Here is something Ancsestery.com does not tell you—
You are the descendants of the most worried, hyper alert, defensive people that ever evolved. How do I know?? Because you reading this. 10 thousand years ago if you weren’t, your chance of survival was almost zero. Back then the average life span was maybe 25 years. Our lives were in constant danger so all that mattered was making sure you lived to see another sunrise. Aside from all of the physical dangers of animal predators, you had to be very careful of other humans. If you came into contact with a stranger, back then they didn’t show up to say, “Hey what’s up homie wanna go clubbin? NO– They showed up to club you and take your food. For women if your partner was pissed at you that could mean he would leave and you and your offspring would die. So you would go into overdrive to please him.
If the tribe decided they were sick and tired of looking at your hair standing straight up every morning, you could be lunch by noon. So caring about what others thought was an imperative to our survival. To force that instinct into the background is not as healthy as to admit that the need is there and to then over ride it with daily reminders that you won’t die if other people think you dress funny.
You have to accept these instincts before you can over come them.
Thousands of years ago, meeting new people could mean extreme danger. A new tribe showing up out of nowhere could mean a battle to the death. Very seldom did a new group of people show up just to say, “Wus Up?” If you did not overcome this built in shyness factor as a child you may still dread social events of any kind. After years of this you may have conjured up some pretty good reasons for avoiding the masses. “People are annoying, I will have nothing in common, all they do is talk about themselves, most are boring.” Start today being mindful when you enter a public setting. Notice, in the background of your mind, the quiet assumption that people are judging you, even at the supermarket. Almost everyone does this. It is why we walk into a store and avoid most eye contact—and is why they, too, assume we don’t want anything to do with them. Our way of protecting ourselves is to either ignore the faces in front of us or begin to judge them back.
Once you start to see just how often you avoid eye contact with strangers, you will spot these underlying tendencies. I am still taken back when I am in a store and I hear a kind voice from a stranger or get a kind look. It is there that I instantly feel my defenses come down and am aware of my own negativity churning away in the background. Have you ever noticed that sometimes even when walking into a family event, you feel a slight hesitation until you get that first hug? Then it’s like, “Well, at least one person is glad to see me.” Even at functions with acquaintances you can have that sense of being ten years old again about to walk by a group of kids you don’t know. Being comfortable with people is like being able to dance well. It brings confidence and a sense of security. It is never too late to build your social muscles.
What stops you from feeling the things you already have? You have worked hard for your home, car, job, friends, and family. When you were growing up, all you could do was dream about one day having these things. Now these things are available to you plus a host of other nice things, good things, great things, and kind things—but your mind barely notices them. Your brain has been programed to want to just move on so you can get to the next thing. It never ends; its appetite for the next thing is insatiable. It sees almost everything as a means to an end…some evasive “end” that never comes, like tomorrow. At best, it will see each moment as a tool; at worst, as another problem to be solved or overcome.
This is the dreary mist in which we walk around in, never really seeing, feeling, or tasting any of the precious things life brings to us. This has to change. We must understand that the degree to which we give this moment our full attention and focus will be the degree to which the next moment is prepared for us. Life is not a series of obstacles to get through every day. For what? When does the pleasure start? When we get home from work? When we get the kids to bed? When we get into bed? The pleasure is hiding in plain view within each moment we experience. The pleasure is recognizing that there is no other place to be but in this moment. It is the pleasure of not running ahead worrying about stuff that has not even happened, the pleasure of seeing the smiles on the faces of friends and colleagues that we normally only glance at. This pleasure entails smiling right now and knowing things don’t have to be perfect to feel good right now. Today we must come out of this mist and never allow it to control our attitudes and moods again.
On days when you are running around trying to cram three days of errands into one, life may jump up and slap you—it always does eventually—Most of us approach our list of tasks for the day as a challenge. Each task we can check off sends a shot of serotonin, making us feel accomplished.
