This is why it’s so hard to feel better.
Anxiety is about more than feeling bad.
Anxiety is a physical state of emergency that causes a part of the brain to shut down. That’s why it’s impossible to “snap out of it” — even when there’s no logical reason for it.Whether you suffer from anxiety, or you’re trying to understand someone who does, this piece of knowledge will give you some insight into how to deal with it more effectively.
The emotional feeling of anxiety is caused by the physical sensations created by stress chemicals in the blood stream. The brain and body are in a state of fight-freeze-flight, which is caused by a flood of stress chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol, pumping through your system.
One of the key effects of this emergency state is the shutting down of the prefrontal cortex of your brain. This is where you do your cognitive thinking.
Stress chemicals produced in a state of anxiety cause blood to be drained from the part of your brain responsible for problem-solving, strategizing, communicating effectively, comprehension, and other higher-level thinking processes.
This is why things seem so different when you’re in a state of anxiety, to the way the seem when you’re feeling good. The same circumstances can appear completely different.
What This Means:
Whenever you’re feeling anxiety, you literally can’t think straight because that part of your brain is offline.
The more you try to use that part of your brain, and can’t (because it’s offline), the more stress chemicals you’re pumping into your blood-stream… and the stronger the anxiety becomes. And, so you have a vicious cycle that can be very difficult, if not impossible, to break.
Remind yourself that what you’re feeling is simply the effects of stress chemicals in your system. Your mind will try to come up with reasons for the anxiety (that’s the conscious mind’s job — to make sense of things), but the real reason is — that’s what stress chemicals do.
Also remind yourself that... Continue Reading: What They Didn't Tell You About Anxiety
It was all going fabulously. The venue was full of smiling faces, bopping along to the beat as I sang my heart out. The atmosphere was electric, and fun was being had by all. Except for one. One, out of around eighty people. One scowling, disapproving face in a sea of enthusiasm, and I homed in on it as if it was all that mattered in the world.
You may have found that, regardless of the wonderful, positive, amazing experiences you are blessed with, your focus seems to zoom in on the one or two negatives, no matter how much you try to reason with yourself.
Why We Fixate on the Negative
It makes perfect sense, when you think about it. We are designed for survival. We fixate on the negative because we’re designed that way.
If you were enjoying a picnic with family and friends, in beautiful surroundings, and a bear approached, you would need to be focused on the bear. You would need to maintain focus on that bear until the danger had passed. If you continued to focus on the good stuff, you may not be around to enjoy it for very long.
For this reason, the stress chemicals that cause negative feelings have a more powerful impact on the body than that of “feel-good” chemicals like endorphins, oxytocin, and serotonin.
Stress chemicals are designed to grab, and keep, our attention — for survival.
Death by Mean Comments
So, what have bears got to do with negative comments, being unable to pay your bills, or missing a deadline?
Continue Reading... Why Do We Fixate on the Negative?
A few years ago, I made a shift in perception that had a powerful impact on my progress in the changes I was attempting to make in several areas of my life.
In fact, it was the beginning of the momentum that led to a transformation I couldn’t have seen coming!
I was a tryer. And a struggler. No-one was as much of an expert at trying and struggling as I was. My determined “efforting” was interspersed with dramatic periods of self-criticism, self-doubt, and despondency.
Every time I realized I had “fallen down” again (buttons pushed; willpower dissolved; arm-wrestling match with temptation lost), I felt depleted.
Disappointment in myself, hopelessness, frustration, anger, that trapped feeling — all part of the cycle I referred to as getting-up-and-falling-down-and-getting-up-and-falling-down…
I kept getting up again, but not before I had a good wallow in the gutter of negativity and disempowerment, first.I can’t remember when I changed my perception, only that I did.
Continue Reading... Self-Criticism vs Strategy
We know that forgiveness can be the key to moving forward and being happier, but it’s not always easy to achieve. Emotions of hurt, betrayal, anger, and resentment can be overpowering and debilitating.
The fact that every negative emotion is hurting ourselves, rather than the person we’re unable to forgive, is not enough to overcome them.
Forgiving someone can feel like letting them off the hook, or condoning their behavior. So, what’s the answer? And what makes it easier for some people to forgive than others?
