My last post ( And so I begin (or is it continue?), on my crooked path )talked about the crooked path or the scenic route to get to where you want to be. This is also important when you are reflecting on change that is impacting you or if you want to change the way you react to something.
Let’s talk about the pause button. Between stimulus and response there is always a gap to pause. Sometimes that gap is so small that we barely notice it. If we ignore it completely then we form a habit of always responding that way. The brain loves habits. Tick – one more thing I don’t need to process! So what does this mean? Well it can mean that every time a situation/image that makes you react emotionally is presented to you you make that stimulus- response connection and it gets faster and faster. Quick to anger? Quick to fear? Quick to have any emotional response? Ask yourself why. It’s in that pause we can change. It’s not easy. It requires a lot of concentration and brain processing but if you want to make a difference maybe start here?
Let me give you a behavioural example. You want your lawn to grow. You also want to catch your bus and you are running late. It’s much faster to walk across the lawn than stay on the footpath. You now have a line across your lawn where you always walk. But when you are late for work and you need to rush to get the bus it’s not the executive part of your brain that you are using, which is the part that weighs up the pros and cons, so you resort to habit. The more you take the short cut the easier it is, the way is smooth, and well worn. This holds true for emotional responses too. So if you find yourself asking ‘why do I always respond that way’ or ‘I wish I hadn’t said/done that’ ask yourself – Am I taking the easy way out? The familiar? The choice that will give me consequences I know I can already live with? Or am I ready to change? Am I ready to take the longer less convenient path?
What habits do you have that you’d like to change?
In todays political climate, how do politicians and others tap into these fear responses?