We live by routines even if we aren’t aware of it. A routine doesn’t mean that a particular goal is set in motion. A routine simply means a way that our minds think and act on the default.
Having a similar pattern each week keeps things familiar. Our brains know what to do with that. We’ve had this pattern and routine before, so we feel like we know what to do – automatically.
When something changes without our permission, it’s instantly uncomfortable because the routine and outcome feel uncertain. When there are lots of unknowns, our brains don’t like that. We get scared and start to worry.
What’s going to happen when …(insert worst case scenario)? It’s so interesting when we step back and watch our brains. Nothing may be wrong with us physically and our immediate environment (home space) may not be affected. But all the sudden, it feels like a gut wrenching, belly dropping worry: I’m gonna die.
If this sounds familiar, then you’re with me. LOL I definitely go there. When I can catch it, I try to watch exactly what my mind is offering up to me as ‘what’s going happen?’ It usually is the worst case scenario that is being thrown up.
First thing I want to assure you is, it’s OK. It’s totally OK and expected that our minds go there. It doesn’t mean something has gone wrong in your actual body or your brain. It’s part of the brain’s design to notice danger and be ready to run away. That’s a good thing.
Honestly, if our brains didn’t look out for danger, we’d probably get hurt physically a lot more often. BUT what’s interesting to notice is that once we take a step back and acknowledge that our brain is ‘going there’ on default, we can be the watcher of our brain.
Isn’t it so fun that we can do that? We can think about what we think about. So fun! This is super empowering to get out of an emotional spin. Even if you’re not feeling an emotion as heavy as panic, noticing what you’re thinking as a curious observer will help to lower the intensity of any negative emotion.
We’re going to have negative emotion as a human right now. It’s a 50/50 split. So the goal is not too eliminate negative emotion completely. The goal is to be able to feel whatever emotion comes out in our lives and not feel victimized or stuck.
Think about that. If you could feel your emotions, knew that they would not throw you in a black hole, they couldn’t trap you, and experiencing them didn’t mean you were weak, would having negative emotion be as bad as it feels now?
I say no. It’s not as bad. I’ve put these skills to practice and have seen the difference.
Do I still have negative emotions? YAH! LOL. Of course!
But do I feel victimized and overwhelmed by them anymore? No. That’s why this is valuable to know. That’s the difference.
Things can change around us that are COMPLETELY out of our control, and we know what part we can play in choosing what we want to do next. It doesn’t make us perfect. This is not some woo-woo skill that blinds or blocks emotions. It’s exactly the opposite.
I teach women how to process negative emotions. Because remember this, what we think creates how we feel.
If we don’t know what we’re thinking, or if we’re afraid to take a look at what we’re thinking, we’ll never have the opportunity to see what thoughts are contributing to our anxiety or discomfort or whatever other emotion you’re feeling.
Take a moment with me to see if any of these sound familiar:
This isn’t fair.
I hope this doesn’t last long.
What’s going to happen?
I don’t want to get sick.
This was totally unexpected.
I don’t know what to do.
I can’t handle this.
I can’t see people.
I can’t believe this.
I’ll stop there.
If any of these sounds familiar, notice all of these are thoughts.
That doesn’t mean we can’t think them or shouldn’t think them. It just means they are thoughts. Thoughts are optional.
Choose one that you’ve thought recently, and do this practice with me.
When you think this though (say the thought you chose out loud), how do you feel?
You with me? Let’s do that again.
When you think this thought (say the thought you chose out loud), how do you feel?
What is the ONE word emotion you feel when you think that thought? It’s a little gem to reveal why you were feeling that emotion recently.
This is how the brain works. It’s a Thought Machine. We get to choose what we want to think, and it doesn’t mean we’re terrible or weak if we think thoughts and then feel negative emotion.
It simply means that is the CAUSE of our negative emotion. Not the circumstance we’re in. If this is hard to understand, or it doesn’t seem like that’s possible, I feel you. I didn’t believe that either at first.
So why does change feel crappy sometimes? We don’t know what to do next and our brain thinks that’s a problem, and that’s OK that our brains do that. You’re not doing anything wrong.
This is human brain land, ladies. This is what the brains do, and that’s OK.
The perspective I’d like to offer you is that sometimes we love change.
Here are some of those thoughts:
It’s nice to shake things up a bit.
I’d like a new routine.
How can I make this as fun as possible?
If I knew I was going to be ok 100%, what would I be doing?
Because how do we KNOW that things are going to be WORSE because they’re unknown? Hmmm? Interesting, right?
We don’t. So many things could be streamlined and improved as a result of changes.
We could create new routines we’d never, ever, ever thought of making or were capable of without a new perspective or ‘shake-up.’
That’s my invitation to you, lovely. Decide on purpose what is absolutely a priority for you. Everything else is a sprinkle on the donut (those are good things). Little bonus of sweetness and color in our lives.
You will be smart during this time. No doubt. If you are one of my lovelies it means you’re creative. It means you’re smart. It means you’re generous. That’s how we found each other.
You have priorities that are super important to you that are not linked to material things, right? Yes!
Life is a gift – even right now – especially right now. If it wasn’t possible to enjoy our lives, we wouldn’t be here. It wouldn’t be an option.
Make change the most amazing thing that ever happened to you to teach you that you are capable; you are strong; you are teachable; you are trustworthy, you are ready to act, you are scared and can do it anyway. You are not alone. I think you know that already. 🙂
Love you, lovelies