Dear Candy Q&A - What to do when you hit a wall
Today's post is about how to move forward and overcome resistance when it feels like you've hit a wall with retraining.
There are different reasons why we might experience resistance or hit a wall during retraining. Resistance can show up when the limbic system goes through withdrawal from certain neurochemicals associated with negative mental and emotional states. As we rewire and we stop producing as much of that neurochemistry, the brain experiences withdrawal, much like withdrawal from an addiction. As a result, you may experience a stronger pull toward returning toward more of those old thought patterns and emotional states, or increased resistance to interrupting the old patterns or changing your emotional state. The key here is to recognize what is happening and to rise above it. Know that as you stay the course, the withdrawal will calm down and your brain will normalize to the new neurochemistry you are producing. This process is temporary and worth the push through it to get to a better better balanced neurochemical state. Then it becomes infinitely easier to stay on course with rewiring.
If resistance to practice is coming up after a long period of retraining in the same way, using the same tools, then it might be time to change things up a bit. You can think of this as going around the wall, or finding a doorway in a different section of the wall that allows you to pass through. Remember that the key to rewiring is to stop the automatic negative thoughts, entertain elevated emotional states, slowly introduce things back into your life with a positive association, and to repeat this process often. As long as you are meeting these criteria, you can do that however you see fit. It might mean changing the wording of practice rounds, the place where you do your rounds, or the length of your rounds to make them shorter and more engaging (if you are doing rounds). It might mean bringing in more fun activities or bringing in more enjoyment and playfulness as a replacement to some of the other tools (so long as you are still cultivating the curious observer and stopping any negative thought patterns/states that arise). There are a lot of great groups on WhatsApp that can help you engage in the rewiring process perhaps in a slightly different way. Or you may want to look at things you enjoyed growing up or that you used to do, and make time to bring more of that in. Perhaps it is looking at how you can bring in more creativity and inspiration. Maybe creating artistically or listening to uplifting podcasts or TedTalks that help you feel engaged or motivated.
So long as we keep the basics in mind, the sky is the limit as to how you engage in rewiring, and you can change it up as you see fit. Changing up the routine and infusing it with fun, engaging activities may be just the ticket to get you back on track or overcome any obstacle you may be currently facing!
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Candy Widdifield is Registered Clinical Counsellor, Wellness Coach, and Registered Reiki Master Teacher in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. She works with people all over the world, helping them to optimize their wellbeing and thrive in their lives. Her modalities include coaching, therapy, Reiki and the Safe & Sound Protocol. More information about Candy can be found at www.candywiddifield.com