17 Aug 5 Steps to Thrive and Not Just Survive Challenges (or Challenging Relationships)
via PsychCentral by Athena Staik
Your thoughts are powerful energies that can, and do, shape your responses and life.
Whether conscious or subconscious, shifts in your thoughts, in particular, to what you believe and hold in your awareness, literally, change the state of your mind and body in a split second in time.
You literally have the power to consciously command these inner processes; it’s a capacity that is yours to cultivate.
A world of difference exists, when it comes to your emotional and mental and relational health and wellbeing, between living your life in primarily in survival mode, where fear takes over your ability to choose. As a human being, you’re not wired to be primarily controlled by the sympathetic division of your autonomic system. You’re wired to be happy with your self and relationships, to thrive and grow, and become all you’re meant to be.
According to Dr. Candace Pert, neurotransmitters are “molecules of emotion” that activate the chemical reactions necessary to run your body. In the same way that words and verbal communication is the language that your conscious-self understands, emotions are the language of your body.
How you think about a problem determines what you focus on, and in turn, what you hold in mind, sparks images in your mind and emotions accordingly — either emotions of comfort and pleasure (love-based) or emotions of distress (fear-based). Regardless the issues you are attempting to solve, personal or relational, optimal solutions and actions are unlikely when your thinking brain is in fear-mode.
Here are five steps to self-activate your body’s relaxation response, in other words, to consciously shift away from survival-reactivity and instead remain in learning mode, that is, ensuring the parasympathetic division of your body’s autonomic nervous system is in charge.
1. Learn how your brain works.
The last two decades have produced more research on the brain and brain technologies than all past years put together.
Much of this new information dramatically changes how we view the brain, revealing mental and emotional capacities that, providing we know how to access them, can be lifelong assets with which we may create positive changes … and do so consciously … in the direction of our highest aspirations. That’s really good news.
You may have heard it before: change your thoughts, change your life.
If this sounds too simple, think again.
Consider that, in a split-second, a fear-thought can cause a panic attack, unnecessarily by activating the body’s survival response when there are no “real” threats to one’s physical survival, for example, yet a love-based thought in response can restore a sense of immediate calm and safety.
One key understanding is that the human brain isn’t designed to remain in survival mode for extended periods of time. It’s all about seeking fulfillment and happiness that stem from the quality of our relationships to our self and life around us. Certain universal emotion-drives direct many or most of your actions, in particular, toward a lifelong overarching pursuit “to matter” in relation to self and others, seeking meaningful connections in life.
This explains why a sense of love and connection to someone or some aspect of life enhances your sense of security – and why some of your greatest fears have to do with, not physical dangers and lions and tigers, but rather a fear or rejection, abandonment, inadequacy, all of which threaten to steal the meaningful connection to life we yearn to realize.
All its operations in some way have to do with maintaining balance to protect the integrity of the multitude of relationships that support you to survive and thrive, whether physically, mentally or emotionally (spiritually?).
Based on the yearnings to matter, and fear of not realizing these core-drives, you are also wired to form certain protective patterns in the first years of life.
Once set, these habituated protective response patterns operate, for the most part, without conscious awareness.
From infancy to adulthood, your brain is wired to work directly shapes and is shaped by relationships throughout life.
2. Identify any limiting beliefs and “self-talk.”
The next step is to identify and become aware of toxic thinking patterns, or “self-talk,” that is, what you tell yourself in your mind.
The cells in your body respond to your thoughts, in particular, interpretive thoughts, the kind that explain (to your body’s operating system, the subconscious mind) how you see the world in any given moment in time.
Your self-talk has power over your emotions and responses, to the extent that it remains unaware. In fact, no one has ever literally “controlled” you; it’s your thoughts, so become aware of your thoughts, and their underlying beliefs, and be careful to consciously guard your thoughts and thus heart, mind and body, from negative and toxic influences in entertainment media.
In what areas of your life or relationships do your thoughts drive your body to automatically activate its survival-move, and defensive strategies that repeat old negative reactions and stuck outcomes?
It is estimated that you have about 60,000 thoughts a day. Many of these are remnants of thoughts you picked up in childhood interactions with parents and other influential persons in your life, to include programs you watch, the music you listen to, and so on.
More precisely, certain perceptions that you formed as a small child, and that you associated at the time to early-survival fears, such as fear of rejection, abandonment, inadequacy – in moments of stress – can hijack the otherwise amazing capacity of your brain to heal old wounds and make the changes you want (even miraculous ones).
Based on what emotions they activate, thoughts correspondingly release hormones into the bloodstream, which affect the chemical firing of neurons in your brain. In other words, your subconscious mind activates emotions and physiological sensations throughout your body according to your perceptions.
The emotion of fear, survival fears in particular, can have a paralyzing effect on the brain, that is, unless you know how to process fear in ways that allow your brain to engage in certain natural integrative processes. If not, early-survival fears can jam the network for purposes that are often well-intentioned, yet misinformed.
Essentially, these limiting beliefs are scaring you into protecting yourself in situations where it is not necessary to do so!
Your beliefs are perceptions that interpret the events in your life. In what areas of your life or relationships do your thoughts drive your body to automatically activate its survival-move, and defensive strategies that repeat old negative reactions and stuck outcomes?
… keep reading the full & original article HERE
#psychology #selfhelp #happiness #happy #thrive #survive #resilience