Studies show that we have about 80-thousand thoughts per day. (WHOA.) Our mind is always at work. Heaps of thoughts are firing and wiring in our brain every single moment, most of them barely even noticed by us as we move on to the next one. Some of them are about what we are doing in the present moment, whether it is typing, reading, conversing, eating, etc. However, most of our thoughts are focused on the past or the future, typically occupied by worries, concerns, heaviness, restlessness as well as excitement, thrill, pleasure, etc.
How we are feeling usually reflects on what we are thinking or believing. Have you ever noticed how thinking of something sad can make us cry? Or when we see something funny or a person smiling, it feels pretty good?
If we are stuck in loops of worry or stress, the brain will make neurochemicals associated with that. The mind is put to work trying to protect you from perceived hazards. That releases adrenaline and cortisol into the body. That is okay in short spurts to help us cope with life’s challenges. However, if the stress is constant, the flood gates for those neurochemicals are also constant which can lead to physical discomforts. Over time, it can lead to limbic system impairment, where the brain is in fight/flight/freeze overdrive. Humans are magical, resilient beings and so is the human body, but we are not designed to stay in a constant state of alarm. We are designed to feel great by using what we all have – a neuroplastic (changeable) brain!
So why not make the brain work for us? Why not use what we have, the power of focus and visualization – to help us feel great?
In my own personal experience, I realized the toll that stress was taking on me after years of working in a corporate environment that was very toxic when it came to managing stress. While personal development was encouraged, self-care was not. The flood gates of stress were wide open. If I knew then what I know now, I am certain that some self-care, meditation and neuroplasticity tools for restoring my mind and body would have helped keep me from burning out completely and experiencing other debilitating health issues.
I was fortunate enough to find brain retraining along with meditation to rewire my mind and beliefs. I use these tools to reset, create new associations, and to elevate my state, feel great and so much more. While I am still in the recovery process, I felt compelled to get certified to teach others one of the tools that can help just about anyone with stress and the symptoms that accompany it.
Now that I teach meditation, I have developed a sequence or method that can also be helpful to anyone with limbic system overdrive. Meditation can be tricky if sitting in silence or with the body is a trigger. That is why I developed a unique sequence in each of my classes that uses visualization, so that we can use the mind to work in our favor and to come out feeling great.
Below is my signature meditation sequence to help rewire thoughts and the brain. I also share this rundown as a tip and tool to rewire in a pinch. As soon as you notice a disturbance, stressor or trigger, try practicing the following. (You can do it in your mind or write it down. The more you practice the better.)
· Recognize – see the imbalance or trigger and pause
· Reset – use the breath to center and change your state
· Refocus – redirect to a mantra or the breath to anchor thoughts
· Restore – enjoy a meditative state for deep focus and rest
· Rewire – use visualization to envision feeling great
Let’s expand on the final step, which is to totally rewire with the help of visualization. Let’s try that now – close your eyes and visualize yourself completely happy, doing something you love. Notice the sights, sounds and smells. What are you doing and how do you feel? Maybe it’s playing with your pet, swimming, experiencing a holiday or a fun activity. Take it all in, especially all the elevated emotions. Feel the energy of that around your heart, and stay with that visual for a few moments. Stay with the elevated sensations for as long as you like. And when you're ready, open your eyes.
Congrats! You used your mind to feel great or greater.
HOW TO FIND ME
I currently teach online classes for The Mindfulness Center, my very own school of meditation. I teach every Wednesday and Friday at 3:30pm PT / 6:30pm ET.
Participants can log in via TMC's online classes page and get all the details on class registration. Once you create a MindBody account you can choose the FREE Community Class Pass to attend for free.
I can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on individual meditation instruction or wellness in the workplace programs.
I am also very excited to be speaking and teaching at the Rewiring Your Wellness retreat, if you have yet to register please do so here!