Does it seem like your brain is in constant chatter mode? Most likely, you will answer yes to this question because your brain has evolved to be your guardian, to protect you from threats. It is this mission that keeps your brain on high alert and your thoughts flowing…usually in an anxious and worried direction. It’s as if your brain is always on “red alert,” expecting the worst, creating problems where there are none, interpreting what it experiences in terms of doom and gloom.
But it is possible to intervene, to talk back to your brain, to reassure your command center that all is well and that it can step down from code red. Here are three examples of how to take charge.
First, let’s talk about presenting yourself to others. This includes such invents as public speaking, being interviewed, facilitating a work meeting or giving a toast. How can you calm your brain (and yourself)? First, believe in what you are presenting. Then, in the face of critical reactions, you will be more convincing and less likely to be pulled off your message. Second, before your speech, take a powerful pose. Open your shoulders and chest and breathe deeply. This stance sends a message to your brain that you are not in a life-or-death situation, and you will perform with less anxiety and more confidence.
Second, here’s a suggestion to prime your brain to feel more powerful, giving you a confidence boost. Remember a time, maybe at work, when you used your power effectively. Think about the details of the situation. Tune in to how you felt. Remember these details and feelings by giving it a name and a gesture. The next time you need a boost of confidence, repeat the name to yourself and make the gesture. This action will switch on your “power mind-set.”
Third, it’s not very effective to tell you brain to stop. If I tell you to stop thinking about chocolate, what’s the first thing you will thing about? Chocolate! So, sometimes it works best to just bypass your brain. Try focusing on your heart energy. Your heart has a different job from your brain. Think of it as the center for peace and love. Shift your attention to your heart. Try to get into the rhythm of your heart’s beating and breathe. This shift sends a subtle message to your brain that it can take a back seat now because your heart is in charge.
So the next time you need a brain break, try one of these techniques and find yourself on an upward spiral of relief, confidence and power!