The Next Step in Personal Transformation
In "Why it's so hard to Keep New Years Resolutions" I shared a simple (but not easy) way to interrupt automatic thoughts before your subconscious executed, in it's entirety, that thought;'s corresponding program.
Biologically speaking, especially when we are stressed, blood is literally shunted away from the logic center (prefrontal cortex) of the brain, and directed to the hind brain where the fight/flight/freeze, and a myriad of other automatic programs reside. The appropriate program is chosen to match the stimulus and off we go.
The trick here is to switch the blood flow, and the executive function back to the prefrontal cortex as soon as possible, because once the auto program starts, it tends to run until the end.
Some smart soul figured out that if we can catch ourselves before we act, and mentally rearrange some numbers or letters, that is enough to gain control of our conscious mind. It is as simple as saying your phone number, or social security number backwards once or twice.
Personally, when I do this, I can feel the intensity of my reactions cool almost instantly.
Once you're able to go meta cognitive (Watch and stop your auto thoughts) the next step is to simply decide what thoughts you want in your automatic responses. What behaviors do you want to demonstrate?
For example, take a situation that occurs regularly, like a co-worker dropping snappy ass on-liners designed to belittle you. Take your time and write out your eloquent or snappy ass retort completely. Include as many details as you can, like the brightness of the room, smells, sounds, people in the background, time of day, and most importantly, how your new response feels within your body. Do you feel giddy? Smart? Intelligent? Make a mental note and "feel" that way every time you review.
Now, rehearse the scenario and immerse yourself completely. The most effective time to so this is as you fall asleep, or as you wake up, because this is when your brain waves are relaxed in the theta or alpha state. This will cause your subconscious mind to believe the situation is real, and record it as a successful execution.
The taste of success is very effective in behavior reinforcement. This combined with repetition will soon have a new automatic program "Installed" for use the next time your co-worker drops their one liner.
And now, choose a couple more programs you want to replace. Note the stimulus that sets off that program, and repeat the process of writing and installing new programs.
Happy New Year!