If someone offered you the key to unlock the door to complete mastery of your mind and emotions would you take it or leave it?
That’s the question to keep “in mind” while you read this article that will demonstrate how EASY it is to stop negative mind chatter (just 2 steps) and why this is the Key to ending our dance with unconscious patterns that keep us locked in an inner prison of unfulfilled hopes and dreams as well as the accumulated effects of daily stress.
What is the result of stopping negative mind chatter or ANTS? (ANT means Automatic Negative Thinking, the acronym coined by Dr. Daniel Amen, a leading researcher on brain and behavior.)
The result of eradicating mind chatter ANTS:
A calm, centered mind, restful sleep, increased productivity, easier decision making, and an easy-going attitude towards life’s ups and downs. If this is something you want, I’ve discovered the key that unlocks the inner-prison door. And to boot, a much easier time meditating.
Because we are going to be talking about ANTs, I just have insert this movie poster from the 1954 sci-fi flick, “THEM”. If you’ve never seen this movie, it’s worth checking out. It’s considered one of the best sci fi films of the 1950s. It’s even more entertaining if you watch it and make the connection between THEM –the ants, and the negative mind chatter going on in the collective psyche, post WWII and in the beginning of the nuclear era! Being a fan of acronyms, I like to call THEM (the ANTs) “Thoughts Hijacking Emotional Mastery”!
I’ll explain later why ending mind chatter is so key to unlocking all other undesirable conditions. And by the way, this one “condition” is the common denominator on the list my clients share with me as we start the easy process of ending old habits.
But first let’s look at the before and after picture of ANTS.
I’ll use an example of hosting a picnic to show the difference:
The ANT party:
BEFORE: Start planning a picnic and up creeps an Automatic Negative Thought – “Something might go wrong” or “I probably won’t do it right” –> worry —>anxiety –> procrastination —>stress –> feeling sick and/or tired —> sending out this “sick and tired” vibe to everyone around us —->people tend to avoid us in this state —> isolation —> depression —> the ants carry off the chips or there’s no picnic at all!
AFTER: Start planning a picnic and up creeps an ANT —“What if I mess up somehow?” —> oops! There’s an ANT —> Shift the thought out of the deep limbic brain structure from whence it came! Into the Frontal Cortex of the brain —-> Go back to planning a great picnic —> Enjoy an amazing picnic with friends!
(And by the way, I have nothing against ant insects. They are an important part of our ecosystem and play key roles of ecosystem engineers.)
So as you can tell from this quick example, the KEY is healing the very cause of the ANT right at its source – the deep limbic structure of the brain!
Dr. Amen says this: “When the deep limbic system (the emotional center of the brain) is overactive, it sets the mind’s filter on “negative”. His theory is this: “My patients have to heal their deep limbic systems to change their negative thinking patterns.”
I’ve looked at 6 suggestions and techniques that claim to be the solution to ending negative mind chatter. I’ll share these quickly, including Dr. Amen’s “kill the ant” technique and then suggest a process that is 1) way easier than any of them and 2) is quick and effective. According to Dr. Amen, if you have enough red ants at the picnic, you can’t enjoy the beautiful day, the delicious food that you’ve prepared or even the lovely people you are with!
(If you want to skip to the 2 step process that is easy and works, just scroll past my summary of the 6 current thought methods of eliminating ANTs.)
6 Current ideas about how to end mind chatter:
1) Gut it out and do it anyway! This one is actually my old practice of getting things done despite my negative mind chatter. I grew up in a very negative personal reality of childhood abuse which created a pessimistic world view. I had no training on how to be positive. Even though I had chronically negative thoughts, I found a way to get things done successfully by just gutting it out and doing it.
In many ways, my life stands in direct opposition to the Law of Attraction (a topic for a later article.) I even went so far as to be mentored by the leading “positive thinking gurus” on the planet. And I still couldn’t force my way into positive thinking. Challenge with this approach: it creates a huge amount of stress and a perception of failure if you can’t force your way into being positive!
