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There are various catalysts in our day to day experience that cause our emotions and subsequently our state of mind to go haywire. You may still have a mundane job that drains you of energy and you’re just getting off a long 10 hour shift at work.
Or an extremely disgruntled driver with an ample amount of road rage cuts you off all of a sudden in the middle of the highway.
For many of us in these scenarios we would react without a second thought spurting expletives and showing that driver a piece of our mind.
The consequences of our emotional outburst would not be at the forefront of our thoughts.
Victor Frankl was a psychologist that lived during the tumultuous events of the evil Nazi regime’s torture of the Jewish population.
Shortly after entering the concentration camps at Auschwitz, Victor was separated from his loved ones.
He then spent three years in the most vile and inhumane conditions, constantly beaten by the Nazi guards and forced to march miles in the bitter cold.
Throughout this horrific experience Victor astonishingly kept a positive frame of mind and did not let what happened to him dictate his self worth.
In his book Man’s Search For Meaning, Victor had a realization that you can take with you into your daily experience whenever you feel prone to impulsively react to situations in an angry or unhelpful manner.
He said the following…
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to CHOOSE our response. In our response lies our GROWTH and our FREEDOM. ~Victor Frankl
But perhaps the unhelpful emotions that you succumb to are one’s that have a direct effect on you personally.
Take fear for example.
In recent years psychologists have found out that fear and excitement produce the same physiological response in the body.
Your palm’s will be sweaty, armpits moist, and there’s accompanying uncertainty in the mind with the amygdala attempting to stop you from doing something uncertain or uncomfortable.
Take for example speaking on stage to thousands of people who you really WANT to serve and impact with your unique message.
They are rooting for you to give your best and they believe in you.
If you truly know that you desire to show up and give a great speech with helpful information that could positively transform their life, well the ONLY thing that is stopping you from going out their and doing that is how you feel mentally and physically, as well as any limiting belief’s that hold you back, but that’s a topic for another time.
Most people listen to the cues from their body thinking it’s a bad thing that they are feeling hesitant and scared.
In reality as I mentioned above, it’s really just your body and brain syncing together letting you know that it’s EXCITED that you are about to give it your all on that stage, or to jump out of that airplane.
Side note: I have a massive fear of heights and that’s not changing anytime soon lol.
So regardless of whatever unhelpful emotion you are witnessing in your day that doesn’t serve your best interests in the moment, such as anger, timidness,uncertainty,apathy,etc.
You can use what I share in the video above to transform how you react and show up in your day starting from the very next moment after implementing these tactics.
Here are the 4 methods to counter unhelpful mental and emotional states.
- The Time Interruption Clap Technique
- Cancel Cancel
- I’m Not Thinking About That
- A.N.T.’s protocol by Daniel Amen
Method 1 – The Time Interruption Clap Technique
This is a fusion of a mental and physical tool that I developed years ago. As the title suggests it’s just a clap. A single clap. They may not sound like a big deal or something that is that useful until you consider the fact that when you clap your hands your brain is literally only focused on the action of the clap.
Any piss poor self degrading thought or crappy attitude in general that you may have can be changed as soon as the clap has ended. You get to DECIDE who and how you will be in that very next moment. You are giving your mind some space, just like Victor Frankl’s realization of the stimulus and response idea.
As I mentioned in the video above, a single clap is also a great way to stop yourself from overthinking and can serve as a catalyst to launch yourself into a set of burpees at the gym, that project you’ve been putting off, or even right before you get on stage. You can choose to change everything about your emotional state with this ridiculously simple method.
Method 2 – Cancel Cancel
This next option can also be combined with “The Time interruption Clap Technique” for a truly effective one-two punch to those unwanted emotional and mental cesspools you can wallow in. These two words “cancel cancel” can help to wipe away those destructive thoughts like a eraser over a messy scribbled whiteboard.
So when you are saying to yourself self-defeating and demoralizing phrases like “I’m not good enough”, “I don’t deserve success”, “I’ll never have a body like that”,etc. just yell out loud “cancel cancel!” and train your brain to understand that those thoughts are not serving you.
Method 3 – “I’m Not thinking About That”
I learned this in Mel Robbin’s book The High 5 Habit. It work’s just like the “Cancel Cancel” technique above. Whenever an ugly thought takes over just declare out loud “I’m not thinking about that!” I like this personally because it’s more specific in intention then the previous phrase. You are literally telling your brain to STOP thinking of what is popping up in your mind. But try both phrases or add them together: “Cancel cancel!, I’m not thinking about that!”
Method 4 – The A.N.T.S. Protocol by Daniel Amen
Daniel Amen is a clinical psychologist and brain researcher that helps patients struggling with mental issues and also diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia. One particular day Daniel had seen four suicidal patients, two couples that hated each other, and two teens that ran away from home. That was alot to deal with, but his day was about to get more intense…
As Daniel arrived home and walked into his kitchen he saw dozens of ants crawling around his kitchen, in his sink, in his cabinet and on the counter tops. He had an infestation. As he started wiping them up with wet paper towels, Daniel had a realization. Many of his patients were struggling with an infestation of A.N.T.S. (Automatic Negative Thought’s) in their brain that were robbing them of true joy and preventing them from moving forward in their life.
Your brain releases chemicals that make you feel terrible when you have a negative thought. These chemicals affect every cell in your body. Constantly thinking these kind of phrases and being in these low emotional states may even promote the buildup of the plaque associated with Alzheimer’s and Dementia (source)
Daniel put together a process to identify and remove the A.N.T.S. in your mind based on the work by the renowned teacher Byron Katie combined with Aaron Beck, a psychiatrist that formed the school of psychotherapy for CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy).
Step 1-Write down your A.N.T.S.
The act of writing down what’s in your mind in general frees up mental space and can help you clearly see what rampant negative thoughts are truly up there.
Step 2- Identify your A.N.T.S.
Here are the 9 types of A.N.T.S:
- All-or-Nothing ANTs: Thinking that things are either all good or all bad
- Less-Than ANTs: Comparing and seeing yourself as less than others
- Just-the-Bad ANTs: Seeing only the bad in a situation
- Guilt-Beating ANTs: Thinking in words like should, must, ought, or have to
- Labeling ANTs: Attaching a negative label to yourself or someone else
- Fortune-Telling ANTs: Predicting the worst possible outcome for a situation with little or no evidence for it
- Mind-Reading ANTs: Believing you know what other people are thinking even though they haven’t told you
- If-Only and I’ll-Be-Happy-When ANTs: Arguing with the past and longing for the future
- Blaming ANTs: Blaming someone else for your problems
Step 3- Ask yourself “Is this Thought TRUE?”
As in: Is it actually based in REALITY?
Step 4- Ask yourself how you feel with the thought, and also how you feel WITHOUT that thought.
Honestly, what emotions come up when you have these unhelpful thoughts? What if you flipped the script on the narrative and voice in your mind and said the opposite to yourself…how would you feel then? Probably a whole lot better right!
Ex: “I don’t deserve success” becomes “I am so worthy of success and I am capable of making my dreams a reality!”
If this step by step process by Daniel Amen for eliminating bad thoughts that hold you back from greatness helped you out immensely in addition to the other tools I shared…well please DO ME A SOLID and SHARE IT with someone that could use this information!
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