My clients will know exactly what I’m talking about when I say ‘the stress bucket’. You may be familiar with this, or an ’emotional’ bucket, or it may be new to you, but we all have one. Now this is neuroscience; and once you know about your stress bucket you won’t forget it.
So, in our minds, we have the metaphorical equivalent of a stress bucket.
Every time we think negatively..
” I can’t be bothered to go to work today I’m too tired”.
Or it could be about the past; ” I wish I’d done that differently then I’d be able to…” Or it can be things we negatively forecast in the future;
“I’m never going to be able to lose weight”.
It can be negative thoughts about things that will probably never happen; nevertheless every thought is accumulated in the stress bucket as anxiety.
Now, when we have too much negative thinking going on, our bucket is going to fill up and overflow. When this happens, we lose control from the sensible, logical part of our brain, our ‘intellectual mind’, and the negative obsessional part of the brain, ‘the primitive mind’ steps in.
This is the part of the brain that we are using when we are depressed, anxious, angry, obsessional and generally when we do not feel in control. So unwanted habits and behaviours and becoming stuck in a negative loop is all thanks to the stress bucket and the primitive brain.
Thankfully we do have a way of emptying out the stress bucket, through rapid eye movement. This is when we dream, and our mind makes sense of our day and files away our memories; taking them from emotional memories to narrative memories where we have control over them. However, REM is restricted to 20% of our sleep pattern, so if our bucket is too full, we can either be woken up during the night, or are completely exhausted and can’t wake up! It’s no coincidence that the majority of my clients have disturbed sleep patterns.
I’m pleased to say however that I am yet to find a client who’s sleep has not greatly improved after coming for hypnotherapy and listening to my relaxation track which trains the mind into a good REM pattern. And of course there’s the important task of counteracting the negative thinking with a steady flow of Serotonin.. which I’ll tell you all about next time 🙂