2) Consciously clearing (suggested by Marcia Reynolds, PsyD)– “you have to empty your brain to control your mind”. The idea is that you start by practicing clearing your mind for one minute and building up until you can do it at will. This is a cornerstone to meditation. However, if you have an overactive mind, it is likely that you have tried meditation and given up at some point for the very reason that you can’t stop your mind and meditation gets annoying!
Challenge with this approach: it either doesn’t work (try it for one minute and see how you do!) or it takes a lot of time and patience.
3) Concentration exercises (suggested by Remez Sasson, author of “How to Focus Your Mind”) – “Shutting down the mental noise voluntarily develops gradually, and over a long period of time through concentration exercises and meditation.” Challenge with this approach: it takes a long time and people generally do not devote the time to do it.
4) Make peace with mind chatter (suggested by Steve Andreas) – “If you have ever tried to stop a critical voice, you know that it is extremely difficult—if not impossible—to do.” He suggests that rather, we make peace with it (accept mind chatter) and then try to educate it so that it speaks to us in ways that are more helpful and useful, becoming a friendly and supportive ally instead of a cruel tormentor. Challenge: you can’t think your way into educating the deep limbic system where these thoughts arise.
5) Stop negative mind chatter by no longer pursuing the goals that create it (suggested by Raj Raghunathan, Ph.D) This is an interesting one. Dr. Raghunathan participated in a research project that identified 3 categories of negative mind chatter: a) thoughts related to inferiority, b) thoughts related to love and approval and c) thoughts related to control-seeking. He explains, “Each of these categories of mental chatter is, I believe, rooted in goals and values to which most of us blindly subscribe. As such, it’s not surprising that our thoughts revolve around inferiority, love, and control. For example, most of are brought up to succeed and excel in life; as a result, we are habituated to comparing ourselves—in terms of our skills, talents and endowments—with that of our peers, which generates inferiority-related thoughts.” He wonders what would happen if we simply stop pursing the goals of success, of being in love and of being in control. Challenge: most of us probably don’t want to do this or have no idea how to go about it and get anything accomplished!
6) KILL the ANT – Feed your anteater! (suggested by Dr. Daniel Amen). Dr. Amen’s “feed your anteater and feel better” exercise is an excellent tool. First you learn about the 9 types of ANT species, and then monitor your thoughts. As ANTs creep into your thoughts, you use his worksheet process to interact with the ANT species and talk to the ANT, thereby killing the ANT and feeling better. Challenge: Again, it takes a lot of work, constant self-monitoring and practice, practice, practice. But the process is so good, that I am sure I will continue to use it from time to time to clean up any random ANTs that creep up on me!
So if these don’t really work or take a lot of time and effort what does work? Sound therapy and a simple brain exercise!
Here are the two steps, created by Dr. Dennis Manness of Brain Tek Institute, that easily and effectively work to end mind chatter:
1) Create more effective brain-based neural pathways. Using cutting edge sound therapy developed by Brain Tek Institute, you first rewire your brain’s neural circuity that automatically (a la ANT) drives your thoughts into the deep brain structure called the cingulate gyrus. The cingulate gurus is part of the limbic system responsible for repeating thoughts and emotions over and over again. By rewiring your brain, you restore effective higher-thinking processes that occur without your having to “think about it.” The sound protocols do the work for you. All you need to do is relax and listen! This is the easy solution to what Dr. Amen suggests: healing your limbic system to eliminate negative mind chatter.
2) You easily shift your thoughts and emotions out of the limbic system and into the frontal cortex of the brain. During the 4 to 6 week program, you will learn how to use a simple technique to shift your thoughts into the frontal cortex of your brain, thereby immediately eliminating the cascade of emotions and behaviors that perpetuate negative mind chatter.
That’s it! It is easy, effective and it lasts. No time-consuming thought-policing, exercises or trying to wrestle your brain into positivity.
