I picked up this exercise from my therapist. When I’m really anxious and shutting down, this helps me a lot. Apparently stress and anxiety overwhelm your big part of your brain. The prefrontal cortex. That’s where we strategize and plan.
When it shuts down, the “lizard brain”, the small brain takes over. It’s responsible for fight or flight. These days, thankfully for most of us it doesn’t mean fleeing from or punching a tiger. But it can make us prone to distractions and give into our basic instincts, which may not be helpful at any given moment.
I’m no therapist or expert on how the brain works. But this exercise has helped me a ton over the last challenging year. It’s fast and easy to do. It can actually be fun, as your lizard brain goes back to rest, and your big brain gets to come back alive.
Here’s a gif:
And the higher resolution embed:
If neither of these work for you, here’s the link to the video on Vimeo.
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.
Easier said than done sometimes. Finding the time, focusing, and just starting can be overwhelming. Plus that lizard brain in all of us likes to keep us safe. That’s it’s job. But you have to do and show work to make progress. You have to be vulnerable. So, go sit down lizard brain, let me drive for a bit!
Instead of a giant thing in front of you, can you see how it’s really many small interconnected things? Pick the easiest or most important small thing and make just one sentence, line of code, brushstroke, or cut.
I worked with GrifNMore in several ways previously, and have always enjoyed speaking with him in and outside of work. He’s doing really interesting things with animation and live streaming. Find out more about him here.
He asked this question and it really struck me. Something for everyone to ponder, for sure. Thanks Grif.
If I asked you to make a list of things you love, how long would it be until you added yourself to the list?
I paraphrased, and made a sketchnote out of the question:
Thanks for reading! What’s on your mind these days?