Fresh Thinking – reboot your brain!
We’ve really taken our fresh thinking theme to heart with a look at a technique that could help you stop following the same old thought patterns and break fresh ground.
The technique was developed to help people with OCD type behaviours and thoughts and is based in mindfulness. The idea is that if you can be aware of your own thoughts, you can also find a way to view them dispassionately and to realise when your brain in taking you down the same old route or making wrong assumptions.
There are just four steps to set yourself (and your thoughts) down a different route.
- Relabel – recognise that the thought is a brain glitch. Think you are ‘useless’? That’s your brain playing games and you don’t have to play along.
- Reattribute – why are you always being thrown these types of thoughts? Maybe you’ve been down this neural pathway so often it’s become a bit of a habit? Time to say I’m not taking this route today. It’s not you, it’s your brain and you can don’t have to listen to it. You can step off that well-worn path and strike out in a new direction.
- Refocus – about to indulge in the same negative responses? Divert yourself to a healthier pursuit instead. So rather than cry in a corner, go for a walk instead or bake a cake. Use it just as you would use a breathing exercise when meditating to bring you back on course.
- Revalue – recognise that you’ve achieved something great by using your own force of will to set yourself on a more positive path.
Those people who used the technique to control their OCD enjoyed results equivalent to the best pharmaceutical solutions. It does however raise lots of questions about free will and neuroplasticity but perhaps it’s worth a try.
Interested in reading more about this technique and its origins? Find it here: http://discovermagazine.com/2013/nov/14-defense-free-will