These Stepping Stones to Forgiveness are in two parts:
1. Finding the original references
2. The Due Justice Technique
Finding the Original References
Since we cannot experience anything for which we don’t already have a subconscious reference, finding those original references is key to making forgiveness easier.
Think about the person you wish you could forgive, right now. What is the worst thing about what they did?
For example, Debbie’s husband divorced her, and she hasn’t been able to forgive him. The worst thing, for her, is that he didn’t give her a chance to work it out. He refused to go for counselling, and by the time she knew there was anything wrong, he’d already made up his mind.
How does that feel? What emotions and feelings are there?
For Debbie, it was feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, along with a feeling of being trapped.
Step Three... Continue Reading: Stepping Stones to Forgiving the Unforgivable
I picked up the phone, and on the other end was someone who wanted to book me to sing for a corporate cabaret event. I was in my twenties, and working as a professional actress and singer.
Up until that point, I had been told what I would be paid for any particular job. The call should have been exciting, and I should have been feeling proud of myself. Instead, I ended up asking one of the most embarrassing questions I had ever asked (and I’d asked a few!).
“How much do you want to be paid?” he asked. A perfectly reasonable question from someone who is hiring a professional performer. I hesitated, and my mind went completely blank. Tumble-weed-blank. “How much do you want to pay me?” I asked.
Self-confidence is described by the Oxford dictionary as: “A feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgement.” And the key here is that, since it is self-confidence, no-one outside of you can give it to you.
No matter how much others praise and admire you; no matter how much others believe in you; if you don’t have the “evidence” inside you that proves you’re amazing, worthy, intelligent, talented, exceptional, it’s like pouring water into a jar without taking the lid off it.
Self-confidence is not something you can change on the surface. Pretending to be confident may work to a certain extent, but your subconscious contains evidence that proves you can’t trust your abilities, qualities, and judgement.
So, rather than trying to act confident, the reliable, permanent solution is to change the evidence! Change the evidence so that it proves you can trust your abilities, qualities and judgement!
Change that evidence, and you will automatically feel a natural, authentic, and empowering confidence in yourself.
How is Self-Confidence Determined?From birth, the subconscious is constantly interpreting experiences, and then filing the meaning of those experiences — based on previous experiences — to form a structure of who we are and how the world works.
Then, in every moment, the subconscious is ... Continue Reading: What is Self-Confidence? And How to Get More of it!
Have you ever felt overwhelmed, or like you can’t think straight? Here’s why — and how you can “reboot” your brain to enable you to think more clearly, more consistently.
Whenever you’re feeling any kind of negative emotion, your brain and body are in a level of the emergency “fight-freeze-flight” state.
This is the same state you would be in if your life was being threatened. Since the brain and body don’t know the difference between reality and imagination (ever felt fear while watching a scary movie?) — the same survival mechanism is triggered when you just think about something upsetting, stressful, or annoying, that is triggered when you are in physical danger.
One of the effects of this emergency state is the draining of blood from the prefrontal cortex of the brain, to the amygdala and extremities — for fighting or running away.
The prefrontal cortex is where you do your cognitive thinking: problem solving; strategizing; processing of information; negotiating; calculating; risk-assessment; and other higher-level thinking. These activities are not necessary for running away, fighting, or pretending to be dead!
Whenever you’re feeling stressed, you literally can’t think straight — because that part of your brain is effectively offline!
Rebooting Your Brain
This makes it a top priority to do whatever it takes ... Continue Reading: Reboot Your Brain for Clearer Thinking
Victim mentality is, in fact, a perfectly natural and automatic human development. Understanding how and why it develops is the key to freeing yourself from it, permanently.
What is “Victim Mentality”?
Living life from a victim mentality means seeing yourself as a victim, and at the mercy of people, circumstances, and events outside of you. It’s living life from a helpless, disempowered standpoint, and counting on the actions of others to change the issues and challenges you are facing.
For some, living from a victim mentality is part of their constant experience; for others, the state of victim mentality may come and go — depending on their current circumstances or emotional state.
What Causes Victim Mentality?
As humans, we are preprogrammed for identifying as victims. In fact, it is more natural and automatic to develop victim mentality than it is to escape it.