However, no task is ever your goal; rather, your goal is to give the utmost careful attention to each moment. The present moment is not an obstacle to get past so you can get to the “next thing” No step you take can be seen as just a means to accomplishing the task; if it is, then most tasks will feel empty with no purpose until the very end when you check them off your “to do list” Why wait until the end of your task to get that serotonin when you can have it throughout the whole process? You will find purpose in each moment when you recognize that each step you take toward a task is in itself the purpose. This understanding is not complex, but it is the antithesis of how we think normally; Once you understand this fact your whole life will begin to feel different. so when life throws you a curve you will find your footing again by simply adjusting your perspective and refocusing careful attention to the moment at hand. Sometimes I stop, close my eyes, take a deep breath, and just feel my feet on the floor. That reels my thinking and emotions in quickly. Another tool I use if I am home is I stand on a balance disc . This works even under extreme emotion. It is a round inflated disc you stand on trying to blanche and not waver. By closing your eyes and trying to maintain balance you immediately stop all other thoughts as all your attention is drawn to maintaining your balance. See my website for more details http://www.shariespironhi.com.
Today I am looking for 3 volunteers to try a brand new new technique that calms your thinking mind when it has run a much with a fear or replaying an event. It is the most powerful tool I have found thus far and I am seeing outrageous results. Private message me and I will explain the technique and you can let everyone know how it worked after the weekend. Keep Smiling.
Does this sound familiar?
Your head hits the pillow and you begin having a heated one-sided discussion with that coworker, child, or spouse, and although this is happening only in your head, you get as angry and upset as if it were happening in real life, with all the same harmful chemicals in play. (My personal favorite is rehashing a situation from childhood or with someone who isn’t even in my life anymore.) Talk about insane behavior! Over and over in your head, you will make your point, chasing some sort of elusive validation like a dog chasing his tail. Before you know it, you’re tossing and turning and can’t sleep.
For others, fears of your loved ones being in danger take over. If you are a parent you know this all too well and mothers are especially good at it. As we toss and turn witnessing this horror movie of our own making, we search for any reliable gut feeling or sense that we are correct in our fears. As if knowing something bad was coming would allow us to prevent it anyway.
Oh sure were their dangers at some point, yes but never affiliated with a particular night of tossing and turning. So after all the stress one day can hand you, you climb into bed exhausted and your brain hops back on the Worry-Go-Round.
Bosses often make the big mistake of allowing employees to feel that their jobs are not secure, assuming this insecurity will motivate them to work harder. When in fact, it makes them much less productive because they live in fear and crisis mode.
When uncertainty has you rattled, you may engage in any of the following behaviors to increase some brain chemicals, but the benefits are short-lived. If you complain to other coworkers about how bad your company or boss is, those who agree with you will make you feel safer and more connected because of serotonin and oxytocin. If you put the government or world leaders down, predicting doom and gloom, you make the world feel predictable, releasing some serotonin. Even making false predictions about the future will make you feel superior. If you like to get fired up and debate or argue about life events, you will release dopamine.
Misery doesn’t just love company; it needs it! It allows us to crawl on our knees, bleeding and bruised, side by side, and feel that it’s us against them…whoever “them” is at the time. Next time you are waiting in line in a public place, see how long it takes for someone to make eye contact with you and roll their eyes, as if to say, “Do you believe this?”Eventually someone else might either speak up with sarcasm or make some kind of disgruntled noise, and then for a moment or two you will all feel better.
Did you ever hear a child screaming bloody murder in a public place and the parents act as if they barely notice. It’s because they know they can’t reason with their child at that point, and such is the case for adults when under the control of their lizard brain. As a chemical fire storm transpires in our brain, all common sense is put on hold, we behave like that child; act out and think unreasonably.
The newest part of our brain the prefrontal cortex, ideally should enable us to over ride our lizard brain and be calm and reasonable in the face of problems and disappointments. However, that takes maturity and our brains aren’t even fully developed until we are about twenty-seven years old. By that time we are pretty adept at allowing our rage and frustration to over take us. This prefrontal cortex is our awareness system; it is where we decide, plan, and make responsible choices. I referred to it earlier as our “head office” This is what gives us the capacity to think out into the future, back into the past and then evaluate both to make sense of the present.
