In the last blog post, I shared a Paradigm-Shifting Meditation exercise. In this post, with a few tips I personally use, I’m going to guide you to slow down and create calm and order in your mind, so you are responding to your life instead of constantly reacting to it.With so much accessible technology in our lives, we are constantly being bombarded with information. This can make us feel overwhelmed and stuck. We take in close to 11 million pieces of information at any given moment when we can only consciously process forty pieces of information at a time.
Thankfully, we get help from a part of our brain called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). This is the bundle of nerves at our brainstem that filters out unnecessary information, so the important stuff gets through.
The RAS is looking for a match it already knows. The RAS is the reason you can only see red BMWs after you say you want a red BMW. It’s the reason you snap to attention when you’re in a crowd and hear your name called out among the noise. Your Reticular Activating System is a good thing, but it can also work against you.
Your RAS is looking for that match when you speak your words, but also it’s looking for a match in what you already believe. As I talked about last week, your paradigm is your belief system.Your paradigm resides in your subconscious mind. Your RAS is filtering out and aligning information with what your subconscious already believes.
If you are constantly telling yourself you are overwhelmed, or you don’t have enough time, your RAS is going to align more situations that confirm that belief. You might say you don’t want that, but on the subconscious level that is still a firmly held belief that will keep showing up if you don’t make a change.
How do you flip the switch to change?
It is essential to create space for mindfulness and meditation. In recent studies, neuroscientists have shown links between mindfulness and brain function. Research out of Canada has proven that 25 minutes of mindfulness meditation improve brain function and improve energy levels. The research also shows mindful mediation boosts brain’s executive function and cognitive abilities linked to goals, behavior and decision making. That’s huge. So, if you’re reacting to everything around you instead of calmly responding, meditation will help you reset.
Another study revealed, increased mindfulness reduced the tendency to allow sunk cost bias to influence decisions. Sunk cost bias are costs that are from past mistakes you can’t recover from. Your past mistakes, your credentials, the naysayers, it’s all irrelevant. I don’t care anything about that, and neither should you. What matters is what you want now and where you are choosing to focus your attention. But when you are in reaction mode and our RAS is filtering out information, it’s looking for what you already know to be true and that keeps you in the rat race.
Maybe you want to start a business. Maybe you want to create a partnership for a new creative project, but when you attempted similar goals in the past, it didn’t work out. That’s sunk cost bias (your past mistakes) dictating your future. If you keep making decisions based on past mistakes you will keep repeating those mistakes over again.
If you want to create different results, you have to make decisions like the person you want to become.
I’m going to give you five things you can do every day to help you make decisions from a place of clarity, so you can leave the rat race behind you.
To respond from a place of clarity requires you to take a pause and step back. Get quiet. First thing in the morning, before you check your email or social media, before your mind gets pulled into the drama of your day, take a moment to pause, breathe and think about the vision you want for your life. Write down ideas as they come up and start taking inspired action.
- Stop Multitasking
People brag about being good a multi-tasking. Actually, people suck at multi-tasking. It takes you about 17 minutes to redirect your attention from one task to the next. Write down how many times you switch activities throughout your day. Every time you switch tasks, note that’s 15 minutes you’re wasting. I recommend using the Pomodoro Technique. You spend focused time on one activity. Then you give yourself a 5-10-minute break and move onto the next task.
- Schedule Time for Self-Care
You put meetings and doctor appointments on your calendars, right? Why not block out time for your self-care. If you don’t respect your own time, no one else will either.
- Create Alarm Affirmations on your phone
I suggest setting alarms throughout your day (10 am, 1 pm and 5 pm to start).For each alarm label them calm, clarity and peace. This serves as a reminder to breath and reset. Ask this question: How am I feeling right now? Write down your response. After a few days of repeating this action, you’ll get a good sense of your energy levels.
- Set and maintain boundaries
You have to learn to say no. If you go to the www.ractracereboot.com and download The Six Mindset Changing Techniques For A More Fulfilled Life, you will discover exercises that will help you to discern what you have to let go of. What is no longer serving you? What tasks can you delegate to someone else? Download and start setting boundaries right now.
These are simple things. You’ve heard these things before. But just because you have the knowledge doesn’t mean you’ll apply it. The progress happens in the daily changing of your habits while simultaneously shifting your paradigm. Let me know if you run into any stumbling blocks. I’m happy to help you through them. This has been life-changing for me, and I know it will be for you!