1. Human babies are born completely helpless. As infants, everything that happens to us, comes from outside of us, and we are completely dependent on those around us, to provide us with what we need, and to protect us.
2. From birth, every experience is interpreted by the subconscious, given meaning, and that meaning stored for future reference. These references form the structure of who we are and how the world works. It’s how we learn, unconsciously, how to survive in our environment.
3. As we grow, we become more independent, and gradually learn to “make things happen” for ourselves.
4. Since the subconscious has no ability to use logic or reason (the way the conscious mind does), while the conscious mind learns to ask for what it wants and express desires and disapproval, the subconscious is still referring to the “fact” that we are helpless and reliant on what’s outside of us. It is still referring to the “evidence” from previous experience, that what happens to us comes from outside of us, and what we need has to come from outside of us.
Why Doesn’t Everyone Sustain Victim Mentality?
Whether or not a person continues to live from a victim mentality will depend on what other experiences they’ve lived through — and, more importantly, how those experiences were interpreted by the subconscious.
If, for example... Continue Reading: What Causes Victim Mentality?
Feeling good is about more than just feeling good. And you have more control over how you feel in the moment than you may think!
The Physiological Effects of Emotions
All negative emotions are a level of the emergency fight-flight-freeze state.
During this emergency state (in other words, whenever you’re feeling any kind of negative emotion), stress chemicals are pumped into your body. The effects of these chemicals are what cause those negative feelings.
In addition to causing you to feel “bad” these stress chemicals also cause blood to drain from the prefrontal cortex of your brain (where you do your cognitive thinking) — which means that while you are feeling bad you are literally unable to think straight! That part of your brain is offline. This affects your judgement, your perception, and your ability to:
So, why is it easier to feel bad than it is to feel good?
The effects of stress chemicals are far more powerful and intense than the effects of “feel-good” chemicals. The reason for this is:
We’re designed for survival; and since stress chemicals are essential to survival in the moment (running away, fighting, pretending to be dead), while chemicals like oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins are not essential for escaping immediate physical danger, the effects of stress chemicals are stronger — to get, and keep, our attention.
This is why it’s easier to feel bad than good; it’s also why, when we start...
Continue Reading: https://medium.com/@odille/why-its-easier-to-feel-bad-than-good-10ab7fbcc027
"Do you ever have negative or self-critical thoughts pop up, seemingly of their own accord? Most of us feel we have no control over these “self-sabotaging” intrusions. Here’s a little change of perspective that can give you control, and empower you to change direction, effectively.
When negative or self-critical thoughts pop up, like: “I don’t know what to do” or “I’m not good enough” or “I never finish what I start”… or anything else you don’t want, you can choose to see it this way..." Continue Reading...
We tend to think of our emotions as separate from our work and finances, and beyond our control. The truth is: Emotions are sensations that are caused by chemical reactions in the brain and body; and those chemical reactions have a powerful impact, physiologically – which, in turn affects more than how we feel; it affects our perception.
Whenever you’re feeling any kind of negative emotion, your brain and body are in a level of the emergency fight-freeze-flight state. As part of this stress state, blood drains from the prefrontal cortex of your brain – where you do your cognitive thinking. This means that whenever you’re feeling a negative emotion, your ability to think clearly, problem-solve, strategize, communicate, process information, notice and take advantage of opportunities, and so much more – is adversely affected.
How Your Emotions are Affecting Your Finances
Whenever you’re feeling a negative emotion, with your cognitive thinking operating at a lower level of efficiency:
1. Your judgement is impaired.
With the blood draining from your prefrontal cortex to the amygdala, your brain is in the same survival mode it would go into if you were in physical danger. All resources are, in that moment, assigned to immediate survival. You may find that you are either over-cautious, or reckless.
2. Your ability to see opportunities and make the most of them is affected.
Since your brain and body are in survival mode as a result of the stress chemicals pumping through your bloodstream, with your prefrontal cortex “offline” you won’t be able to notice opportunities you would notice if you weren’t in a state of emergency. And without your cognitive thinking, you won’t be able to make the most of those opportunities you do see. There may well be opportunities for you to resolve financial problems, increase your income, or reduce expenses – but you won’t be able to see them or make the most of them without that part of your brain processing the information.
