Perspective of thought – Taking back control
The perspective we have is personal; no one has the same thoughts, feelings or experiences as you do. Even those who share your memory moments and events will have different emotional connection and memories to you.
What if it is your perspective that is the reason for you feeling so low, stressed, worried or other negative feelings?
In different theories, styles and therapies we have different ideas:
Gestalt – The representation of the 4 zones.
NLP – Our filters that make us delete, distort or generalise.
CBT – Training your mind to see positive will make you feel more positive.
Mindfulness – Awareness of the internal and external influences
Psychotherapy – How we react throughout our lives and changing them
Counselling – The singular solution to the singular problem
Law of Attraction – We get back what we give
EVERY life changing solution that we can learn from and build upon self change that is available has, in my opinion, a singular attribute:
If we can change how we think, we will change how we feel AND if we change how we feel, we can change how we think!
So is it up to us to make the changes we need?
What can WE do?
For emotional calm to produce rational thought we have to be able to cope with life’s stresses, manage how we put ourselves under pressure because only a calm mind can have rational thought.
Emotions influence us, we can’t analyse and feel the emotions consecutively, which is the benefit with mindfulness or self awareness. If we are trying to be logical in thought for our work, or our life management, emotion changes our perspective and therefore how we think.
Most people have an awareness of the fight or flight response, it is where our bodies automatically react to the stimulus present. Thousands of years ago if a wild beast jumped out the FoF response would kick in and flood the body with adrenalin, increase the heart rate and narrow the blood vessels, it would pump Cortisol into the bloodstream to fire up the Neurons and all of a sudden in a split second, we had tremendous focus and the physical ability to run for our lives or fight for them.
We don’t have wild beasts jumping out on us, so we don’t need this response on a daily basis to survive, but the body doesn’t know that. Now we are under stress at work, dealing with the finances at home, problems that occur day in and day out. The FoF kicks in on a semi permanent basis and our bodies can’t cope.
If you ever watch a cat walk past a mirror, it will suddenly react to the reflection and you can see it has responded physically but then watch as it moves on and returns to its calm self. In nature we are supposed to return to the calm state too, but in today’s society we remain in the FoF response mode, and it has other effects.
When we are stressed or anxious, worried or fearful the same responses are in play, just the same as if we are positively excited too, but that response calms quickly. Strange how we hold on to the negative isn’t it?
This response pumps out the adrenaline, noradrenaline and Cortisol, what do these do you wonder, well here is a short list of some of the things that happen:
Blood vessel contract
Heart rate increases
Air passages open
Sudden burst of high energy
Now some of those you may think are great, you are stronger, can think quicker, are more aware of your environment, but these are meant to be sudden and quick, not maintained. So if you live at a rate of accelerated function, it is going to tire you out quickly. I like to use the metaphor of a car, if you drive a car at full speed all the time, you are going to burn out that engine, but if you slow it down and let it cool you can speed it up again and again and again and it will keep going, but only if you slow it down and let it cool properly.
The side affects of being in the FoF response is that the body knows it doesn’t need everything to be working inside to physically run away or fight, so it shuts those areas down. It knows that you need to be very alert and focus on fighting or finding a way out, but you don’t need to concentrate on everything. So you might find that you lock onto one aspect of issue.
Have you ever had an argument and realised after that you focussed on one small point and couldn’t let it go, even though it was minor? That is the Cortisol pumping into your brain. When you push yourself too far, the FoF kicks in to fight mode and being we have a society that doesn’t attack and tear at a throat, we allow our brains to do what is best, find the alternative.
Anyone who has lost their temper and said something they regret, here is your chance to forgive yourself, Your brain went into attack mode and instead of physically attacking you attacked verbally, your mind looked deep inside for the most affective way to hurt that other person. You weren’t the evil person you thought you were, you were physically reacting to a primeval response to defend yourself embedded into our DNA. Let it go and move on.
