Repost from July 29, 2010.
We all have a number of our own eddies, currents that spiral behaviors. Assuming that when those are friendly behaviors, then like “casting your bread upon the water” you’re bound to see something nice coming back your way. Some people say these patterns come from neurological loops, grooves in your brain like indian trails. When you go back down over your same footsteps 100 more times, you now have an open path without resistance, easy to travel. That is how the connections – neurological, electrical, chemical, are all biased in our brains. Adaptability to stress, in part, means that your pattern of coping is on a path that serves you well when you need it to.
Come on, though! Who spends even five minutes talking about good behavior? What we do ruminate over, is why we keep doing what we don’t want to do. …Such as screaming at the kids when what we really want to do is to grow up and practice the good skills we’ve read about in all those parenting books!
Why is it so hard to stop? Why are we “triggered” so easily? Grooves, my friend. Grooves. Any day we can list off several seemingly unrelated events – but our reaction is all too familiar. It feels like getting sucked into a tornado with a word spout, as if today turns you round and round the same way you did the day before. Inevitable self loathing follows, which can set off more self-destructive behavior. The cycle goes on.
When you feel trapped by your own self, get friendly by remembering this. You’re mistaken. You’re talking about a groove, not a vampire. It’s not hopeless. Not much more, not much less than what it is. A groove can be abandoned. New paths can be made and when the stressor hits next time, you will have a longer moment to decide on which behavior to play. You will have a choice and you will realize more often that you are not trapped by what you thought; you are not hopeless and ugly.
For example, now when I yell at my kids, regardless, I pay a dollar to the family money jar. Anyone can call me on it. That’s my effort to steer clear of the “yelling-groove.” The innumerable reasons for righteous anger, took me on miserable trips. Round and round. Yelling equaled me jamming myself all over again. That’s right. Who did it to me? Me. Now that’s not too friendly. So something’s got to change.
It may be something different for you, but if you end up hating yourself in the end, it couldn’t have been good.
Self Care tip #5: You are not trapped. Pay a dollar. Be a friend to yourself.
Questions: What has helped you abandon old grooves and make new ones? When you don’t feel hopeful, how do you recognize that even though you feel that way about yourself, there is hope and the feeling is deceiving? Please tell us your story.
- How I Use Compulsive Shopping as a Coping Mechanism by Mary Jane (risablairlovitz.com)
- Seeing Your Brain As The Place Emotions and Behaviors Come from is Terrifying (friendtoyourself.com)
- Creating New Habits: Like Water Down A Mountain (themastermindproject.com)
- When Self-Care Gives Pleasure, You Will Be Friendlier To Yourself (Friend to Yourself)
- Believe What You Say (Friend to Yourself)
- This Side of The Fence (Friend to Yourself)
- Find Your Trust (Friend to Yourself)