One of the great things about “lockdown” for me was learning more about all kinds of things to do with our minds and bodies and how they’re connected, and how we can rewire our brains. I’ve been doing some amazing training with Melissa Tiers from New York via zoom (of course) on Coaching the Unconscious Mind. We’ve been exploring how neuroplasticity can help clients reset neural pathways as we talk. It’s exciting!
Of course you can’t work on creating new and empowering neural pathways when you’re in the middle of feeling really off balance / anxious / stuck in your stuff. So once you can see that’s where you are, how can you get out of it? Sometimes it takes a while to see you’ve gone down a rabbit hole of worrying or negative thinking, but once you do that’s the start of the way to get out of it.
Here’s a great technique you can use to bring yourself back into balance with yourself. It’s simple. You’ll be able to do it easily, wherever you are. All you need is an everyday object that you can pass from one hand to the other – your phone or keys will work fine, so will an apple or a pen. So, just have the object (lets call it an orange) in one hand at the centre of your body and move your elbow so the hand with the orange moves out to your right (or left) side (the same side as the hand that’s holding it), then bring it back to the centre and pass the orange to the other hand and take it out to your other side. Repeat. Just make sure the orange is passing across the middle of your body. So the orange moves from the centre of your body out to one side of your body, back to the centre, you pass it to the other hand and it goes to the other side of your body and then you pass it back and it goes to that side … just keep going. Repeat for about 2 minutes.
After this time, just pause and see what’s happened to your brain. I’m picking its moved on from whatever was upsetting you. If there’s still a little residual upset, do it for a little while longer and then check in again.
It’s so simple, right? Yet so effective.
So how does it work? Well, when we get anxious or upset or lose touch with ourselves, we are mostly using one side of the brain for all the connected thoughts and feelings. And when you do this activity, you’re stimulating both sides of your brain and waking up the other side, which balances you. So simple, when your whole brain is engaged you move out of the state you were stuck in. It’s called bilateral stimulation. Anxiety and cravings etc are primarily on one side of the brain, and by doing this you’re stimulating one side of the brain, then the other and it balances the over-stimulation you had and neutralises it.
Hot tip: Practise this when you’re feeling ok, balanced so that it becomes a natural and easy thing for you to do so when you’d really like to feel centred again it’s easy for you to use. Once you’ve gone through and practised it once, you can try it out with a situation that bothers you in some way. Thinking about the situation, feeling it in your body then taking the object and passing it from side to side, hand to hand, crossing over the midline of your body. Check in after a couple of minutes. If it’s all moved on, repeat and create new neural networks, if there’s a little left, continue for a little longer. Great work!