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Dr. Adrianne Ahern Answers Your Questions

Sunday, October 12, 2008
“It’s never too late to be who you might have been.”
George Eliot

It’s been a busy autumn! We completed filming the public television special and are now in the editing process. The show will air in March of ‘09; we’ll let you know the specific schedule when we have it. Also, I’ve just finished taping the audio version of Snap Out of It Now! (to be released January of ‘09) and am working on my second book, Back in Charge! In the midst of this busy-ness, I’m determined to take time to get out, breathe, and enjoy our wonderful fall weather!

During the filming, our audience had some excellent questions that I didn’t have time to address. So I promised to respond to these questions over the next few newsletters. I welcome any additional questions that you may have—we’ll add them to the list!

I’ve never liked using affirmations because they seem phony to me. Is there some other way to rewire my brain that seems more real?

Haven’t we all felt that way at times? When you’re feeling frantic about huge deadlines looming, the affirmation of “I have all the time I need to do whatever is important” sounds pretty lame. Or as you’re sweating bullets to remember the key points of your presentation, “I am totally comfortable and confident in front of large audiences” sounds hokey at best or like a bald-faced lie at worst.

These affirmative statements are slamming into the strong negative statements that are embedded in your brain. These embedded statements are the ones running your life and determining your “truth.” If you’ve always felt that your life is out of your control and you must work at warp speed just to keep up, odds are that a few magic words will not change that panicked feeling. When your knees knock and your heart pounds as you walk on stage, “confident and comfortable” will have little effect.

The key is to first identify then cleanse the negative conditioning that opposes what you want. You must first acknowledge your “never enough time” or “I’m terrified of public speaking” belief, spend a moment experiencing it emotionally and physically, then use your deep breathing to relax its hold on your physiology. Once you have done that, your affirmative statement will sound less phony. “I have all the time I need” may not immediately sound like the truth to you – but it will begin to seem possible!

As a parent, how can I raise my children to not get caught up in negative conditioning? It seems like they are surrounded by negative messages from their friends, sometimes their teachers, video games, television. How can I protect them from all of that?

The first and most important thing you can do is be a role model for your kids. Work with your own negative conditioning and let your children know you are doing so. Tell them about the specific negative messages you are replacing and the process you are using. Explain to them how the brain works—that the brain will support whatever messages given to it—and that they have control over the messages they choose to believe.

As parents, there is no way we can protect our children from negativity in the world. But when kids realize that they don’t have to absorb messages or beliefs that make them feel bad or diminish them, the negativity in their environment will have little effect. Once they understand that they’re in charge of the beliefs their brains hold, they won’t want to hang on to thoughts that make them feel bad.

Wishing you focus, fitness and flexibility in mind and body.

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