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WHAT’S INSIDE YOUR HEAD Your thoughts provoke your emotions and your emotions fuel your thoughts. As your brain becomes mired in the throes of chaos and uncertainty, your rational brain is thrown to the side. When your emotional brain (specifi cally your amygdala, or Amy/Andy as many of you know it by) is triggered, it sucks strength from your other brain areas, starving them with not enough energy or oxygen. Your thoughts, emotions and actions can pull distant thoughts into the present, and what was once forgotten, forgiven or explained resurfaces as an issue. This can easily and quickly lead to catastrophic thinking, which in turn enhances and enlarges your ever-growing molehill. At this point, there is probably no way out as your


thoughts are in a hectic downward spiral. Don’t get caught up in the ‘drama du jour’. Our brains are wired to be serial


processors – that is they perform one ‘task’ at a time. You cannot think about one thing and focus on something else; you cannot think about the expanding molehill and focus on your necessary tasks at hand. Our prefrontal cortex has a fi nite amount of working memory – the ability to remember information in the short-term while working to complete a task. Your working memory capacity also aff ects what you do with the information you have readily available in your mind. When accuracy is important, it is not advisable to divide your attention. When time is of the essence, focus on completing one activity or task


at a time. When your molehill is becoming that mountain, the worst thoughts you can have are those that are not solution oriented; “why did this happen to me?”, “what is the boss/client/co-workers going to think about me?”, “it is totally unfair!” and “all I want is …”. Those thoughts take up your working memory and, much like standing in quicksand, impede your progress to move forward. You cannot see your future if your brain is wrapped around the axel of today’s molehill.


ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE: Often it helps when you link your thinking to a physical activity – transforming the abstract into the concrete.


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