How to use this natural brain phenomenon to your advantage

Your brain can be compared to an automatic transmission. When the going gets tough (e.g., situations of trauma, crisis, or any type of fear) your brain automatically downshifts to help you get through. In situations of trauma, crisis, or any type of fear, the brain downshifts in an attempt to access functions that promote safety. While this is a helpful strategy, it can be very deleterious when activated frequently or when sustained over time. The outcomes can range from failure to learn, to interfering with communication, to relapse into addictive behaviors. 


This seminar is designed to increase your understanding of the downshifting phenomenon in the brain, and explains the consequences of downshifting unneccesarily or for a prolonged period of time. At work or at home, communication can be derailed if either the sender or the receiver (or both) are downshifted. Strategies to help you identify downshifting in a timely manner are included, along with suggestions for ways to promote upshifting and for communicating congruently with someone who is in a downshifted state.

TIME FRAMEdownshift

This seminar can be presented in one 50-minute segment with additional time for questions and discussion if desired.


People who want to learn up to upshift quickly and to communicate more easily with brains that are in a downshifting position.


Upon completion of the seminar, participants should be able to:

  • List three functional layers of the brain and two functions of eac
  • Describe what is meant by downshifting of the brai
  • State two behaviors that could indicate a state of downshiftin
  • Identify two strategies for upshifting the brain

Presented by Arlene R. Taylor PhD
Brain Function Specialist, Realizations Inc