3. Problem-solving, creativity, productivity, and strategizing is impacted.
Without the ability to think clearly (with that part of your brain unable to function effectively), you will not be able to come up with the solutions you would normally come up with. Again, there may be solutions that would resolve financial problems, or ways you can work around obstacles and challenges. However, since the part of your brain that is responsible for problem-solving and strategizing is effectively offline whenever you’re experiencing negative emotions, you won’t be able to access these solutions during that state. You also have less access to creative thinking, and are less likely to be productive while your brain and body are in the stress emergency state that causes negative emotions.
4. Communication is affected.
Since, evolutionarily, cognitive thinking and communication are not necessary for running away, fighting, or pretending to be dead, part of the emergency stress state is a reduction in the ability to communicate effectively. This means that while you are feeling any kind of negative emotion, you are less able to express yourself or use effective negotiation skills.
5. Perception of self, others, situations, and circumstances are impacted.
The chemicals that cause negative emotions also affect how you see yourself. From feelings of inadequacy and doubt, to over-confidence – depending on the individual – these emotions will affect your decisions and choices as well as the actions you take (or don’t take). In addition to this, you will tend to see other people, situations, and circumstances differently to the way you see them when you’re feeling good. Again, this is because we are designed for survival – which means that whenever we are in a state of emergency (fight-freeze-flight), the focus is automatically on “danger”. As a result, anything that could be interpreted as possibly negative is magnified (in order to survive). There may be actions you could take to improve your finances, but while you’re in a negative emotional state (survival mode), you will probably be experiencing fear, doubt, and other “warnings”.
In addition to this, your subconscious is designed to keep you “safe” by keeping you the same (you may not be happy or wealthy, but you’re still alive, right?). So, whenever you get too close to making real, core change, your subconscious prompts your brain and body to produce stress chemicals that create feelings, emotions and impulses. Your conscious mind then interprets these as doubt, fear, and “logical” reasons for not moving forward.
Changing Your Finances by Gaining Control Over Your Emotions
Gaining control over your emotional (chemical) state is about more than just feeling better; it’s about keeping the prefrontal cortex of your brain online to enable you to function more effectively. With full access to your cognitive thinking, you will be more able to:
Gaining control over your emotions means gaining control over the chemical state of your brain and body. And this is a skill you can develop like any other skill.
The ability to control and/or change your chemical state means you’re able to switch the production of stress chemicals for endorphins, oxytocin, and serotonin. And, although this really is as simple as switching your focus (the connection of neurons in the neocortex of your brain determines the chemicals that are produced) – the fact that you are effectively “hacking” your “security system” makes it challenging.
We are designed so that stress chemicals are more powerful, and more convincing, than “feel-good” chemicals – in order to survive. This means when you’re feeling a negative emotion, and you try to change your focus to something positive, it’s like dropping a teaspoon of cold water into a bathtub filled with hot water. The water’s still hot! The stress chemicals are still creating the sensations of negative emotions.
There are two parts to developing the skill of gaining control over your emotions:
1. Conditioning your brain and body to make “feel-good” chemicals their default state (just as you would condition your body for physical fitness)
2. Changing the subconscious references that provide the “evidence” that changing what you have now would be dangerous
ESC (Emotional State Conditioning) is an emotional “fitness” program designed to help you to develop the skill of gaining complete control over the chemical state of your brain and body – and therefore, your emotional state.
CMT (Childhood Memory Transformation) is a method for changing the subconscious references that are providing the evidence that it would be dangerous to change. Changing these references from negative to the opposite, positive, and empowering is the equivalent of reprogramming a burglar alarm so that it stops going off every time the wind blows or the cat moves, and only goes off when there is real danger.
Take our Free online self-paced mini-course, for step-by-step guidance through using CMT yourself:
Starting: January 5th 2019 - Live Online ESC Intensive Course
You can do the ESC Program on your own, for free, by following the steps on this page: ESC (Emotional State Conditioning).
But, if you would like live step-by-step help, guidance, and support in getting from Beginner to Master Level in a four-week program, here's the information on the ESC Intensive Course:
A Live Intensive training in Emotional State Conditioning (ESC), this 4-week course is designed to take you from wherever you are now, to Master of your emotions - with love (for yourself and others), happiness, and peace as your default state.