We have two types of brains, the first being the primitive brain designed to help us during periods of emergency. The second type of brain we have is the more advanced brain, designed for problem solving, making predictions, planning ahead and creating positive intentions in our lives.
The thing about the second brain is that to properly access it, you have to be enmeshed in a state of genuine calm. Various States of worry or anxieties only brings you closer under the control of the reptilian/primitive brain. The closer you are to operating under the will of the reptilian brain the more impulsive you are likely to be. This is because the reptilian brain is designed to keep us responsive and subsequently alive when unexpected life threatening /altering emergencies interrupt our daily routines. An example of this would be driving, most drivers can testify just how suddenly responsive they become at the wheel when steering out of a possible collision or out of the path of a wayward pedestrian.
This is testimony to the power and importance of the reptilian brain. However the key to thriving through life is being able to create calm in your life and subsequently your thoughts. The calmer you are, the more you are able to think ahead and create positive intentions in your life.
As a psychotherapist, I see excessive reactivity and impulsivity as a symptom of unresolved trauma. Usually from early life experiences, and when working with people who are consistently reactive, I inform or remind them about their personal power. About how they now have the power as adults to remove chaos from their lives regardless of how uncomfortable they feel initially about living in peace.
We are creatures of habit, and while our individual and collective tendencies to establish rituals and routines is a strength, we also have the ability to evoke change in our lives. So even if you have experienced significant trauma at any point in your life, which has led you to adopt certain maladaptive behaviors to cope with the pain, you have the power to change.
Think about it this way, if you experienced significant trauma at any point in your life, it changed you and the initial process where your brain became rewired as you changed your habits was most likely painfully uncomfortable. Then it stands to reason that despite the discomfort you will experience as you intentionally evoke positive change in your life, it is a period of discomfort you should look forward to as the new you will bring about a happy and more thriving you.
Ugo is a psychotherapist and life coach.
Anxiety is an energetic way we typically we feel when we are preparing for an important event in our lives. Unfortunately it is an energy which is frequently misunderstood.
Imagine if you are giving a presentation to a mid sized to a large sized audience, chances are that you are going to be experiencing a significant degree of anxiety as the event date approaches. How you initially manage your feelings of anxiety, is determined by your beliefs and expectations regarding feeling anxious.
So if you are feeling particularly fearful in response to your anxious feelings, then it stands to reason that you will regard the energy you are experiencing with significant dread as the date approaches. What if you could see your anxiety as a good sign? What if you could see your anxiety as a sign that your body is going through the physiological changes it needs to go through in order for you to be at your very best on the day of the actual event?
If this idea sounds appealing to you, then the process of going through such a change comes from learning to accept life on life’s terms. So rather than envision your worst fears, (things that shouldn’t happen to you) adopt an attitude of hoping and praying for the best, while being prepared to learn the lesson you need to learn from the outcome of the event, regardless of how things go. With the intent of using the lesson you learned from the event to further your growth as a person.
Understandably, not everyone who struggles with anxiety, struggles due to specific issues that he or she is aware of, often times people experience chronic forms of anxiety for reasons they struggle to explain. This is especially true for sufferers of panic attacks. I have found that when treating such people in these predicaments, they are often enmeshed with several thoughts during the day about possible scenarios of things that could go wrong. What I would usually tell such people is that their experiences with anxiety is provoked not by a specific issue, but by several issues most of which are irrational and blown out of proportion by their thoughts.
The process of getting to a healthier place where you able to genuinely perceive your feelings of anxiety as a good sign comes from changing your beliefs about your expectations. To put more bluntly learn to preference your expectations. It makes it easier for you to accept and cope with disappointments and learn the lesson you need to learn from it.
Working with a good Therapist, is the first step towards understanding the history of your beliefs and picking up cognitive strategies to begin practicing change.
Ugo is a psychotherapist and life coach.