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How to play with yourself, in your brain

January 8, 2018

Day in day out, I am going mad and genius in the same time.

Nothing is happening on the outside, and I have a steady revolution happening on the inside.

The same routine of reading, working out, kids, cooking, clients.. with really small variations like go to the park, the gym or the local supermarket. This routine is designed to break any human’s soul, kill his drive or get him insane. Maybe not everyone, but for sure myself.

You can’t be doing the same thing over and over again unless you have a direction of where your life is going … and a whole new world inside of you. That might sound like a clinical condition that  psychiatrists must have a fancy name for.

I focus nowadays on ways to be rather than ways to do. Because if I want to travel, and do websites and write articles, I have to be a different way. For that I have to think differently.

For that I am practicing this mental rehearsal or mental imagery or the really sophisticated name ..mental engineering. In which I mentally see myself being a different way. For example, being a calm parent, rehearsing my response when they do or say something that triggers me.

There is a difference between mental rehearsing and visualization. They say the brain doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is imagined. If you see yourself accomplishing something you want, the brain registers it like a done fact so you ain’t really gonna do it in reality because hey…it has done it already in your imagination, so why bother and expand more energy to do it again?

But for a new behavior – say calm parent-  see yourself (in your minds eye) in a typical situation with your children when things escalade. It’s normal to get angry, even if you are just imagining. (If  you do this imagining thing right: close the eyes and see yourself, the surroundings, the kids, hear them talking back to you or whatever it is triggering you). Remember, the brain can not make the difference between something real or something imagined.

So now that you are angry, you can play with different attitudes that you would like to have in real time and real life. Tweak, adjust, add just as a film director. You direct your own movie happening in your head (I know, if I would say this to wrong person, I would get that look – crazy lady here)

Observe yourself when you get triggered, pause the film in your head and add something: maybe ear buds so you don’t hear your child screaming, see yourself patiently let him finish his tantrum while you can think of dinner… you get the point.. mold your imagined self into that calm parent – the way he talks, thinks, what he does…maybe someone you know already that is that calm (damn it, how does he/she do it?!?)

It’s amazing what this mental rehearsal can do.. it gets your brain used to certain behaviors, so when you actually need them… they wont seem strange or weird. It does feel a bit awkward… but practice, practice, practice….its the mother of all skills.

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