You over-react when your child or your partner does something wrong.
You’re in a rotten mood and you just can’t shake it.
You know you’re making a mountain out of a molehill, and it’s a relief to have that much perspective, but that’s not enough. You want to feel better!
You have to be careful because your automatic reactions can make things worse. (We’ve all been down that path before!)
You CAN turn your mood around if you do the right thing. It’s simpler than you think, but first it’s helpful to understand what’s happening in your brain when you feel the way you do.
Your moods aren’t just caused by what’s going on “out there”. They’re affected more than you think by non-verbal, mood-altering memories that live out of awareness. Unconscious memories are big and small, positive and negative, and the result of one time events or ongoing conditions.
We can’t see them directly – only their shadows. They’re not the kind of memory that deteriorates with Alzheimer’s, the kind of memory you can say happened in a certain time and place.
Non-verbal, mood-altering memories affect the choices you make, even more than your logical thinking! They determine your long-term level of happiness and success, but unfortunately it’s hard to work with implicit memories if you don’t know what to do because you can’t see them directly! You have to a detective.
You don’t experience implicit memories directly, but they leave clues in the form of your strong likes and dislikes, your longings and fears.
Here’s a two-step process to escape the grip of implicit memories that can chain you in negative patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. You’re going to use each side of your brain to create ease in your life.
When you’re upset or off-center take time to identify and name your emotions. This brings the left side of your brain into the act, and that in and of itself can reduce the disruptive power of the implicit memory that’s being triggered in this situation.
Now relax and feel the emotion in your body – especially your heart. Let the feeling come and then go. As the sensations come and then go, the implicit memory is drained of it’s power to run your life. Don’t try to analyze or understand the emotions. This is not a cognitive process. Simply relax and notice real time feelings as they come and go in your heart.
These two processes (putting words on your emotions and feeling them in your body) work even better when you combine them with BrainTime Relax. BrainTime builds the flexibility in your brain to stay present with life’s inevitable emotional triggers and make physical changes in your brain to support a new pattern of thinking and feeling.
* Learn about BrainTime.
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You can also listen to Emotions and Your Brain and Relationships and Your Brain in our audio library. Click here
“My moods are stable, and I no longer have such a short fuse.”
Dr. Brian Faul Western Cape, South Africa
Escape those chains!