Is it easy to move on, it could be if you calmed yourself. Look at all the reactions mentioned earlier and think about what they can do to the body if they are constant… Heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, seizures, panic attacks, and anxiety disorders.
Remember how I said the body shuts down what it doesn’t need, well it shuts down the digestive system so people gain or lose weight, they get ulcers, IBS, colonic irritations and diseases; the immune system closes down leaving us open to illnesses and not being able to maintain white blood cells, which means no defence and issues with bone marrow production, maybe even to higher rates of cancer. In women the reproductive system shuts down making it harder to conceive or more prone to problems during pregnancy. The liver and the kidneys slow down, making it difficult to cleanse the system out.
These issues have a long term affect on our bodies, but also the state of our minds, learning how to relax the body is one thing but we also need to relax the mind. If we start taking notice now, we can help ourselves in the future.
Constant attack from Cortisol poisons the system; it also releases the Tau protein, which is found in cases of CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy), this has recently been in the news for footballers heading the ball. It has the same symptoms as Alzheimer’s so isn’t always known to be the reasons behind issues in the older generation. With Cortisol being a trigger for the Tau protein and that same protein being present in CTE, are we putting ourselves at major risk in our own older years?
How can we calm these affects? There are exercises, breathing techniques, etc. You need to find what works for you! I personally have several techniques I use and teach, so find someone near you and try different things, it has to be something you are comfortable with and enjoy. The first few times you try, depending on how stressed you are, may feel awkward or strangely uncomfortable. Try, try and try again, you will begin to relax, when you do you will notice change and change is what you are looking for.
When we approach an event or situation we have expectations based on our mindset, our physical health, our emotional state and individuality (are we alone or with others). This has the result in making the moment follow your beliefs. When looking for the negatives, the problems, the bad feeling, it takes very little to give you the confirmation or proof that the negative would be there to find. Yet we have to be reminded by others frequently about the positive aspects of the exact same events.
Why is this? Negativity kept our species alive, it is in our DNA, we are genetically programmed to be aware of the bad, the risk, the problems that ‘might’ occur. Go back to the Fof, it is a survival mechanism, but we don’t need those instincts in life now… or do we? Yes of course we do, we wouldn’t walk across a collapsing bridge, or put our hands into a fire. We would keep away from places where we could fall, but yet we can logically fix the feelings of danger; just look at the people who like to go bungee jumping, parachuting or base jumping! You can even add in smoking there, that’s against every survival instinct!
These extreme sports all trigger the FoF response, but for those that do the sport, or achieve the ‘impossible act’ we get the rush, it is a rush of endorphins rewarding the body for its achievement, and it really is a high because endorphins are our natural opiates, which is probably why we term people adrenalin junkies, they love that natural high of success.
We don’t need to go quite that far, we can simply be aware that our genetics are trying to help us survive by making us think negatively, to be cautious, to figure out what could go wrong and that is simply so that the subconscious mind can figure out a way to beat it, to create a plan; if only we were consciously aware of that side too.
When the FoF response is in play we will create a list of things that might happen, so we are prepared to counteract them. When we are living our lives in this stressful and anxious manner, we become aware of all of these things that “could go wrong’ and it adds to the stresses already there, which again makes us doubt the outcomes due to weighing up the good/positive result with a continuous bombardment of possible negative results.
This isn’t just with events, it is with personal thoughts, and how we believe others may respond in action or thoughts.
We can create images in our minds about anything, in any place! That is the strength of our mind and also the subconscious taking advantage.
So what is the answer? Ask a thousand people and get a thousand responses but for me, if we can let our minds take a small respite from these pressure we place ourselves under, then we will have a different outlook on what is out there. If you work through your lunch, you are working at 50% of your ability, if you take 20 minutes and go for a walk during lunch and actually look at what is out there, you will be like a new person and will get more done. Take a break, recharge and you’ll be more productive. If you think about it, that means you’ll get more done, which means you will have more time, and that eases the pressure and so on.
All you need to do is find your way.
Now YOU can take back control!