Sometimes our thoughts or emotions get overwhelming, repetitive. We get lost in their reality, and lose touch with the real world.
At times like these, it’s helpful to remember that the part of the brain that controls conscious thought is small, and tires easily.
The parts of the brain and central nervous system that handle emotions are larger.
Larger still is your body. And larger than that is your environment… including your work station, diet, home, friends, digital networks, country, etc.
Thought < Emotions < Body < Environment
If you are stuck (thought) or stressed (emotions), notice that it’s sometimes easiest and most effective to intervene in those larger aspects of your system.
After all, you wouldn’t try to pick up a barbell with just your pinkie finger, would you? Use size to your advantage.
When we’re anxious or flail in our attempts to reach a goal, it’s helpful to remember:
- Big breakthroughs are impossible without changing our systems. We co-evolve with them.
- The body knows more than the emotions, which know more than the mind. Connect with all three centers.
- If you find yourself consistently using your thoughts, emotions, or body to metabolize difficult experiences, try some new approaches. E.g., instead of “processing” feelings, challenge your thinking. Instead of thinking your way through difficulties, connect to where in the body specifically you feel tension or conflict, and how that sensation manifests.
- Sometimes changing something, anything, is enough to break homeostasis and get our energy moving again.
- “It’s easier to act your way into a new way of thinking, than think your way into a new way of acting.” – Jerry Sternin