In a team meeting a month ago, one person asked, "What is EBT anyway?"

What a great question!

I responded, "It's a process."

The EBT process is on the app. However, it's not quite that simple. Self-regulation (reliably and quickly getting from stress to joy) and reconsolidation (the skill of using that same process with enough precision and vigor to rewire outdated brain circuits and the neural leftovers of traumatic experiences) are core to the survival of the species.

The process that impacts us the most

That tagline in the brain of "survival" means that the processes are strongly encoded. Whatever processes we learned early in life from those who raised us that didn't quite match what is needed today, given the shared stressed environment in which we live, do not change without repetition, precision, passion, and love.

Yet I believe that it is worth mustering, as EBT skills are foundational for all domains of life. I can list the things about me that help me avoid suffering and make myself happy and productive, but hands down, the ones with the most impact are these skills. I came of age having no idea that I could emotionally connect to myself or turn my depression and anxiety into joy and security. Nobody taught me that.

Now the world is far more stressful, so the skills I came of age with were even more lacking. The gift of EBT is that the process is simple and reliable. After listening to thousands of "spiral ups" in my practice and hearing about our Master Trainers' experiences, plus understanding the science and our research, I think the current EBT process is about as close to perfection as we are likely to get.

Encoding these new processes takes time and work, but the brain does surrender to it. The more you use the tools and clear out the clutter from the past, the more you spontaneously "pop" to brain state 1 and even forget about all the times you avoid being triggered.

Optimizing self-regulation and rewiring pathways

Beginning EBT is the hardest part because we must talk back to our amygdala, which defends our old, "less-than-perfect" self-regulatory and rewiring practices. Most of us rely on thinking, which we know does not measure up at all to the power of transforming toxic emotions into that spiritual state of bliss.

One of the method's slogans is: If it is not fun, it is not EBT. That's not because this is "happiness training," but because the dopamine of joy locks in the new wires. How do we make it fun (and effective) to stay with the EBT Program until one is Wired for Joy, with all seven rewards of a purposeful life?

We accomplish that with what the brain wants most: loving, safe, purposeful people who are on the EBT Journey with us. The EBT Program keeps us always learning new things, as it behaves like a Master's degree in neurophysiology and neuroplasticity. Still, the fun of it comes from using EBT with others. That means family members and friends, as well as compatriots in the EBT Spiral Up Community. There are Spiral Up Groups (drop-in beginner groups) and the weekly 30-minute and 60-minute groups, in which you have your own provider and a small group of supporters for connections throughout the week. Many people do intensives to deliver six months of progress in one month. Also, there are two Spiral Up with Dr. Laurel Zoom sessions per week.

It's a wonderful world – for all

Although most participants come to EBT to solve a problem, such as anxiety, depression, stress eating, a leftover addiction or two, or a relationship issue, they typically state that they feel the spiritual shift in daily life, and even start seeing small (or large miracles) everywhere.

That experience of connection on demand using the EBT tools gives more credence to the idea that it is a wonderful world as each "spiral up" experience delivers endorphins and dopamine. We don't have to go to a hilltop of sweet grass and sunshine to experience it. Our nature is joy. We just have to reach for the skills and spiral up anytime, anywhere. However, using EBT with the physiologically-important 10 spiral ups per day takes facing the essential pain that we are not just spiritual beings, but have this annoying physiology of our being that reflects all the defects encoded by our hunter-gatherer ancestors.

I like feeling love, joy, and gratitude as much as the next person, and it helps me to appreciate that my genes have left my body with some glitches where I overreact, go numb, or have inappropriate and often unhealthy drives. That's how the Stress Triangle works with an amygdala that fires faulty stress signals, a nucleus accumbens that takes me on wild rides of dopamine extreme highs and lows, and a hypothalamus that accommodates unhealthy patterns even when they harm me. That's not even to mention all the glitches I have let my brain encode from my mishaps, resistances, and indulgences.

Spiraling up delivers that moment of spiritual connection

There goes the myth of being superglued to bliss! These glitches, or reactive, allostatic circuits, cause a chemical cascade that activates scattered (Brain State 3), stuck (Brain State 4), and toxic (Brain State 5) emotions. In those allostatic states, we spontaneously and persistently (these wires have no shut-off valves) separate from the deeper meanings of life.

It's about chemicals. Those stress-overload chemicals demand that we get what we want when we want it and that all that matters is meeting our needs for comfort and pleasure in that moment. So, a little bit of the "devil" is right there within all of us.

The grace of our beautiful emotional brain

What heartens me is coming to understand that the emotional brain has our back. It can easily clear any one of those unfortunate states in an orderly and reliable way. That's why our new book is called 1-2-3 JOY!

We keep it simple. Notice that one of those stress wires has had the audacity to activate and choose your pathway to the love-and-light emotions. If you want to make a quick pass through your resiliency pathways, use Spiral Up Pathway #1, the instant boost. If you have a couple of minutes to pass through a couple of times or do it at a bit more leisurely pace, use Spiral Up Pathway #2. What if you sense that you need to do deep work, rewiring past glitches, fear memories, and errant wires? Use Spiral Up Pathway #3.

Our emotional brain can do that for us. All it takes is being willing to receive, opening that tight fist of overcontrol, foregoing the overthinking and the busy-busy-busy approach to life, and flowing through your feelings. Where do we end up when we choose to reach for our app and spiral up through one of these precise processes? We end up feeling love, compassion, gratitude, hope, forgiveness, awe, and joy. These are the spiritual emotions.

The ultimate equality: everyone has these pathways

Best of all, nobody is left out. EBT is universal, cheap, and not easy, but it is so profoundly effective that it is worth the steep learning curve at first, going through the courses, making connections, and discovering Oneness among us.

This simple scientific method offers another pathway to spirituality. In these times, one can't have too many of those pathways. Add EBT to any other approaches you use and feel the difference: joy on demand, and it is all based on science.