Our brains are like google (or bing:)), they will go to the most “popular” or closely related experience to inform the emotional and physical self how to react in emotionally charged situations. The glitch in this system is that the top hits of our emotional search engine were developed early in life when we had fewer resources. As small children, with limited experience’s, many of life’s challenges are experienced as life and death with only two possible responses – fight or flight. As adults, when we are in situations that elicit a strong emotional response, this amazing component of human survival may lead us to react, physically and emotionally as if we are in a fight or flight situation.

We don’t want to turn off our internal search engine as it can be helpful in so many ways! We do however, want to supply the search function with additional resources to choose from.

Here are a few:

  • I can communicate clearly what I need.
  • I can trust that everything will work out okay.
  • I can ask questions to gain clarity.
  • I can acknowledge my fear and uncertainty in the situation and give myself time and space to sort through how I feel (nothing needs to happen right away).
  • I can let myself feel sad or hurt.
  • I can take a moment and see if what is happening is even about me – if not, I can choose to not take it in.

Until you have successfully rebooted your search engine; use the phrase, “That was then, this is NOW!

When you break the cycle of automatic response you give yourself space to see the situation in the present moment and choose to react in a new way. Most often, fight or flight are not your only choices!

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