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We Do Care what Others Think— Although We Hate To Admit It

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.

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Honestly Do You Even Like People?

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.

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Do You Throw Tantrums?

A-Tan

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.

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Why Are You In A Bad Mood?

8-bad-moodYesterday I left off explaining what a mood is now I will explain where they can can from. When you find you are in “mood”  you may be able to rattle off a list of problems as to why, but it is actually the thoughts/beliefs about those problems that lead your mood down the dark tunnel. Unaware, you might suddenly snap at someone who asks a benign question or fly into a rage when the driver in front of you can’t make up their mind. But the real reason you get angry may be that you were still thinking about the argument you had with your spouse that morning.

Yesterday I found myself battling a mood. I tried to blow it off and move on but I should know better by now. I needed to do some investigating. What was stirring the pot for me was I had received my credit card bill. A whopper of over $1600! What did I buy? ….AIR apparently because I could see no luxury item, no fun new toy, no new clothes, as I looked around my house and I guess air was going at a premium last month! UHG! I had no plans of this. But it was life stuff the kind of things that nickel and dime you into poverty. By not addressing this on a conscious level from the “front office” I was stuck in the “back office” being chewed out for not paying more attention, and not knowing where I would pull those funds from to pay the bill. Once I wrote down my pan the berating stopped and I was ready to move forward.

The amygdala is evaluating all thoughts and situations throughout the day, triggering both big and small warnings. We have learned throughout the years to dismiss the small warnings by simply pushing them away, like I was trying to do not taking the time to shine the light of reality on them. So over the course of a day, these small ones gang up on us leaving us in a really crappy mood by the time dinner rolls around. Everything from feeling ignored in a meeting to having someone talk to you abruptly or having your boss give you less than his usual big smile can have your amygdala sounding the sirens.

The muddy waters of emotions

Emotional moments are always a thought away. Like I have been saying, real or imagined, any thought can cause an emotional upheaval and during that time, your thoughts do not represent an accurate picture of the truth, the past or future. There are two ways an emotion is triggered. A thought may trigger an emotion, and the emotion makes us believe the thought was a fact. The second way is without words or thoughts; your limbic system (emotional area of your brain) evaluates a situation that does not seem favorable to you. In either case, the stress hormone cortisol is released, you feel bad, and then you try to find reasons that validate your emotion. We feel better when we know why something happens, even if we have to conjure up some plausible reason, and those reasons, are always are determined by our perspective. Feeling bad is your “check reality light.” It means a thought is being allowed to stand as a fact. You can’t allow that without confirming its reality first.

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Do People Say You’re Moody?

Do people accuse you of being moody? Do you even really understand what a mood is? It is not that you are in B____CH  mode necessarily. A mood can be good or bad or somewhere in between. It is your basic state of mind at the moment. What triggers them or creates has been more of a mystery for most people. It can originate from the emotions and feelings that stem from our thoughts and beliefs about the moment we are in or it can originate from week old crap. Stuff we can no longer do anything about like an argument with your kid or a comment from a friend, a mistake you made at work. Other triggers are over events that may or may not ever occur from our hypothetical future. My point is that typically it is often  something NOT happening in the present moment. These emotions or feelings can show up in obvious or subtle ways. The subtle emotions are often the ones that sneak up on us and make us moody. Normally, we tend not to notice or recognize background feelings because they are triggered by memories or fears just floating around under the surface of our consciousness.

When you say, “I am not in a good mood,” you refer to the background feelings of sorrow, unhappiness, unease, fear, or frustration. These feelings can manipulate your behavior because you are so unaware of them, and they can be the most dangerous. When someone barks, “Leave me alone; I am in a bad mood!” The person may as well be saying, “Something is pissing me off, and I have no freaking idea what it is!” Although we will all try to inflate some issue so people don’t think we are nuts. Tomorrow we will dive more into the triggers so you can stop them.

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Why We ALL Love Playing Make Believe

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

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Turning Those We Love Into Our Enemies

Caucasian couple arguing on sofa

As you are coming to understand our amygdala is the root of our over reactions toward setbacks, comments, and even a weird look from a stranger. Even having a simple disagreement with someone can switch the amygdala to the fight-or-flight position. You enter into a discussion in which you expect the person to agree with you. Then when the person doesn’t, cortisol releases, causing an immediate shutting down of reasonable thinking and processing. Cortisol interrupts the prefrontal cortex as it tells your brain, “Your life is in danger; this is no time to be thinking!” So you raise your voice, yell, and take on aggressive body posture. Your whole body is reacting as if the other person is a threat to your life. This is why arguments rarely prove fruitful and is why discussing topics such as religion and politics is so dangerous. Never forget that no one wants to hear what you think unless you agree with them. So save your breath and your energy.

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

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The Science Behind Worry & Stress

For thousands of years, our amygdala functioned very well at keeping us alive in the wild by sending waves of these stress hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol, and epinephrine through our bodies as soon as we saw a lion in  the  bushes  or  a dangerous snake. It did that so we would do one thing… run like hell. Not worry, evaluate, or analyze it.

Back then, people’s lives were in constant jeopardy, either from physical harm or from becoming a social outcast. Ten thousand years ago, if a woman’s mate seemed unhappy with her, the woman’s alarm bells would scream because if the man left, her family would have no food or protection and her offspring would die. The same happened when people were shunned by the other members of their tribe, causing them to become outcasts. That was a death sentence within hours. So it was not only the lion in the bushes but also the treatment they received from their inner social circle that meant life or death.

Now here you are today with a brain that is still interpreting any problem as a life-threatening situation! Your superior annoyed with you, a fight with your spouse, car trouble making you late for a meeting, or your in-laws coming for a two-week stay—all of these are often interpreted as life threatening as far as this little amygdala is concerned. It focuses on what will kill you—not on what keeps you happy—and therefore, so do you.

Excerpt from “Why We Are Wired to Worry and How Neuroscience Will Help You Fix It Stop Stressing, Reduce Anxiety, Feel Happy Finally!”

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Is Serotonin Bad For Your Friendships

Listen to this quick 3 minute podcast how serotonin could be hurting your friends. Almost everyone knows that serotonin is a neurotransmitter required for a sense of well-being and a bright mood. Most antidepressants focus on a deficit of serotonin in the brain to alleviate depression. But for those of you who do not suffer from depression you might not give serotonin a second thought. But you should, because if you are like most people Serotonin is driving you to be better than others in every possible way. This upbeat, confident feeling serotonin gives you got wired in thousands of years ago to ensure your behavior would keep you safe and alive. And today humans still chase serotonin hits all day long. Are you a sore loser? A know it all? Do you like to brag or post on Facebook a great meal or your vacation spot? Chasing serotonin can have an adverse effect on your relationships when you start to ignore the feelings of others.
#Social #friends #interactions #likeable #good conversation #serotonin #nice# #bragging #boasting #rude #friendly#serotonin syndrome#mood

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