Three deep breaths

When you experience stress, your breath becomes fast and shallow. To counter this, make your breathing slow and deep to signal to your brain's emotional center that you are no longer under threat.

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@hjoy2020

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Self Improvement

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Your rational brain can process about six bits of data at once.

For example, in a meeting, you could be processing:

  1. what happened in your last meeting with her;
  2. the concerns that are now surfacing;
  3. your goals;
  4. the rewards if this meeting goes well;
  5. the person's pupils dilating;
  6. butterflies in your stomach.

Sequencing these events in different ways will generate 720 bits of intel. (6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 720)

If during a meeting, you perceive an emotional threat, your brain will release stress hormones that will attempt to remove complexity from the situation. These stress chemicals will flush out bits of data that seem unimportant.

If just one bit of data is flushed out of your rational brain, you will be left with 120 options. (5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 120). It effectively means that you just lost 600 possibilities.

Higher-order thinking 

When your creative, higher-order thinking fades due to stress, all you are left with is binary thinking; Yes-no, now-or-never thinking. This makes it impossible to be innovative or to engage in any form of value creation.

You can get back to the 720 possibilities by restoring your higher-order thinking.

When you focus on gratitude, your body releases feel-good hormones that flush out stress chemicals, helping you to keep your smarts.

When you are experiencing anxiety, you can reduce stress by half if you notice and name your emotional state. 

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Myth: You have a lizard in your head

You may have heard that your passions lie deep in ancient parts of your brain that you apparently inherited from prehistoric reptiles. Or that your "rational brain" which sits on top of your "lizard brain" tries to moderate your desires.

The only animal with a lizard brain is a lizard. Neuroscience clearly shows that brains don't evolve in layers but follow a single manufacturing plan.

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IDEAS

Keep growing!

When you do the same things over and over, that dopamine rush tends to get smaller and smaller. A great way to stay motivated is to keep growing by doing bigger and bigger things.

Take on bigger, more challenging projects at work. Once you’ve reached a running or fitness milestone, start working toward a bigger one.

Challenge Unhelpful Thoughts

Listen to your thoughts — but don’t necessarily believe them.

They're suggestions, possibilities. But they’re not gospel. You can’t control what thoughts pop up, but you can decide what is helpful and choose not to give the unhelpful thoughts any more attention than they deserve.

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