Recently, a deliberate creator asked for advice on shutting down gremlin thoughts (aka the inner critic) in an effort to “control” the vibe.
Often when we talk about releasing gremlins, those yucky mean and nasty thoughts that seem to run rampant in our brain, in order to get to a better feeling place, we are talking about getting OUT of our brain and into our heart space. As you feel better, your vibration naturally increases and it’s easier to connect with better feeling thoughts. That is very helpful, when you can do it.
What about those who are finding it hard to even FIND a better feeling thought?
I just listened to Joan Borysenko, Ph.D in the HayHouse Summit explaining that the frontal lobe of our brains is not only the executive center but also the center of our awareness. That awareness, for example, is the part of your brain that ‘notices’ the emotional patterns…
‘hey, why is it that I keep thinking negative thoughts? Why do I keep doing that, even though I keep pivoting to a better feeling thought? Hmmm (silence, during which a thought from the past comes to the surface)…wow, where did THAT thought come from? I haven’t thought about that in ages! (feels a twinge in the body).’
Pay attention to the thoughts that surface with a physical feeling in the body! Those thoughts were stored in your cells, from a previous time in your life, waiting for a time when you could consciously be aware of them. Once you give your full attention to those thoughts, the physical tension associated with them will release. As you release more, you’ll notice your body feeling lighter and it is easier to navigate toward better feeling thoughts.
What I also found interesting is that Joan said our AWARENESS function in our brain’s frontal lobe has the ability to activate a hormonal drip onto the amygdala (the old fight or flight ‘lizard’ brain, center of fearful thoughts) that actually quiets and deactivates our gremlin thoughts!
How COOL is that?!? Love it! We really do have everything we need to thrive.
According to Joan, here are 3 ways to trigger awareness:
1. Regular meditation – even 20 min 3x a week for 3 weeks can rewire the brain!
2. Affirmations – that tap into the deep emotional meaning behind the words, (not just the words alone, but something that feels GREAT to say it). Even a SINGLE WORD that has a deep meaning for us can work as a shortcut ‘slogan’.
3. Mindful Breathing – breathe in slowly through the nose, out slowly through persed lips as IF you are breathing out through a straw. This slows the breathing way down to 4-6 breaths a minute, and I noticed that after I release all the air, there is a delay before the next natural breath. (Men might find that they hold between the intake and exhale.) One to two minutes of this breathing is enough to trigger the hormonal drip that calms your fear circuits as you become more present. Joan calls this Gear-Shift Breathing because it short circuits the negative thoughts and puts us in a mindful space that opens us to Divine Guidance. (To me, this is also a form of meditation – similar to Vipassana Meditation.)
In my experience, the more you are used to consciously choosing and thinking supportive thoughts, the more likely you notice the not-helpful thoughts – they stick out like sore thumbs. Of course, when you are feeling good, it becomes more obvious when you are NOT feeling good! Be self-compassionate as you release the unsupportive thoughts and make room for new more supportive thoughts. After a while, you’ll see much more of the supportive thoughts and less of the unhelpful ones.
What do you think about this? Share your questions, comments, and examples of shutting down your gremlin thoughts below.
Image credit: Tom Martin, Flickr