Isabelle Brighella, Project Officer, Schools Program

  • People think I’m ‘complex’. I am hardworking. I’m fairly creative, which allows me to think freely, but to also see the ‘bigger picture’.
  • On the flip side, I can be rational and an efficient problem solver.
  • I’ve kinda got two sides to me. One side is the spirited character, the other is the leader.
  • I’m a good communicator and can talk the talk. I like to know the facts, process it, pick what I need, and then store it away for a rainy day.
  • Sometimes… I can feel a little on edge, alert and can’t relax. I feel a grey cloud hanging over me.
  • My humour and wit can put a smile on people’s faces….. if it’s in the right hands.
  • I try to perspective take, but sometimes my emotions cloud my judgement.
  • I try my best to keep people safe. This is a hard job. Sometimes I can be impulsive and shut down just to be able to survive. This doesn’t always work when people need to go out and live.
  • I’m a work in progress. I am continually growing, evolving, and trudging along.
  • The more we learn about me, the better we can take care of our mental health.

Our Brains!

All brains are smart, and yours is marvellous, but all brains operate differently. Our brains separate into two parts: a thinking part and feeling part. Our ‘thinking’ part is at the front of the brain and keeps us in check. It helps us to pay attention, exhibit self-control and calm our ‘big’ feelings.

The ‘feeling’ part of our brain is at the back and tell us when something doesn’t feel quite right and alerts us to a potential threat. When our thinking and feeling parts of our brain work in unison, it’s a smooth operator. But sometimes… our feeling brain takes over and runs the show.

When the feeling brain is dominating, it causes overwhelm to our thinking brain causing it to shut down for a bit. Now enters the amygdala. This little soldier tells us ‘danger danger’ and operates to protect us. This works well when you are in the amazon and a wild animal is coming for you. The amygdala is designed to act before thinking it through. All it wants to do is to keep you safe. This can become impractical when its being a littler overprotective and controlling…. perhaps when there’s actually nothing to protect you from.

It’s okay if your ‘feeling’ brain is online and raring to go a lot of the time. Our brains aren’t perfect, they can lead us astray. We just need to remember that we are the boss! The good thing about our brains is that they can change; they can make new connections. We can be in control of what we think, how we talk to ourselves and how we view the world around us.


*National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (2021). Brain basics: know your brain.