Few people know that over time our brains create automated patterns of behaviour, which left unnoticed rob us of our ability to choose how to behave.
Our brains are extremely efficient because we use what neuroscientist call “Pattern Recognition” to speed up our responses. The process of pattern recognition involves matching the information received with the information already stored in the brain. However, it has been discovered that pattern recognition creates behaviours that we no longer control, instead our brains simply instruct us to say, behave and feel the same way we did in the past.
Left unnoticed the brains ability to automatically make decisions about what words you use, your tone, mood, hormones and so on means you lose the ability to adjust and become a better version of yourself and fix the behaviour’s you don’t like.
Let’s take long term relationships at work or at home. You know this person well enough that your brain not only anticipates what they are going to say to you, but before you have had time to process the information being presented, the brain simply fires up the same emotions, hormones and responses you always give, and what’s worse is your brain might not have even noticed differences in the delivery of the information. Therefore leaving you stuck in a negative cycle of miscommunication. Sounds familiar?
The science shows that once we hit our 30’s we have so many connections created by experiences that the brain no longer reacts to things at face value, but instead it quickly matches what we experience to a past response. This poses the question; How much better would your relationships be if you were able to teach yourself to become more sensitive to the short cuts you brain is taking, catch them and replace them with better, more thought-out responses?
Let’s go back to that conversation with the person you know well, if you were able to notice that you are replying with an automated response and had not listened properly, how much more caring could your response be and what impact would that have on the person, your relationship with them and the amount of gratitude you receive in return?
Here are 3 things you can start doing to help you always be the best version of yourself:
- Meditation – a guided meditation which asks the question “What emotions do you want to change in your life”. I’ve had a great deal of success with Dr Joe Dispenza’s “Breaking the habits of being yourself” guided meditation. https://drjoedispenza.com/
- Be present – slow your communications down and force your brain to listen, consider and respond using the information you have been given (words, tone, mood, tempo, expressions, body language). If you feel yourself becoming tense, hot, fidgety or looking away from the person you are interacting with, try and catch yourself and you’ll likely provide them with a response which is much more caring and helpful. Takes practice!
- Be selfless – whether you are a husband, wife or manager, placing your needs to one side, having no expectations of others and removing your ego from the interaction will allow you to be more supportive and caring. Ironically doing exactly this will ensure your needs are met further down the road, be patient.
- Become sensitive – to your own emotions, because until you can catch old habits and replace them with new ones you are not in control of your life, life is in control of you.
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