The Neurology of Composure

The impact of neurology on composure for CEOs

Quite often people make traits a function of their identity, however, there’s a lot more at play than a perceived personality trait.

Furthermore, this information can be leveraged for business, let’s first see what these traits are based on.


The nervous system has 2 branches of interest to us in this matter: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic.

The sympathetic is the quick operating system, jumps to conclusions, survival-oriented, fight and flight system it deals with the right-here-right-now. It works on a continuum/spectrum, so it’s far from binary.

The parasympathetic is the slow operating system, it analyses and processes, and it’s concerned with long-term thinking, consequences of actions, etc. It’s typically called the rest, digest, and recover the system. It also works on a continuum/spectrum.


Most neurotransmitters fall into one of two categories: excitatory and inhibitory. 

Dopamine, Acetylcholine, and glutamate are all excitatory (so is adrenaline). They are also tied to the sympathetic nervous system.

GABA, taurine, and serotonin are inhibitory. They stop (inhibit) impulses. GABA especially acts as a top-down regulator, that is conscious control over impulse. They’re predominately implicated in the state and function of the parasympathetic nervous system.


Trauma and stress change the state and function of the brain, circuits, and receptors. Stress also depletes certain vitamins and minerals, and sucks energy. Trauma also makes you deficient in GABA and taurine, alongside magnesium. 

This means that trauma on a biochemical level drives malnutrition by chronic sustained stress and/or low-stress resilience due to GABA receptor system down-regulation and nervous system dysregulation.

Furthermore, your predisposition to GABA production and sensitivity also has a genetic element (parents and ancestry), epigenetic (mother’s pregnancy and birth), and environmental (childhood experience and exposure to toxins/stressors). 


So here we come to the central point, the argument I’m laying forth: How can you be patient and calm/composed and/or plan long-term with a dysregulated nervous system, depleted mineral, and vitamin stores, chronic stress, and inflammation, low-stress threshold, decreased GABA production, sensitivity and receptors, genetic predisposition and altered neurological circuits?

I’m willing to wager very little of this function of your personality, which is what people tend to gravitate towards, this identification with their states (and experiences).

However, if we were to address all of these elements, which we can do through supplementation, lifestyle, nutrition, behavioral modification, centering, and meditative practice coupled with introspective practice, your experience of this aspect of your identity would change.

Which would change how you show up to your business, meetings, conflicts, problems, etc. There’s a huge carry-over into business when the neurotransmitters and thus the nervous system are balanced.

Composure isn’t necessarily a discipline thing or something you will yourself to, it’s a neurological formula you can stack in your favor.






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