Another new year is upon us. So many challenges still looming from 2020. While the air thick with uncertainty, the gravity of our new reality is challenging for almost everyone on the planet moving forward. However, since the U.S. Inauguration yesterday, most of our countrymen and women are breathing a sigh of relief now that the rhetoric of the last administration is turned way down.
Covid 19 is wreaking havoc on our ability to live and love…And frankly, to love living. Business as usual is no more therefore, life as we once knew it, may be changed permanently, Ugh… For me, it has been like losing the floor and ceiling all at once! Do i sound stressed out? Can you relate?
I have not had the courage to go to my local hair person for months. I seriously have a hair emergency emerging but, my hair style does not seem nearly as important as my potential death by Corona V. Or who knows…I might be one of those lucky asymptomatic people, just get the sniffles and a scratchy throat.
This contrast in symptoms, the very random nature of nature is what’s keeping us all on edge. The very unpredictable nature of this pathogen should be setting alarm bells off which say, stay home more, masking up and slathering soap and cleaning sprays everywhere to protect you and your loved ones. Yet, there are still those out there not believing that a crisis exists. Some days, I need a big push just to get myself out the door. And there lay the issue… The brain game. The ability of our thoughts to be uncontrollably dominated by issues of which we have no control.
This life altering, historical cluster of months, weeks, hours, minutes and seconds means that BIG TIME STRESS has moved to the forefront and self care has been placed in the background for maybe a later date.
A term used to describe the tools needed for getting through tough or uncertain times of crisis is “coping skills.” Another term popularized most recently and sounds as heavy duty as the moment is “Brain Hacking.”
That is how this missive came to be… I have been busy creating brain hacking strategies to help me push through so that I do not lose my neurological connection to all that I know and love and so that I do not be come uncontrollably obsessive about the new realities facing me daily.
Since most of us are no longer carrying on business as usual, our daily life patterns have been altered. This means that literally our neurological response to life and all things around us has to change as well.
Since the Pandemic stay at home begun, I along with many others feel pretty restricted. Some days, time seems to move sideways. Brain and body seem to be in rebellion for whatever might feed its need for comfort and information. My responses to the little things is changing. I seem to have adopted an air of hyper vigilance which, at times, makes me a bit up tight and on edge. Thank god I am married to a man who literally takes very little seriously. His lack of concern, while sometimes concerning, seems to bring calm and levity to this plight.
So, what is brain hacking? How do you get started? And what tools do you need to help you succeed?
Brain Hacking is our ability to shift behavior by replacing it with another more desirable one…To go into your neurological hard drive and create positive or negative change. Here are some basic strategies for you to explore. There is no better time than now to get started. The tools necessary are your willingness to want to affect positive change for yourself.
Brain Hack #1 — Recognize and Acknowledge your present state of consciousness. LEAN IN TO A GUIDED MOMENT OF SILENCE — Take some time to sit quietly. Pick your fav spot of your home or office. All electronic gadgets off. Take 20 to shut out the world and recharge. Seated, laying down is fine. Take several deep directed breaths into your center. Feel your muscles relax and the clutter in your head slowly evaporate. Release your expectations and shut out the outside words for a while. With each breath begin to recognize the source of pull or stress or obsession and focus on letting go momentarily. Once you feel yourself begin to let go, recognize the source of disruption and conflict and acknowledge it. Like an ancient warrior, call in the assistance of your ancestors. Thank them for giving you life and ask their assistance in this moment then, let go and know the power of the universe is with you. This is just an example of something you can do to CREATE A NEURAL NEUTRAL BRAIN STATE. A brain state where you can begin to observe your own response to life and create a shift in thinking and how you move forward. Recognition and Acknowledgement is key. These two things will help create a sort of neurological opening for you to begin making change.
Brain Hack #2 — Create Clarity by making a plan. MAKE A LIST OF YOUR TRIGGERS. What seems to be really critical for getting through the day is remembering to create daily purposeful patterned tasks. While the down side is that there is less to do for most of us, the up side is that we have more time, to spend shaping who we are to our selves and to each other. This will require a brain hack strategy of creating calm and clarity before laying down new tracks which will lead you to your desired out come. LIST YOUR TRIGGERS so that you can become aware of which people, places and ideas pull you off center.
Brain hacking literally means breaking ourselves from impulsive, thoughtless tasks or responses that might, in the end, set us up for failure; or worse, depression. Replacing nuero-negative behaviors with more constructive neuro-positive and responsive behaviors relative to the moment is the goal. CHAOS AND CONFLICT CREATES A JAMMING OF OUR NEURO SIGNALS… LIKE INTENSE ANGER. While it may be appropriate to be angry at some event or person, it is how you resolve your response to that circumstance that creates your neuo-footprint. We can affect positive changes in brain chemistry if we direct the power of our biological resources towards a desired outcome.
By making a list of triggers you are initiating a feedback loop or conversation which, much like a computer solving a problem, your neurological system will naturally solve. It’s not magic…Well, it is magic however, you need to provide the right conditions for change to occur. Our autonomic nervous system is the most powerful system in our body. It literally is our hard drive. However, often we are told that it is programmed and not changeable. NOT TRUE. YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS is the other most powerful tool that you possess. Although you cannot see your consciousness you can feel it, mold it and expose it to conditions that are great for you or not so great for you. It is the interface where these two powerful tools meet that you can learn to affect change.
Brain Hack #3 — Replace your negative neuro-nonsense behavior with a neuro-nurturing behavior. HAVE A NEURO-NEUTRAL STRATEGY.
Behavior replacement or creating neuro-consciousnes requires the first two steps… Creating a neuro-neutral zone for your brain and understanding and acknowledging your triggers. Once these two steps are acknowledged the next phase is the practice phase…So next time….You want to reach for a snack, go for a run or ride your bike or put on your favorite song and dance around your house. Next time you have the urge to thumb through your social media for 30 minutes, re read a chapter in your favorite book or write your favorite someone a letter/card, even if you do not send it. Next time you finding yourself losing your temper with someone, smile and give them a hug instead.
The practice of behavior replacement will literally reset your neuro-circuitry and with practice will create a whole new story for you. Our thoughts and responses to events and activities are patterned. Some patterns are good and others lead us into the void of repetition without purpose; YOU HAVE A CHOICE AND A CHANCE TO CREATE POSITIVE CHANGE.
Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the importance of purposeful exercise in my life for brain balancing. Without exercise, sport and dance my experiences and knowledge of brain behavior and how to affect change, would not be.
I am so thankful for this platform where I can share my thoughts and experiences. I am eager to find how others connect to my experience and ideas. Please reach out at Body IQ Girl
PS…We ARE RESPONSIBLE for our best and worst moments. Our best and worst self is based on the reality that we create.