At the start of the week, I had a little gigglesnort to myself that the most motivational mantra that I could come up with when dangling off the edge of a cliff (well, a heavily controlled climbing wall) was “control your amygdala”. Anyway, as it turns out, it’s not just me that finds this kind of neuroscientific inspirational quote both effective AND sexy (I may have just randomly added that last part- literally zero people said it was sexy) and I’ve had a few people message me saying that they are similarly talking to their amygdala’s when things start to get a bit exciting in the brain department during moments when it’s not all that helpful.
If we were to keep it raw and grassroots, let’s think about how we can actually converse with our amygdala(s) in both direct and indirect ways.
- Relate to real-time information. Like, what’s directly in front of you. Not the conversation in your head or the what-ifs. What you are dealing with now. Whatever action you decide to take, base it on your present moment- not your future moments or past ones.
- Don’t stay in your head too long. The brain and body can only make sense of things through taking action. If we overthink things or keep weighing up the different options without taking action, we are going to stay stuck. From a brain and body perspective, we need to make a choice, take action, and observe the consequences of that action. From there, we can make more adaptive decisions that allow us to be both more efficient, effective, and responsive.
- Every moment is your chance to be completely new- but you have to drop the story. The story and the labels activate our flight-fight nervous system, and when we are in that place, we aren’t in learning mode- we’re just producing the same reactions that we did in the past. Focus on taking action and the next step in front of you. If the story seduces you, take your focus back to the next action step and the process you are literally going to run through with your body.
And when in doubt, grab a permanent marker and make a massively cool (and sexy) tattoo on your arm:
Control Your Amygdala.
You are so welcome.