I know, I feel like that sometimes.
Its almost always when I’m stressed, because when we’re stressed we trigger our para-sympathetic nervous system.
Okay, let me drop the jargon, when you’re stressed, you trigger your survival response, and all you’re able to do is get through from moment to moment, following your thoughts, dizzying, catastrophising, fearing the worst is always about to happen.
If you want to change your life or any aspect of it, what you actually need to do is get out of your own way.
Your brain is designed for survival and little else, and so everything you need to do to live: walking, talking, breathing, brushing your teeth, putting on your clothes, once learned become automatic. We don’t have to learn to tie our shoes every day or learn to drive the car every time you sit behind the driving wheel. We live on autopilot.
This is the learned programming, estimated at around 70,000 thoughts that crowd our brain all day, every day. And they are the same thoughts, more or less every day.
They are designed to make sure that you wake up every morning and make it safely back to bed at the end of the day.
Its automated. A treadmill.
And every so often you’ll become aware of this automated system when you notice your response to something and go, ‘Oh no, I didn’t want to do that!’ or ‘What did I say that for?’
Because you were in your trance and responded automatically. Without conscious thought.
Obviously this programming, these automatic thoughts get in your way when you’re trying to bring about change in your life.
You are unable to be present, to show up in the here and now.
Your autopilot is paying attention to the 70,000 thoughts running around in your head. How could you possibly be present?
Changing how you think…. Not trying to change the 70,000 automatic thoughts. They are there, that’s hundreds of thousands of years of survival evolution, we’re not going to change that any time soon, but changing how you think is the only way you can focus on what you need to do to make change happen.
You have to get free of the thoughts in your head.
We have been designed to resist change, you were designed not to focus but just get through the day and survive.
And the biggest downside of the autopilot is that it triggers the stress response. And what happens with those 70,000 thoughts spinning round and round is we create our own stress response. We keep ourselves stressed all the time. I know this for a fact because almost always, the only person putting pressure on me is me!
That’s why I say we have to get out of our own way.
And how do we start?
As always, I want you to start changing your focus. This is where the how in changing your thinking comes into play. What would you like to have happen?
Transforming your life is all about understanding first of all that you are not a failure even if you have tried and not changed a hundred times, a thousand times, millions of times.
You don’t have to act right now either. Sometimes, all you need to do is stop and take a breath.
Here’s a fab little exercise I recorded for Winter WonderMind and I’m going to share with you here to calm your thinking within 5 minutes.
Slow down, think about something you love and relax. It pulls you out of the automatic thinking and gives you clarity in the moment. And you can only make changes in this moment and none other. Not the past or the future. Only now.
Baby steps. Take it all in your own time and relax more. Change will come once you let go of stress.
PS. Winter WonderMind is still available at the incredible price £99.