Right now the one who is in charge of your behavior/feeling center is your back office, not your newer reasonable thinking front office as you might hope. In my book I teach you how to switch the control over to the thinking part of your brain so you no longer have to feel like you are possessed because some idiot just flipped you off. (But I don hope that idiot is reading this so we can all behave better)
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When anger does overtake you, always remember that you are almost never upset for the reason you think you are. Only after you calm down will you see the truth, and it will almost always have its root in some kind of fear. I suggest to clients that when anger rises, they should stop and ask, “What am I afraid of right now?” Common fears are those of embarrassment, rejection, loss, and danger. Getting to that root will always put things in perspective.
When you get upset, your brain knows that you need something at that moment, so you may experience a hundred images in seconds, giving rise to anger, frustration, self-pity, and loneliness that support and validate your current belief about the situation. This can happen quickly especially when you are disappointed by someone close to you. The next time someone does something to upset you, see if you can spot how many “blaming” memories flood in to validate your outrage toward this person. You will have to be fast because the memories will be there in under a second yelling, “Pick me! Hey, over here! I can prove he did that on purpose. I can show you that she doesn’t really care.” Next thing you know, you become angrier at the person than the situation warrants, and when pressed for a reason, you will probably bark, “Because you always do this!” Your brain is programmed to ignore any information that would disprove your violated feelings. It does this to protect you.
Before disappointment strikes, you must be vigilant in reminding yourself that setting your hopes on one particular event or occurrence is dangerous, unnecessary, and misleading. No event will make you happy forever! Everything is transient and passes. The most subtle ones are those we expect in the course of our day, such as getting to work on time, having no traffic, having the computer work, or having the bus be on time. All are setups for disappointment.
Now, of course, you don’t want to expect bad things to happen, but you can’t forget that life is unpredictable. If you have personal expectations, it will feel like a personal attack when things don’t go your way, and you will fly into anger. Let me make this simple—Don’t cling to outcomes. Before I leave the house, I remind myself that regardless of what my to-do list says, anything is possible today. Beginning your day with expectations is like shoving a ticking time bomb into your pocket. It is only a matter of time before it blows.
Do the following reactions sound familiar? “Nice blinker, idiot!” “This stupid computer!” “Crap, it’s only three o’clock.” “Why is everyone driving like an ass?” “OMG, the Internet is so slow today!”
These reactions are as helpful as throwing your shoe at the clouds because it is raining on your day off! You are personalizing all of these random events. Such reactions also cut you off from seeing just how amazing life is around you. Stay present to these ridiculous, hidden beliefs that will do their best to wreck your day before it starts. When you walk out the door, remind yourself that although you intend to do this or that, anything can happen. Doing this disarms your amygdala, which is always on the lookout for things not going according to your plan. So take your plan (expectation) off the table. Your amygdala is different from that of the next person; whatever you believe should or shouldn’t happen is what it will try to protect, so only you can take down the beliefs/expectations that trigger it to begin with.
I was at a store checking out when I overheard the cashier telling a story to another customer. “I can’t believe it; she gave him everything when he had nothing, and now he is cheating on her!” She was so emotionally invested that I thought for sure she knew this couple personally. Then I heard her follow up with, “I love this book; I can’t get enough of it!” Really? Did she even realize that she was commenting on the behavior of people who did not exist? That she was getting emotional over actions that never took place except on the pages of a fictitious book? Of course she did, but when we humans invest our emotion and are moved by stories, real or not, it is as though they deserve our full attention. As entertaining as that is, it can be a detriment when you allow your problems to be seen in this exaggerated light believing that every fear is GOING to happen. There is a way to turn the light of reality on in those moments so you can stop the panic over stuff that has not even happened yet.
FOR ANYONE WHO HAS BOUGHT MY BOOK Why We Are Wired to Worry and How Neuroscience Will Help You Fix It THIS WEEK OR DOES SO BETWEEN NOW AND SUNDAY AT MIDNIGHT I WILL SEND YOU A CODE TO GIVE YOU THE AUDIOBOOK VERSION AS WELL FOR FREE. JUST PRIVATE MESSAGE ME A PICTURE OF YOUR RECEIPT AND I WILL SEND YOU THE CODE. MAYBE THERE IS SOMEONE WHO YOU KNOW REALLY NEEDS TO HEAR IT! Limited to the first 15 responders