How To Manage Your State of Mind: The BRIEF Protocol

How To Manage Your State of Mind: The BRIEF Protocol

Ongoing Stress Challenges Our Minds

You may have asked yourself how to manage your state of mind during a challenging time? When we are faced with continuous difficulty or stress, The grief of losing a loved one, or going through a divorce. The effort of being a caregiver, or being unemployed long term. Or possibly being at the grip of a pandemic whether you are very sick or not…

The mind seems to have be hijacked during such times and we no longer think clearly. We need to find ways to manage our emotions and our thoughts especially during times like this. Managing our mindset during periods of uncertainty requires some effort but the rewards are well worth it.

What happens when we are faced with a threat?

You all know the feeling of suddenly being frightened. Perhaps you stepped onto the road and a car came quickly. The heart rate goes up, the breath quickens, the body tenses and the mind goes into high alert as you jump out of the way.

This response is a beneficial one. It is designed to protect us, and soon after the threat subsides, the body and mind return to balance and we return to normal.

What happens when the threat is ongoing?

When we experience chronic stress, as the result of being faced with an ongoing threat, it has a detrimental effect on our body, mind and spirit, in fact our whole system gets affected by it.

a woman with brown curly hair, biting her fingernails out of fear, How To Manage Your State of Mind: The BRIEF Protocol
colorful computer drawing, symbolizing the mind, How To Manage Your State of Mind: The BRIEF Protocol

Thinking on a Cognitive Brain Level

On a cognitive level we do not think as clearly as we used to. The part of our brain that oversees processing information and making wise decisions gets somewhat disconnected from the part of the brain that is in charge of survival and that survival part takes over. We may find that our decision-making ability is reduced just when we need it the most.

The Story We Tell Ourselves

I often talk about the stories that we tell ourselves in our minds. We tend to focus on the negative, on what might go wrong. This tendency is designed to protect us by preparing us to deal with the coming danger. This protection mechanism becomes dysfunctional when all we can see are terrible scenarios that are yet to happen and may never happen.

This is why it is so crucial to learn how to manage our state of mind.

Our perception is stronger than any reality.

 

The B.R.I.E.F. Protocol

The B.R.I.E.F Protocol is a short process that guides you step by step on how to manage your mindset. The acronym is my creation. The steps come from different disciplines that I use in my practice.  You can watch the video below to train yourself, and use the step by step guide as you go through your day.

It works. It is quick and simple. The more you use it, the easier it becomes!!

blue box with white lettering, How To Manage Your State of Mind: The BRIEF Protocol

B: Body Awareness

The body is your best cue to the first sign of dys-ease. It all starts with the body. When you learn to notice the cues from your body you will find out that it is the first-responder. Notice any tension, pressure, constriction.

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R: Rein Your Attention

Directing the attention to the breath. Deep slow breaths. A count of 4 in and 4 out. If the breath is not comfortable bring the attention to the feet on the ground or where your body connects with the surface on which you are sitting or lying.

I: Imagine Yourself In a Positive State

Take your mind to something that is very soothing for you. A wonderful memory of spending time with someone you care about, a scene from a beautiful vacation or even an imaginary place that you find soothing and calming.

E: Enhance The Positive State

Make it come alive in your mind! The more detail the stronger the effect. Think of the sounds, the smells, the temperature, the details of the scene and notice the positive feelings, and the thoughts that accompany them.

F: Feel and notice the change.

Now check in again with the body and see how much better it feels. Your body and mind are in constant communication. Mind better, body improves. Body more comfortable, mind improve. Maintain the feeling.

Repeat as needed.

How To Manage Your State Of Mind?

Be kind to yourself and others as you practice the tools available to you.

Find what works for you and get better at it.

Remember it is an ongoing process. You do not get cured! But you do get more and more skilled at managing your emotions, your thoughts, and your actions. It takes less and less time to return to balance and you move from being more reactive to actually choosing your responses.

Social Distancing: Coping With Separation

Social Distancing: Coping With Separation

Social Distancing

This new term that has come into our lives, social distancing, it means keeping a safe space from one another, fighting together to keep ourselves and each other healthy.

We are social creatures, we crave contact. In fact human babies that are raised without sufficient human contact and loving care do not develop well both physically and emotionally. Social distancing is not natural to us.

young girl is looking out of the window, enjoying the nature, social distancing

And us as adults? We took for granted a hug, a handshake, an embrace… What a strange reality to wake up to every day. Keeping our distance. Not being able to give or receive hugs and touch. Literally staying away from one another!

How does it feel in the body, in the heart, in the mind to not have the contact that is essential to our well-being? How does social distancing show itself in your life?

It is very difficult. In fact it is a completely new paradigm of how to maintain connection with one another in a manner that supports both ourselves and those around us.

 

a young woman with long red hair in front of her laptop, taking a selfie, social distancing

What Can You Do?

I invite you to become creative in how you stay in touch.

We may complain about technology and how it took over our lives, how kids are constantly on their devices, but now we are faced with a time when technology has incredible benefits.

  • If you think of someone, call them.
  • If they have a smart phone, use the video feature.
  • If you have a service you can offer online, make it happen.

You can even go old school: How about sending real letters? Why not?

Maybe this is the time to connect with people you have not talked to for a while…

Possibly re-kindle friendships that you neglected because of lack of time, and how life happened, because of a silly argument…

Notice Your Internal Conversation Regarding Social Distancing

What is it that you are feeling during this difficult time?

Is there a voice in your head that tells you that people do not care?

Attaching to the Negative

Make sure to remind yourself that in times like this the mind tends to attach to the negative. It means well. It want to protect you from harm and yet this way of thinking is not what you want or need at this time.

Protecting Ourselves

We know it is much more than just the social distancing issue. There is a threat on our health and on our way of life. This is very challenging. Our system: mind, body, spirit goes into a protective mode. Notice that and remind yourself to take good care of you.

 

red fresh rose in vase, social distancing

How do you further support yourself?

For each of us it may look differently….

  • For some dancing is the way to connect to their happy place.
  • Others turn to art.
  • The practice of meditation, a reflection practice, has been for me the guiding light to a good place in my heart.
  • Walking the dogs.
  • A beautiful flower arrangement
  • Sitting outside if possible….
Holiday Stress: 5 Ways To Cope By Implementing Mindfulness Practices

Holiday Stress: 5 Ways To Cope By Implementing Mindfulness Practices

dog and cat underneath the Christmas tree, symbolizing how holiday stress can be managed with mindfulnessThe holiday season is upon us. If you are struggling at times and feel holiday stress, you are not alone. The practice of mindfulness can greatly alleviate the hurdles that stand in the way of a happy, hopeful, and cheerful holiday season.

Learn how to tackle and overcome holiday stress with the help of top mindfulness practices. Here is a wonderful way to start the year on the right foot.

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How to Set Yourself Free: Transform Your Beliefs to Achieve Your Life Purpose

How to Set Yourself Free: Transform Your Beliefs to Achieve Your Life Purpose

WLet the past go and transform your beliefs and habitse all carry with us a set of beliefs that we picked up along the way, often sometime in our childhood. There is a movie script that goes in our minds. It may say: “I am a coward”, or “I cannot do this or that thing”. These beliefs are limiting us. They set the tone for every aspect of our lives and very often we don’t even recognize them for what they are. We are so used to that voice that speak in our minds that voice that says the same thing, that voice we have lived with for so long that we are convinced it is the truth.

 

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