We have all hear countless quotes about staying focused.
But what do we focus on?
How do we focus? After all it’s not something we are taught.
Most of the time we are missing a key pre-requisite. This requirement is called awareness, you can think of it like your conscious thinking brain. The part of you that has the realization that you are feeling upset. (like that brain looking at itself type of paradox)
To help down regulate a high arousal state (Such as stress, anxiety, anger, sadness) we need to cultivate this awareness.
This is your first skill to practice on your way to resolution. You may not believe this part is necessary but our goal is to reduce the time between experiencing an emotion and our realizing we are experiencing it. We want the ability to be able to essentially step outside of ourselves and observe that we we feel very upset.
Throughout this journey i will be using very specific language to help shift the way in which you identify or don’t identify with the emotional states you are experiencing. Periodically i will also make a note of a time when I used specific language to help guide you. It will always be after the fact so you can experience the effect but then have the tools later on to shift the language for yourself.
The first example is the language I used regarding the world feel. It is a small nuanced difference between I am upset vs. I feel upset. We want to create a situation in which your brain is opened to new possibilities through the language we use. If we say I am upset the parts of your brain that could help down regulate the emotions you are experiencing literally shuts off . This is because the brain does not know literal vs implied meaning. The subconscious mind takes everything said heard and experienced not only as fact but the extent of reality. It is why saying I can’t do XYS is so limiting. You’re brain shuts down and instantly accepts that it must be the limit to the universe so why try. We will come back to how to work around that as well in the future. Now if instead we say “I feel upset: we have changed the relationship to the emotion we are experiencing.
Here is a short summary of how we go about building your awareness muscle.