Understanding Positivity & Catastrophising From The Level Of The Nervous System

Ever thought to yourself, I wish I could think more positively! Or what’s more, found yourself catastrophizing about every situation that comes your way until you’re mentally drowning in worst-case scenarios? It’s a vicious loop to get caught up in and one that can feel almost impossible to step out of.

Most conversations around this topic approach it at the level of the mind, which at first glance makes a lot of sense. After all, if it’s the mind that’s causing the “issues”, surely that’s the place that we need to be doing the work?

What if, though, the thoughts that we were having were a symptom of underlying nervous system dysregulation, and we were approaching things from the wrong angle?

Think of it this way: When we are operating from a place of chronic hypervigilance or stress, we are operating from the smoke alarm part of our brain. When we are in that place, we are primarily interested in safety and survival. It makes sense then that if this is where our nervous system is sitting, that our thoughts will be demonstrative of that also. Trying to change your thoughts without addressing the underlying dysregulation then means we are always going to be chasing our tail. At best, our system is always going to override our best attempts in its ongoing quest to keep us safe and we will also be stuck in an ongoing war between what we THINK we should be thinking, how we actually feel, and what we are projecting.

We discuss all this and more in this episode; a bottom-up approach to negative thinking and how it is we might be going about things the wrong way around.

You tune into the latest here:

Happy listening!

❤️ Jane

Feeling Overwhelmed? Try This.

I’ve been playing with something recently which is a personal take on the Buddhist practice of Tonglen. Tonglen is slightly different to the usual meditation or visualization techniques where we might look to increase our own well-being by focusing on moving towards better feeling places, and instead asks us to inhale the suffering of the world and send out all that is good in order that other’s may experience it.

Although at first, this way of going about things may be unappealing, what the practice does opens our field to the wider breadth of possibility, which is:

We are not the only ones who feel or have felt this way.

In the current world climate of what can feel like endless bad news and major shifts which can highlight feelings of yet more divisiveness it’s important to connect back to our shared experience and humanity.

If I feel apprehensive or unsure, I play with breathing in the feelings of those who also feel, or have ever felt apprehensive or unsure, and I send them calm and confidence in return.

If I feel overwhelmed or out of my depth, I breathe in for everyone who has felt overwhelmed or out of their depth and exhale clarity and surety.

If I’m struggling with a problem, I breathe in for everyone who has felt stumped, challenged or like they might never make it to the other side also.

Is it curative? No.

Does it remove the feeling? Not necessarily.

But that’s not the point.

What it does do is crack open your compassion and connect you to the invisible threads of connectivity that bind us all together. Here I am, in the midst of feeling this, you recognize, sharing the experience with those who have felt, are currently feeling or are yet to feel how I do now.

And in return, I send them love.


❤️ Jane