When your system goes into a stress response, or “fight, flight,freeze”, it’s your Subconscious Mind kicking you into high alert in an effort to protect you. The Subconscious Mind runs your body. It’s responsible forevery chemical reaction, every electrical response, your heartbeat, breaths…It’s running your life, and it will do everything it possibly can to protectyou.
The thing about the Subconscious Mind is that it can’t tell the difference between something that’s really happened, and something that’s been richly imagined. So if you catastrophise about the future and imagine dreadful‘what if’ scenarios, your Subconscious Mind will respond as if it’s really happened or happening. It will put you in a stress response, on high alert. You'll feel fearful and unsafe, irrelevant of how safe your current environment is.
The solution – STOP IT! Yeah – I know, it’s not always that easy,especially when you’ve been catastrophizing for a long time. That’s one big neural highway you need to demolish – the “I’m not safe” highway. BUT… it can be done. It takes commitment, but you can do it.
Every time you feel yourself start to go ‘there’, into the fear about the future, do something to interrupt the pattern. You’ll get better at this as you practise, till you catch yourself just as you’re on the verge of going into stress, and you’ll be able to halt it before it happens. Eventually your new,calm neural pathway will be much more defined, and it’ll become the default.
What can you actually do to interrupt the old pattern, in order to create the new? Well, to be honest, anything at all that diverts your mind from the old. Have fun with this! Get up and jump around, do a happy dance,sing something, watch a funny video or flashmob, play with your dog, smile even if you don’t mean it, whistle… Any of those things will do the trick!
So, it’s time to give yourself a break, and break the fear cycle. It’s time to stop projecting fear into the future. It’s time to take that power of yours back, snap out of ‘survive’ and back into ‘thrive’. Go for it! You’ve got this.