When it’s all Too Much – Neuroscience to the rescue!
Do you know that feeling when you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, or when ten things come down on you all at once and they all need to attention like NOW? How about when you are working under an urgent deadline and the clock keeps, tick, tick, ticking down to the wire?
How do you stay calm, cool, collected in the midst of that?
Over the past five or six years I’ve been playing with a little theory I read about neural pathways being plastic. This means we can change our brains. It also means we are able to alter our routine ways of handling things. If your normal way of dealing with stress is to blow up, you are deepening “blow up” neural pathways every time you flip your lid. If you’ve been doing it for years, you’ve got an autobahn of anger just waiting to erupt.
If the neural scientists are correct about neural plasticity, (i.e. our brain isn’t hard wired, but can be changed over time): we can become less reactionary. We can allow the anger (or other difficult emotion) to dissipate by choosing to blow off some steam before reacting. This could be done by, let’s say, breathing intentionally for about 90 seconds and fully feeling the emotion during that time. Yes 90 seconds is all it takes for the brunt of any emotion to evaporate, or so the experts say. Imagine, over time you can literally have new mental pathways.
I’ve got a little challenge for you. Next time you feel difficult feelings come up, make and intention to become aware of them, breathe and allow them exist without reacting for 90 seconds. Try this over 21 days. The first couple of hundred times might be a bit hard, but I would imagine after that you might see some real changes. I know I have.
If you like this little tip, please contact me to see how we can start making little changes that will lead to big results. You’ll be glad you did, and you’ll be able to handle things with greater ease and start feeling more alive right away. Contact me here.