I have this terrific ability to overthink. Over the years I have tried to get better by realising that my brain is going into rumination and bring it back into the present.
Actually because our brain is designed for survival as its basic function, it wants to conserve energy. Since it tries to conserve energy it gives you resistance to anything where it believes that it will need to do work.
So I used to and even now, many a times, create scenarios in my brain. I get an insight, a new idea….then my brain thinks “work” and it starts showing me all the different consequences. How it can fail, how I will not get any more such work etc. My brain also reminds me of all the previous experiments where things didn’t go as per plan so that I don’t go ahead with my idea and it does not have to perform work. It tries to install fear.
Have you also faced this kind of a situation with your brain throwing up various scenarios and getting you tense or worked-up.
So what I have started doing everyday, is identifying one activity which is giving me resistance. Once I identify it, I then go out and take one action step. Once I have taken this affirmative action, I get real world feedback. Somethings work out and some don’t. When things don’t, I try to figure out the possible course correction.
If things work out then my brain gets relaxed that there’s no danger and it starts supporting my next steps.Nobody knows the future. We only have the NOW. If there’s nothing else that you have clear about the problem you are facing, start with the first step in trying to solve the problem and then see how things work out.
I would love to hear your comments – if your brain also plays games with you and shows you all these dangerous scenarios.
Till next time then.
This was a term I learnt a few days back, I don’t remember the exact book I read it in because I have read about 3 books int he last oe week. But this term has left a lasting impression.
Everyone’s brain is hyper active. The human brain was designed to ensure survival. So by its very nature it has a negative bias. Which means that the brain will always try to see the negative in any situation first. If you are enjoying something, maybe you are at a party, you have this nagging feeling that something would be about to go wrong. Its just the way the brain tries to keep you safe and attentive to possible dangers.
But because the brain is hyperactive, it is able to float through different scenarios in your mind. Suddenly you start to actually feel terrible, if you have worked yourself up. This author used a very good term mental rumination. Its not a new term. If you go on Google and do a search for this term you will find that the search returns more than 3 million results. So it is a very well known term. It talks about the negative emotions that get generated when the brain is idling and starts thinking negative thoughts which slowly go out of control in terms of negativity.
However why it stuck to me, was that it is a term which I had heard the first time and I related it to how a cow regurgitates its food to chew further, while its resting. I have many bouts in the day where because of some random or stupid stimuli, my mind goes in a spin and then I am rewinding into the past and then imagining the negative future on some action I have taken. Its like I have become the cow who is moving its mouth to digest the food while its resting.
That image is what I am now trying to bring in front of me, whenever my brain gets into a spin. Its a little crazy, but it gives my brain an impulse and pulls it out of the negative spiral it has gone into. This is similar to what the NLP folks talk about to get the brain into a different state immediately.
Not only does mental rumination make you feel negative, it also ends up wasting so much of your productive time in useless activity.
If you also face a similar situation to what I face of mental rumination, I suggest you also visualise some crazy image, whenever you think you are going into a negative spiral, and come out faster.
Till next time then.