The final piece of information in this article is this:
Why ending negative mind chatter is this the key to establishing “emotional and mental mastery
Ending negative mind chatter is KEY because one ANT never lives alone! Ants live in ant hills, called colonies. If you eradicate one red ant, you still have thousands of underground red ants to deal with. And until recently, scientist believed that ant colonies were discreet units, consisting sometimes of as many as 306 million worker ants and one million queen ants! However, more recent research suggests that there is something called a “single-global mega-colony”. What does this analogy mean for our brains?
Until we deal with the mega-colony of red ANTs that reside in the brain’s limbic system, we will deal with the cascade of emotions and thoughts that develop over time as the ANT’s run around unchecked: negative mind chatter leads to all the other patterns I described in the “before” picnic scenario: worry, rumination, anxiety, loneliness, and depression.
When we eliminate negative mind chatter, we automatically feel better, more at peace, more capable of making good decisions and a whole host of other positive changes. And the good news, is we don’t have to think our way into it. It happens naturally as our limbic system relaxes and no longer hijacks the rest of our brain.
I have seen this at work with my Brain Tek clients who have gone through the 4 or 6 week program. Without exception, every person I have brought through Brain Tek’s Behavioral Relationship Entrainment program stated that they wanted to deal with their ‘mind chatter issue”.
Just for fun, I will elaborate on how the successful picnic unfolds after we heal the deep limbic system in the brain:
Thought: “I’m going to invite my friends to a picnic.” Because old neural pathways are still in the brain, even after sound therapy, the one little ANT may show up again: “I might not do it right”. But after sound therapy, what occurs, is we notice this thought right away and we naturally shift it OUT of the deep brain structure, namely, the cingulate gyrus, and easily drive our brain’s dominant function to the frontal cortex – the “executive decision maker” of our brains. So if and when we notice an ANT, we simply say to ourselves, “shift the dominance!” That’s it! The pattern stops right there!
And with great enjoyment, we invite our friends, plan the picnic, don’t worry about the weather and voila! Enjoy an ant-free, beautiful day with people we love spending time with. We feel great! We are satisfied and fulfilled with things that matter – people, rich and meaningful sharing and a deep sense of contentment.
That’s the picnic I’m planning! And I can do it now, and so can my clients who have experienced the life-changing and easy process of Behavioral Relationship Entrainment.
To learn more about the Brain Tek program, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
A quick “go-to” strategy and a longer term, permanent “fix”
Have you ever prepared to confront someone who has said or done something that you need to address? If you reflect on a conflict-confrontation, you might recall how much time you spent thinking and rehearsing what you would say and you can probably remember the feelings you had around the event, including physiological sensations: nervousness, anxiety, sweaty palms, pounding heart, shortness of breath and queasy stomach. The physical signs are all related to the adrenal fight-flight response and it literally wears the body down with stress related hormones like cortisol.
Because of the intensity of the feelings, many of us have learned how to avoid most conflicts. Our “go-to” strategy is to just let IT go, to say “it’s ALL good”, and move on. This works sometimes because not all conflict is worth confronting.
But on big issues, there’s a cost to this caving in and not standing up for ourselves. And the cost encompasses many things: lower self-esteem, living in compromise, and sometimes loss of money.
Having experienced this myself and come out the other side, I know this is one of the most important life skills to master and to be at ease when dealing with conflict and standing up for myself!
Is there a quick fix for this? In my experience, yes and no. I have made a lot of progress in handling conflict over the years by utilizing cognitive and spiritual programs and techniques. I’ve done things like learn to tell myself to “stop”, take a breath and choose to let it go or to speak up. I’ve practiced the Sedona Method, an innovative system in which you ask yourself a series of questions. When an unwanted feeling comes up, you can release it using this method. This comes in handy when dealing with fear and anxiety over conflict. I’ve also tried other techniques such as EMDR, EFT, Psych-K and a whole alphabet soup list of things.
I’ve even become certified in and teach the very powerful and effective techniques of HeartMath and Radical Forgiveness. Like the others I’ve mentioned, these techniques work if you work with them.
