In last week's blog, I talked about our outdated internal false alarm systems that cause us to feel stressed at work and in relationships. This week, let’s discuss how the mind forms these triggers. Awareness of the process can help tame the alarms.
The brain has a powerful, infinite storage drive in the subconscious, creative part of the mind. It contains habits, beliefs, knowledge, memories and health regulations (let’s call them “programs”) aimed at our protection and creation of success, personally and professionally. It does not “think” logically, rationalize or discern. It creates through association and metaphors (abstract processing).
Sometimes, when we have an unpleasant experience, the subconscious mind will make associations and form protective mechanisms to help us avoid such unpleasant experiences. For example, if one receives bad news while eating an apple, the mind may wrongly associate the negative emotion and bodily reaction to the news with the apple. Next time you eat an apple, it sends out warning signals through an allergic reaction, even though the apple is harmless.
Until age 10-12, we only have a subconscious, “right” brain (no discernment). Our main focus is on learning how to be human and to get along with those who take care of us (survival). The mind absorbs beliefs and rules that serve this purpose. The beauty of this part of the mind is that it adopts rules and creates programs that can run without requiring us to be consciously aware so that we can focus on learning or doing other things. For example, when we learn a language, it will absorb lessons and allow us to speak automatically without thinking about it so that we can turn our attention towards building on that knowledge.
It operates like cruise-control: Until you turn it off or switch the speed, it continues at whatever speed is set. The only difference is that it sometimes sets a speed. Problems arise because many of the rules that are adopted at an early age (before developing discernment) get translated into false beliefs about one’s self. And they sit in storage and run on auto-pilot until the mind is instructed to do otherwise.
A common auto-pilot rule among ambitious, successful individuals is: My value is based on what I produce and/or can do for others. It’s based on external factors that measure my outward performance.
This may have been good motivation as a kid to get good grades, to get into college, etc. (and it may sound good on the surface to an employer); however, as an adult, it can wreak havoc on your life and negatively affect your work performance. If one’s value is based only on performance/external values, then one has to perform all of the time to feel valuable. And, when focusing on external factors, the mind often ignores internal guidance, which is what truly increases one’s value.Obviously, having fun, sleeping, exercising, and relaxing can be stressful or non-existent if one operates under this program.
This simple false belief can cause a conflict between the part of you that wants to perform outwardly and the part of you that wants to care for yourself. Ultimately, this belief will lead to burn out and chronic health problems that serve to bring one’s attention back to the self for a resolution. The stress associated with this false belief also affects one’s ability to think clearly. This affects performance, ironically sabotaging the motivation to succeed.
Our value helps us to survive because it allows us to make money and connect with others. If one believes one’s value is based only on outward performance, then any conflict or challenge that surfaces at work or in relationships can trigger the archaic survival system. This causes physical and emotional stress.
You can retrain your system by making it a point to consciously become aware of your thoughts when you are feeling stressed in your career or relationships to see what illusions about yourself may be the cause. Also, when you discipline yourself to relax in this circumstance, you retrain your system to associate a calm state and clear mind with it instead of stress. This can lead to happier and inspiring, solution-based thoughts about how to proceed.
Quick Relaxation Tip: Calming the Adrenals
· Place one hand on your forehead. (Ever see someone put there hand on their forehead when they say, “Oh my God!” over something shocking? Intuitively, they knew these points were relaxing.)
· Place the other on your stomach, just above your belly button.
· Take some deep breaths and let yourself relax for a few minutes.
Further Assistance: By communicating with the subconscious to clarify the truth around one’s value, one can retrain the alarm system so that it no longer goes off in these unnecessary times. In a state of hypnosis, one can engage in this form of communication, and the subconscious mind is eager to follow the suggestion because success and security are its main concerns. We are in a state of hypnosis most of the day: It’s just the state of being tuned into the right, creative brain. If you feel like you’re “in the zone,” you’re in a hypnotic state.
In a Bridgenosis® session, we first uncover the outdated rule(s) that is conflicting with the client’s current goals. Using hypnotherapy, I help clients get “into the zone” around a topic so they can guide the subconscious to update its programs.
Bridgenosis® LLC www.bridgenosis.com (202) 709-6013 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.