Let’s take a pause…
I know you’re in the thick of it: researching therapy options, worrying about “the problem,” agonizing over every decision, and wondering if it’s worth picking up the phone. It’s overwhelming.
But I invite you to take a break from that, switch gears, and follow me as we talk a bit about the brain that’s doing all that work.
Your brain is filled with cells called neurons. They send little electrical impulses (messages) from one to the next. This happens whenever you think, take action, or experience an emotion. Over time, specific pathways form. Those pathways are storylines of belief and expectation.
These pathways help the messages get sent faster and faster from the brain to the body and back. Before you know it, you’re doing that action, feeling that emotion, and thinking that same old thought at lightning speed.
It’s an advantageous system… for some things.
You know… like breathing, blinking your eyes, walking, picking up a pencil, sitting down, standing up, and countless other simple things you do every day.
Can you imagine how full your mind would be if you had to THINK about the steps it takes to do some of those things you do automatically?
Neural pathways are efficient for helping with memory, reading, writing, speaking, cooking, riding a bike, driving a car, and so on. You can do these things with ease and speed… without stopping to think about each little micro-step it takes to accomplish these tasks.
But this lightning-fast system has its drawbacks.
It can produce uncomfortable actions, reactions, and feelings:
That feeling of anxiety or stress when things go wrong…
Self-doubt and worry about what others will think of you…
Anger at the smallest provocation…
Sadness, even when the reason is invisible and unknown…
Procrastination when a task is too overwhelming or tough…
Judgment when you either fail or recognize your weaknesses in others…
Negativity when you feel burdens of life piling up…
Don’t get me wrong about “negative” thoughts and emotions…
Sometimes they’re necessary and useful. They can save your life because they keep you from harm. They can be motivators for change. They can encourage you to do or be better.
But the delivery system can work so quickly and efficiently that patterns develop – some healthy, some not.
And when the unhealthy, unhelpful patterns start to take over, it is SO difficult even to consider a different way of thinking, feeling, or responding. It almost feels like YOU are not in control.
But I’ll tell you a secret…
Your patterns didn’t happen overnight. They built up slowly, little by little, reinforced by various circumstances and outcomes in life over a long time.
But with therapy, you can hack into the system and make it work for you!
You can REwrite the narratives – the stories and beliefs that guide your emotional experience and reactive behaviors.
If you can create “negative pathways” for delivering stress, unhelpful thoughts, and unhealthy behavior patterns, you can also do the opposite. You can create “positive pathways” for calm, patience, relaxation, wisdom, and change.
Hacking the system isn’t easy or quick, but it is possible.
It takes a lot of work, repetition, and practice.
Therapy gives you a controlled, safe environment to test new neural pathways, build them up, maintain them, and make them your new default setting.
You will talk about your problems, the factors that affect them, and what you believe about them.
You’ll explore the past and present of your tough times.
You’ll set goals to change a behavior or a certain way of thinking.
When you talk about problems, gain insight, and shift your perspective, you are changing how your brain works.
Doing it one time is not enough. As the old saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.” Well, I say, “Practice makes PATHWAYS!” The more you use a certain skill, the more you strengthen the pathway and make it more likely that you can rely on it kicking in and working for when you need it the most.
There are times when you will struggle. You’ll slide back into that old pathway, and the anxiety response will try to stay active. Even if that happens, you’re already one step ahead by creating alternative connections and new ways of thinking. It’s always easier to get back on track with your goals rather than make brand-new connections!
But don’t worry: You won’t be alone.
I love helping people create connections and experience positive change in their lives!
Some of these changes might be so subtle that you don’t notice them happening. But I do. I ALWAYS see a different person, family, couple, or child emerging as time goes on.
It’s time for you to have a coach, mentor, and advisor in your corner.
Let’s REwire your brain and REwrite your story! Reach out to schedule your free 15-minute consultation: (480) 908-7898.