I repeat: They all work. Yes, they do! But for me at least, they only worked temporarily and most of the time, it felt like pushing the same boulder up the same mountain. A lot of effort that resulted in me feeling tired, and then “letting it go”, eventually caving in.
So, bottom line and long term, at least from my perspective, the true answer was “no”, there was no quick fix or lasting solution for dealing with conflict.
That is until this year, 2014, when I learned that my conflict-avoidance, cave-in behavior was hard wired into my brain’s neuro-pathways. Now I can say that there IS a fix, and it’s relatively quick and it’s permanent!
My conclusion, based on experience, is that the missing link is the hard-wiring in a structure deep in the brain that contributes to resurfacing of old patterns. Cognitive and spiritual programs do not directly address the physiology of our brain. So what occurs is that while we can think our way through conflict, meditate, pray and spiritually understand what’s occurring, the underlying physiological wiring is still deeply embedded in the brain. Eventually we revert to this. This is why so many of us have tried multiple things that eventually give up on and may even find ourselves saying “nothing works”! You CAN unplug from this pattern!
Here is brain-based solution that you can test drive and begin to unwire old stress-based patterns in the privacy of your own home. It’s called Brain Tek Mobile Solutions and is an easy way to begin to release the brain-based stress response.
I recommend listening to the Stress Relief Mobile Sound Therapy to calm your brain and then make better decision about dealing with conflict.
A more personalized approach is to explore the Behavioral Relationship Entrainment program that I offer through Brain Tek Institute. This has proven to be the missing link to easy and effective change that I have been searching for. It is proving to be the same thing for my clients that have gone through the program with me.
Last month I presented the BRE program in a webinar with Dr. Dennis Manness, it’s founder. BRE is an innovative and very unique sound-based protocol that literally re-boots your brain by rewiring neural pathways to more efficient and optimal thought-behavior patterns.
If you are interested in learning more, email me or stay tuned for the next free webinar on this topic in early December. The Brain Tek program is very different from brain-wave entrainment programs that you may have heard about. This new program that I’m certified to administer is individually tailored to create new neural pathways in your brain in 4 to 6 weeks, all in the comfort of your own home, as you listen to signals embedded in music that are tailored to address your particular issues. It’s the easiest and most effective process I have discovered or myself and am now sharing with my family, friends and clients. And, unlike any other program I’ve tried or taught, it exceeds expectations with the positive results!
Less than 4 weeks to Optimism, Peace and Contentment
At the end of this article is information about a free teleconference on October 7, 2014 at 6 pm Pacific Time to learn more about this topic.
Excerpt from Sacred Journey of the Heart, Chapter 3. Tracy Roman, former attorney-turned- activist” for social change: “I know what my day’s going to look like tomorrow, and the next day and the next. Am I happy? And when the honest answer was no, then what am I fearing by making a change?”
Have you ever been so stressed out about a situation that that everything you’ve ever learned in managing day-to-day life went out the window? Or have you ever found yourself worrying and ruminating, creating more stress and anxiety for yourself and not know how to stop the “mind chatter” cycle?
That’s exactly what happened to me this past Spring and since then, I’ve found what I’m personally calling the “Holy Grail” of inner peace and optimism.
I have been on the search for the “Holy Grail” for years, trying one thing after another. A new process would work for a time but then old thoughts and behaviors would creep back in. At some “basic level”, I was a life-long pessimist, ruminator, worry-wart and anxiety-addict. Talk about frustration! Even after producing a full-length film and learning about heart-based living from some of the best experts on the planet, I kept default-programming into my old patterns.
So back in late May, I found myself in the middle of a very stressful situation that triggered every one of my old programs about struggle, self-worth and powerlessness. The details are not important other than to share with you that everything I learned, teach and share went out the window for me. Nothing worked. Not Radical Forgiveness, not Heart-based Coherence, not tapping (EFT), not Psych-K or any other cognitive-spiritual based modalities that had proven effective in the past.
