wired” to be hypervigilant and stressed most of our life.