Brain-Map your Fears Away
I've always been introspective but up until just a few years ago also I felt constant anxiety and anguish over what mighta, coulda or shoulda been. I believe most people could say they suffer some form of childhood trauma that affects them throughout their lives. Some have it worse than others with violence and abandonment and forever questions why? People tie themselves in knots worrying about what was said, who was offended...all while telling ourselves we don't care, then feeling guilt because we do care but feel helpless, hence anxiety. I could work myself up into a state of anxiety just over a quickly forgotten random thought. I could stew for days with a feeling of guilt, but who, when, where, what did I say? Only to realize it was just a random thought, usually something inappropriate that no one ever heard.
Think about it. The brain's function is to think, think all the time, nonstop 24-7.
I say, your psyche doesn't stand a chance against a random below the belt hit memory if you don't govern the thoughts you think.
I was intrigued by the simplicity of the ERG theory (Existence, Relatedness and Growth) which prompted me to visually identify and divide my Shebrain into 3 distinct personalities.
- Existence - protector - denies self examination for our own good
- Growth - Always learning - the judge and decider
- Chaos - the unspeakable - provider of inappropriate, salacious, taudry, painful, wrong thoughts and memories
This mind map is a mental guide that allows me to brain-walk through those reoccuring, 3o'clock in the morning, anxiety producing memories. It occurred to me to apply rationality and reason to examine, identify and categorize these troubling, unresolved, anxiety-producing thoughts and memories. I refer to this triangle of me, myself and I as my Shebrain and MySelf. When I am feeling anxiety, say at at 3:00a.m., we three have discussions about the source of these feelings, their validity, meaningfulness, importance
I tell my Shebrain to identify exactly the cause of the anxiety or guilt feeling.
Is the anxiety caused by something threatening survival?
Is it related to an unresolved memory?
The thoughts and memories get processed through the brain map. Does this thought or memory have value? Is it a stereotype? Can it be updated? Is it necessary? Is it worthy of keeping?
What To Do With Useless Memories?
There are two places where I send unwanted, unresolvable thoughts and memories.
- Palace - If the anxiety producing memory involves loved ones, deceased relatives, pets, etc., I forever ban them to the Palace of wonderfulness, where all needs are met. A place where even mom and dad can get along and watch over my dead pets - also forever banned
- Black Hole - If there is no redeeming value and nothing I care about, I forgive myself and then perp-walk the bad memory into the Black Hole - forever banished, no return
Memories that can be resolved are filed, those worth re-pondering go through the shelf. It's a self-forgiving process.
I conjured up the perfect parents just for those times when I feel the self esteem start to sag a bit. These aren't my real parents but parents I imagine to be perfect with unconditional love and admiration.
What gave me the idea of this psychological brain map was the Cumberback's Sherlock Mind Palace where he stores knowledge. Why not apply that same organization technique with thoughts and memories to perform a defragging of the brain to get rid of the useless, meaningless and unresolvable.
These days once I start feeling anxious I stop everything and ask my Shebrain to find the memory that triggered this feeling so I can examine and run it through my BrainMap. It works for me.
Here's the MindMap