Episode 8 – Habits 3 of 4

 The Mensch and the Machine – Episode 8 outline: Habits 3 of 4

Book: You Are Not Your Brain By: Jeffrey M. Schwartz M.D., Rebecca Gladding

  • The brain sends  false messages referred to in this book as Deceptive Brain Messages, you aren’t defined by them.
  • Example of  a Broadway performer who froze in front of a producer. Since then his brain honed in on all his imperfections and ignored all the positive qualities  (all or nothing thinking)
  • It might seem like we have to follow what our brain tells us we can actually work around it.
  • Instead of working on the problem we turn to temporary fixes and our brains associate the temporary fix with relieving the problem.  For example an executive who turns to drinking to relieve stress. The brain actually associates the temporary h with drinking as an association and anytime he felt stressed he craved alcohol.
  • The mind’s ability to change the brain, called self-directed neuroplasticity.
  • Neuroplasticity is the ability of our brain regions and connections to adopt new functions. 
  • Example of a woman who suffered from a stroke on the left side of her body.  The right hemisphere of the brain rewired itself to control both sides of her body
  • you shouldn’t attempt to stop the deceptive brain messages from arising, instead, the aim is to teach you how to discount the false brain messages.
  • Four Steps to change unhealthy thoughts and habits.
    1. Be mindful and relabelling the situation, “I’m having the urge to go on Facebook.”
    2. Reframe the situation: “Checking Facebook reduces my anxiety that I might not be able to complete the work I should be doing.”
    3. Refocus the  situation  by doing something productive like beginning the easiest work task.
    4. Revalue the situation by recognizing that this impulse is just a deceptive brain message, and needn’t be taken seriously.

Keep a notebook of healthy activities. So that you have a list of healthy or fun refocusing activities.

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