Shutting Down Your Gremlins

Gremlins gargoyles_TomMartin_Flckr

Recently, a deliberate creator asked for advice on shutting down gremlin thoughts (aka the inner critic) in an effort to “control” the vibe.

Gremlins?

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

Our Story Superpower

I am delighted to welcome back LOA Brain Whisperer, Janette Dalgliesh, to the AffirmingSpirit blog with a follow-up post. (If you haven’t read Janette’s first post, read it here.)

Our story superpower

When we can stand outside our own brain for a moment, in a position of being self-aware and mindful, we can tell a new story and our brain will engage with it. But we need to make it a story that’s short and powerful, or rich and redolent with detail, so we can light up more than just the language centers. We become the narrator and we can choose a better story.

Click for free ebook during April 2014This juiciness doesn’t just light up those areas of the brain for a fuller and more rich engagement. It also helps memory. Remember memory?

We know that the brain uses its memory of the past to predict the future. We also know that memory is fluid and rewritable

We also know that when the brain is exposed to a story (reading, listening, watching), if there are rich sensory or emotional details included, our mirror neurons will activate and our brains will light up as though the story were happening to us, in that moment. If a story includes the word “cinnamon”, my olfactory system lights up. If I read Mr. Darcy’s passion for Elizabeth Bennet, my brain lights up with the thrill of a new love. And if I watch Meryl Streep eating Sole Meunière in Julie and Julia, I cannot help but salivate as my brain’s taste circuits light up.

It turns out that this quality of rich, redolent detail is a key factor in forming memory

Molecular biologist John Medina explains that when the brain detects an emotionally charged event, the Amygdala releases dopamine into the system. Because dopamine greatly aids memory and information processing, you could say it creates a Post It note that reads, ‘Remember this.’ 

This is why dry data is hard to remember. We need a juicy story in order to effectively form memories. We don’t remember the boring stuff.

So by telling a new story with lots of vivid detail, we are helping the brain write a new memory landscape from which to imagine a new future.

We even know that a very familiar phrase (for example “a rough day” or “raining cats and dogs”) can become so familiar and ordinary it loses its ability to light up other parts of the brain, as though it had become a single word. This is why authors avoid cliches if possible; they’ve lost their power.

And this brings me to the importance of having the RIGHT affirmations. The purpose of affirmations, like all good manifesting techniques, is to create change in the brain so it can deliver a new reality.

And we know from the research that two key things are required in order to make changes in the brain. 

One is that juicy rich engagement we’ve already mentioned. The other is consistent repetition. JanetteDalgliesh

So affirmations which are dry, or boring, or full of cliche, just won’t work. Similarly, affirmations which trigger painful memories won’t work. The key to powerful affirmations is to make them rich and redolent and pleasurable; and to use them daily in a way we enjoy. 

And to do that means you have to get self-aware. What lights YOU up? What words get you excited? What rituals will help you do this work daily?

In other words – YOU need to become the authority here~be willing to experiment and play! Give up judgement, embrace a spirit of curiosity, and explore different wording and language, different rituals and practices. Please make sure you’re taking advantage of Nancy’s great expertise.

You’re telling the new story of your life. And your brain is listening. Make sure your story is a good one!

We know the high value of self-love, and Janette isn’t just an expert on the brain science of story – she has some fascinating details to share on how self-love works in the brain, why it’s such a key part of any deliberate creation practice, and the huge myth that holds many back. Treat yourself to Janette’s free video, The Science of Self-Love

* * * * * * * * * *

Janette Dalgliesh is the LOA Brain Whisperer, also knows as the Sweet Relief Coach. She’s a Law of Attraction coach and author, but also a self-confessed science geek who is especially lit up about the brain science because she believes it’s the biological mechanism by which we can consciously create the reality we want. Her books in the “Your Everyday Superpower” series ask the question “can the new brain science open the door to creating a new reality?” – and they answer a resounding YES.

 

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