So often we hold ourselves in such high regard. We take ourselves so seriously. Whenever the smallest of things happen we interpret it as a personal attack on us. HOW DARE THEY!
Picture the scene ……
Another driver pulls out in front of you on the way to work, it’s a close call but you were never in any real danger. But wait! Your stress levels SOAR, toxins are released into your brain, the red mist descends and fight mode kicks in.
How DARE they do that to me! Don’t they know who I am?! I AM of greater importance and they shall feel my wrath! I am the king of the road, of all things and I shall never be wronged! “Orf with his head!” would be shouted back in ye olde times (if it were a horse and cart). You become stressed, tense, all rational thinking and logic explodes out of the window. Your foot presses down hard on the accelerator, you wave your arms around wildly, gesturing like a maniac. All sorts of obscenities come pouring out of your mouth.
STOP! YOU HAVE BEEN HIJACKED BY YOUR CHIMP! “wait, my WHAT?”
Your chimp is the emotional part of your brain. Your chimp lives in a world dominated by raw emotions and left untrained can have a catastrophic negative effect on your daily lives.
HOW TO CHILL YOUR CHIMP?
There are many ways to keep your chimp in check. The best way is the simplest! So simple you are doing it now. You have been doing it since the day you were born and will continue to do it until the day you die. Breathing.
THE ANSWER IS IN THE BREATH!
In any situation where you perceive danger, experience stress or anxiety then be mindful of your breath. Take several BIG DEEP breaths and talk to your chimp.
Say something like “sure, that person drives like a fool but perhaps they are in a hurry. Maybe they are upset or are going through a traumatic time in their life. Anyway, it’s ok, their problem is not my problem. I’m safe and I will continue on my merry way.”
If you take everything as a personal attack then you will lose the ongoing battle with your chimp. Get the chimp on side. Stop holding yourself with such high importance. Let go of this illusion and you’ll open yourself up to so much more.
Laugh at yourself. Lighten up and accept that somethings are out of your control. Trust me, life will flow through you if you do.
Be mindful of your breath and the rest will follow ….
“I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.”Plato