There is a world of evidence available
for any belief you might have.
I'm sure you could find evidence to absolutely prove that
Kellogg's Frosted Flakes cereal is super healthy.
Back in college, the second time,
my Psych 101 professor, a PhD student, explained the process
of his decision to give his 3 year-old Ritalin.
At that time, his understanding was,
"If I give my child Ritalin and he doesn't hallucinate, he has ADHD."
In 1999, that was accepted psychology research.
There were studies to back it up.
What is that feeling when I find some research
that backs up what I already believe?
Maybe you've heard about this already,
but there is a new conspiracy theory:
someone, obviously with internet access, has combined
the covid conspiracy theory with the 5G theory
to make a super-fear-inducing panic story.
Isn't that kind of beautiful? Lol.
The imagination... and determination to prove
that FEAR is true.
Humans are fascinating.
The problem is, if I have even a sliver of fear
about getting covid, for whatever medical reason,
and I see this theory online,
my limbic brain starts to entertain more fear than I actually want to feel.
Several of my social media connections
take breaks, or fasts, from social media
for an entire month, each year.
This relatively new online life
can be really overwhelming for our minds.
While scrolling, in 20 seconds of time, your brain sees
7 stories: 2 ads, 2 groups, one commonly-seen friend, and a video.
If I scroll for 10 minutes before bed,
my brain is setting up for sleep and processing 210 stories.
Let's say just one of those videos
is a teenage boy with a knife
reenacting a famous horror flick scene, set to music.
The brain doesn't know fact from fiction. The body reacts to it
as if it is happening for real. Adrenaline, cortisol.
We have to get really good at filtering.
And knowing what we want.
Why do we want
to be online?
Focusing on what we're currently interested in
is great for filtering out the nonsense.
But there is so much amazing information!
I want to be open for new and exciting stuff too.
This week, I listened to The Huberman Lab podcast again.
I'll be honest. Sometimes his episodes are a little sleep-inducing.
For sure, it depends on the topic.
This one started in my car
and before I got to a stop and could change it, I was hooked.
It was on Fear and Trauma, which I've spent some effort on lately.
Isn't it great when science studies something you're passionate about?
The reason this podcast can be sleep-inducing
is because he is so dang thorough.
I mean, he's science-y.
But if you stick with him through all the many facts,
he sets you up to take this exciting little ride.
One of the beautiful questions he asked and answered:
"Is my feeling reasonable for what's happening?"
Have you met me? I am literally laughing right now.
In the Younique Foundation Haven Retreat,
we did this fun thing with our fingers
that represented our limbic brain freaking out
and the disengaging of our frontal brain.
It's the same ALERT sign people use who are being
trafficked, trapped, abused, hurt, or confined against their will,
and the sign for B in sign language.
Fingers are wrapped over the thumb, palm out.
For the retreat, this symbolized "normal" functioning
with limbic and frontal working together.
When the fingers spring up and stretch to the sky
our limbic brain is panicking. Eeeeek.
So this question, is my feeling reasonable for what's happening?
is kind of a joke.
Not a funny one.
I could be sitting in a quiet church
listening to a choir sing carols
and start to panic.
Or in the grocery store, and a man with a mustache walks up the aisle
and suddenly I cannot breathe.
It's a thing.
The reason this episode of The Huberman Lab was so stimulating:
It is totally possible to rewire the fear response.
Step One: with a therapist,
retell the trauma story, in great detail, feeling every little feeling.
Really important to not do this alone. A trusted friend would also work.
The support is needed, because your body will react much like it did
when the trauma happened.
Step Two: tell the same story,
but in a very boring version.
Absolutely no good comes if you skip step one. Zero.
You feel and relive the trauma, fully. Completely.
You tell the boring story, which diminishes the fear response in the mind and body.
People often do this in support groups.
Step Three: relearn a new story,
a positive one. Maybe tie what happened to something that wasn't traumatic.
That may sound PollyAnna-ish.
If you're at Step One, and still reliving the trauma every day,
Step Three might sound like fiction. Hog wash.
They've tested this with drug-assisted therapies, both legal and illegal,
and the three steps hold up each time.
Feel it all.
Tell it boring.
Retell it positive.
This is exactly what I have been doing the last three years.
Today's Deep Breath: a practical juju nugget, a collective Next Best Decision.
My decision to be a life coach has everything to do with all of this.
I know what it's like to have your brain and body react
like something horrible is happening
when it's not.
I know what trauma feels like.
And how it can affect relationships
and all the other big areas of life.