We all have old habits for the way we think and process. The difficulty is that these old habits used to work really well, or at least our perception is that they did. Often they were probably survival skills that actually just got us by. In order to really achieve the peace, power and joy that we know is possible, we need new skills.
It turns out our hearts lead more of our decision and thinking process than we ever thought. Because we can measure electric magnetic waves and trace the signals our hearts give our brains, we now know that the heart is in charge of the amygdala response (otherwise known as fight, flight or freeze).
Instead of letting this subconscious process decide how we feel - with enough practice, we can consciously choose what we feel in any situation. To begin, you must take charge of your life and choose to invest in being conscious and mindful of what you are feeling. At Passion Provokers, we use this technique to help people choose their own paths, instead of getting swept away in the daily stress and relationship traps they have set for themselves.
I learned this 'Cancel technique' in college. My anatomy and physiology instructor, Professor Milkiny, would say "Cancel, Cancel" anytime one of us would give a wrong answer out loud. He explained that saying the word twice made your brain stop making the synapses that would lead you to remember the wrong answer, instead of the right answer.
Turns out that he was right; and, it works to wake up the brain make it refocus. This is important because: the old habits we may have formed - which led to feeling depressed, angry, or anxious - are getting in the way of feeling the confidence we need to deal with lives and get the best results.
So after being thoughtful about the things that have hurt me in the past and taking a serious look at my issues of denial - and yes, it is more than a river in Egypt - then I will recognize that I am allowing my old habit of feeling sorry for myself. So, I say "Cancel, Cancel" to stop the old habit.
Saying the words "Feel, Feel" allows me to quickly do a gut check and feel what is happening now, and compare it to what I have come to recognize as healthy processing. Yes, feelings are actually partially processed in your belly; there is enough neural matter in your digestive system to make a cat brain.
With practice it gets easier and faster. It is amazing how fast our brains work and apply skills. It is doing this all the time, whether or not I am being conscious about it. When I am not, the thought just goes to the default of looking for the old pain and assuming that is what I will be getting.
I also say "Love, Love" (out loud, if I won't look too crazy in public) because the only reason to live is love, and love has to be a choice before it is a feeling. On this journey of love, its definition of continues to grow and change. Turns out the most loving thing sometimes is to say nothing at all - or at least wait to say or do something when it will be better received. Best of all this little "brain hack" allows me to be true to myself and my intention of being present, to what is happening now instead of imposing my picture of the past on it like I used to.
So when I stub my toe, or just think that I am so stupid I say: "Cancel, Cancel." Then Feel, Feel" And then "Love, Love." After the first few times, it happens faster and faster and allows me to act in the moment. A life of loving myself and others is so much better than thinking I am dumb.
Try it for a week, and you will find a whole new set of options for some of those frustrating problems!
Photo credit: David Castillo Dominici, FreeDigital.net