I was discussing my frustration with one of my colleagues and she suggested that I try a new brain-based technology. I was in the throes of pessimism and the first thing out of my mouth was “I’ve already done it –and it didn’t work!” AKA, “been-there-done-that syndrome.” Next, I told her I was tired of trying new things and had come to the conclusion that I had to give up the fight and keep up my outer façade of “It’s All Good”. After all, if I just kept on “acting as if….”, maybe someday I would wake up a changed and better, sunnier person. Maybe just like Gweneth Paltrow, the latest icon of:
My colleague patiently explained to me that the program she was referring to is different than the brainwave entrainment therapies that everyone is talking about. The program she shared with me is based on individualized treatment of a person’s neurological brain lobe-specific wiring. The protocol looks at behaviors (not brain waves) and traces them back to the hard-wired brain lobe that runs the program. The therapy literally re-routes the neural pathways so that permanent behavioral change can take place. After hesitating for a few days, I had the insight that it was time to invest in myself, rather than to invest in my default position of pessimism and doubt.
It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. In a matter of a few weeks, I had an entirely new outlook on life, my old default patterns were wiped out and I was sleeping through the night. And even better, I had week by week scientifically verified progress reports on exactly what was happening in my brain!
I found out that 3 lobes of my brain were the “Default Directors” that took over the show when I became stressed. These 3 areas of the brain are: the basal ganglia, the cingulate gyrus and the limbic system. These are parts of the brain that deal with repetitive thought patterns, regulating emotion, memory formation and storage, pain processing and habit formation. What happened under stress, was my frontal cortex, the higher thinking process and executive decision maker, went off-line. And the wired in programming took over.
I finally understood why the other processes I had learned worked only up to a certain point. Cognitive and spiritual practices alone, were not effective in over-riding my brain-based wired-in patterns that were memorized over a lifetime of repetition. I am convinced that this is why so many people end up feeling WORSE after engaging in a “positive thinking” program, or a Spiritual healing practice that is supposed to work wonders. Yes, these things work, but only so far and more often than not, they go out the window when faced with a major life issue.
I am excited to share with you that I am now a certified Practitioner of Brain Tek Institute’s Behavioral Entrainment Program (BRE). I am able to provide this program to anyone in the world with high-speed internet access and stereo headphones. In 4 to 6 weeks, we will be able to re-wire your neural pathways using proprietary signals that effortlessly change your brain back to optimal functioning. This is NOT brainwave entrainment. It is very different.
I started offering this to my clients a few months ago and it has been nothing short of phenomenal to witness their results, week-by-week, as they have become free of anxiety, depression, worry, brain fog, memory issues and many physical symptoms like chronic pain, headaches and insomnia. Every single person is leaping for joy and experiencing significant progress that is verifiable.
My own progress continues to hold steady. The major stressor that sent me down this path is still going on, but I choose when to think about it and I no longer worry about worst-case-scenario. In other words, I have a renewed sense of enjoyment in life and for the first time, my optimistic outlook on life is permanent, not just a fleeting state based on outside circumstances.
I’m still a big fan of the heart, don’t get me wrong! I still use HeartMath’s Inner Balance® and emWave2® and I whole-heartedly believe and know that the electro-magnetic field of the heart is by far the strongest one in the body. I know the heart connects us all and sends signals into the field around us that can be measured and felt by others. But if the brain is mis-wired, the heart-field is clouded with the emotional baggage we are unconsciously broadcasting every moment. And that’s what draws to us, the undesirable situations that create stress – in frustrating loop that results in being stuck on a fence. There is a way out and it is easy and fast.
If you would like to learn more, please join me on a free teleconference on October 7, 2014 at 6 pm Pacific Time. You must register to attend. Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email with a dial-in number and PIN. I will be raffling two sound protocols: one at the beginning of the call and one at the end. You must be present during the call to win a prize! Email for registration: Ronna@sacredjourneyoftheheart.com
If you are like me and don’t want to wait, please email me and I will send you all the information about BRE right away.
Here’s my new closing:
Heart-felt and Brain-Balanced Gratitude!