Who’s running the show?

Following up on last months’ article regarding energy and your brain, it’s time to talk about chemistry. I’m not here to bore the hell out of you and put you to sleep in five minutes. We’re going to talk about how to recognize your current situation, analyze it, and then change it into something that can serve you.

Last month I talked about your body’s interpretation of other people’s energy and how we get a “good” or “bad” feeling about someone when they enter a room or begin to interact with them.  That feeling is your body’s interpretation of their energy. This month we’re going to focus on how to understand why you feel the way you do about someone or something. Also, we’ll look at how to change your emotional experience so that you use the magical chemistry in your brain in a positive way to release the chemicals that leave you feeling happy and healthy.

By Dr. Steve Mikulak

By Dr. Steve Mikulak

For our purposes, consider “feelings” the language of the body and “thoughts” as the language of the mind (brain). Typically, when the mind and body are thinking, working and feeling, we produce what is called “our state of being.”

Unfortunately, for too many people, that thought process is “I’m depressed,” “I can’t do it”, “it’s too hard,” “I’m pissed off,” “nothing ever goes my way,” etc. These negative thoughts produce a chemical cocktail in your brain that signals your body to feel a certain way. In these cases, it’s usually not a good feeling. See, chemically speaking, the brain doesn’t know the difference between a thought and an actual physical action. For example, say you have a dream about someone shooting at you while you’re running away. While you’re sleeping, your brain will release the same chemicals as if someone was actually chasing you. Your pupils will dilate, your heartbeat will increase, and your body will go into fight-or-flight protection mode even though it was simply a dream.

So if the brain cannot differentiate between thoughts and real life, then what would happen if you could choose to think about and visualize the state of emotion that you really would like to feel? What if you, with a little practice, could rewire your brain to produce thoughts and feelings that benefit you instead of breaking you down. What if you could replace “I hate” with “I love” or angry feelings with happiness?

There is a saying in neurology world that says “nerves that fire together, wire together.” This is important because what most people don’t realize is their thought process is actually a set of learned habits of the subconscious mind that have been repeated over and over again throughout our lives. That bad experience you had when you were 10 years old that has been gnawing away at you for years continues to produce the same negative chemicals that it did when the event first happened, but now it’s had 20 years of rehearsal time of sending those negative feeling chemicals whenever you think about an event. Now a simple thought brings about all the negative feelings automatically. You have hardwired your subconscious brain (unknowingly) for years and years. What once was a two-track nerve pathway has been built into a four-lane interstate of emotional baggage. You need to learn to break the habit of taking that road and create a new positive path of emotions that can be rehearsed and strengthened over time. You basically need to un-learn your old way, create a new way, and practice it.

- First, you need to identify your old habitual ways of thinking.

- Second, ask yourself why do you react the way that you do?

- Decide what would be a better emotional state to be in when you encounter a situation?

Then, get in that mindset, and practice it over and over. Some people use visualization techniques and meditation to get to where they want to be and over time, those people can change the way they feel simply by thinking about it.

This is not easy; it will take time! Be patient; it took you 20 years of subconscious rehearsal to get here, it’s going to take some work to de-learn and re-learn some things. Your subconscious will send you all sorts of fun chemical signals to produce thoughts and feelings like: don’t do it, go back to bed, I got this, don’t change the status quo. You have to recognize that it’s trying to fire the old pathway that has been wired a certain way and it will resist the changes you’re trying to make but eventually the new practiced thoughts and emotions will fire and wire in a new way creating a new emotion and a new feeling of your choosing.

The trick is getting out of the habit of being you. You need to wake up each day with the thought: “Today will be different!” If you find yourself thinking and feeling the same way as always, tell your brain to STOP IT! Take a minute, think about what’s happening and change it.

Stop letting your feelings dictate the chemicals in your brain and start to teach the brain that it is in control of the body as it should be and not the other way around. With a little practice you can be awesome, but the process only works if you do!

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