Hello! I’m happy you are here following along my ‘Minimizing’ series. If you haven’t had a chance to read part one you can find it here and part two here. However, you don’t need to read those to enjoy this post!
My other two posts mostly focused on getting rid of unwanted shit in our homes or lives that cause us stress. However, what about the shit we say to ourselves? Our inner dialogue? Our conflicts that we have with ourselves. Going back to psychology 101 here, our cognitive dissonance, two different thoughts. A good example of experiencing this is telling yourself when you wake up in the morning that you aren’t going to drink alcohol, but then when 5:00 pm rolls around it’s all you can think about, you are craving it, you have to have it, but you battle with it because you made a promise to yourself that morning that you wouldn’t have it. It’s like the devil and the angel sitting on your shoulders.
I have that devil and angel experience every day of my life since I can remember. Currently, I experience it when I try not to look at social media (among other things, but today, I am using social media as an example), I make a commitment to stay away or minimize my use but then I am constantly looking at my phone. My animal brain experiences a little dopamine kick when I engage with it. I get excited when someone likes my post, provides comments, or I get new followers. I get a little rush every time I look at it, so my animal brain wants to keep doing it and doing it and then it becomes a habit and I need to do it more and more to get the same response. Then it is an addiction. My prefrontal cortex (human, evolved brain) tells myself not to do it, but I don’t have control over my animal brain, it’s crazy! I look at it when I’m bored, stressed, have anxiety, am sad, or tired. I use it to avoid my feelings, instead of allowing my feelings to be there.
My dear friend recently told me about a podcast called The Life Coach School. The first episode I listened to was called How to Feel. Wow, it was pretty eye-opening! She discussed what happens to our body physiologically when we experience our normal range of human emotions. And what happens is the normal human experience. It doesn’t hurt us. In all reality what we experience from emotions is very mild.
This podcast led me to research, listen, and watch other content about how we can overcome our addictions, deal with our emotions, and live a life that humans were meant to live.
Yesterday, I deleted Facebook and Instagram from my phone. A little while later I started feeling stressed and depressed. So I allowed my emotions to come and I questioned them. Why am I feeling like this? My response was that I didn’t have social media access on my phone! Wow. I noticed how my body was reacting, it was a mild increase in heart rate and a closed throat feeling. Then I told myself some positive thoughts, like ‘you will have some more time to do what you love,’ and then I had an idea, I could continue with my ‘Minimizing’ series on my blog and focus on minimizing over desired things from my life. Ring, ring, ring! Wow! Then my emotion changed to being proud of myself that I allowed my body to have the emotion, thought about it, experienced it, and then my brain was allowed the space it needed to be creative!!! Unbelievable.
I can’t wait to keep practicing this so that I don’t experience an overt desire for social media. I will re-train my brain by allowing the emotions to come and understand them. I will tell myself some positive thoughts to open my mind and allow creativity to happen.
I want to experience less dissonance in my life, it takes up too much room in my brain, it takes up too much time in my life, constantly battling with myself over things. I want to be kind to myself, learn, grow and evolve as an individual.
So, long story short, I will be adding new content weekly discussing this process with myself. I am very excited to use my brain and truly feel and experience the wonderful benefits of being a human being, evolving, and refining what I am looking for in my human experience.
Please share your thoughts, ideas, opinions. I welcome all feedback.
Love to all!