Cranky or Kind – Emotions on Trial

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Our brains constantly forge tenacious links with real life situations that connect us to either healthy or toxic forces. If we link to cranky images fear takes hold we open floodgates to anxiety. If we choose kinder images caring takes over and we are empathetic to ourselves and others. It’s a daily choice.

Let’s say we make a decision to move into a new apartment, and then as we begin to plan our exciting move. We visualize having friends over to dinner, and we imagine sipping coffee as the sun rises on our new balcony. Suddenly, as plans take shape however, we begin to fear that we will possibly run out of finances. We imagine ourselves left helpless and dwell on images of an apartment we cannot afford.

Cortisol toxins lead to stress and anxiety that shuts down brainpower, and blocks healthier serotonin fueled mental and emotional links to our intuitive or intrapersonal intelligence.  We can regain healing power from neural and cognitive sciences, to cope in tough times, when we break toxic links. For example, we might replace worry with curiosity for new possibilities before anxiety ensnares us in toxins. To get past anxiety’s fear of stressors such as financial insecurity after a move to our new apartment, we can break unhealthy links to fear, worry and anxiety, simply by doing their opposite and dwelling on possibilities beyond any problems. How so?

We might save for a year’s rent to prove we can afford the new apartment, even if it means tightening our belt a bit. Or we might downsize our planned move from a two bedroom to a less expensive one bedroom apartment. If it’s a space we’ll still enjoy, with amenities we’d dreamed of, such as a balcony or a nice view, we can tangibly replace fear with wonderful new anticipation.

The brain stores toxic anxiety-building triggers whenever we stew and stress over any stressor life sends. In response, each time life trips us up on these obstacles, we will likely suffer from worries that can feel as if the trauma were newly experienced. Over time, our intuitive or intrapersonal intelligence gets defined by healthy choices, or stressful lies (such as we are not worth much) interjected to weaken and corrupt our mental and emotional abilities. Toxins such as fear prevent awesome talents and fun adventures our brains can offer us.

When anxiety strikes, and before we sink into its dark treachery and scary moods we can literally become our own best therapist by applying tools such as breaking a fear link by creating a possibility to resolve a stress causing problem.

Not that we can tackle all our stored anxiety triggers at once, but we can break one key link at a time. Reminded that our brains require us to act before they rewire and reboot for more of the same, we might plan to go after one tough stressor today with an overcoming action we might offer a close friend in tough times! In every case we’d start with a kind suggestion that sidesteps blame or self-recrimination.

Let’s look back one further time at the affordable apartment example. When we imagine we will be able to help a friend or suggest a stress-busting strategy as advice to a person we love, we set an emotional and mental stage to trick our brains out of fear. To step back in a similar manner, we can also see our own anxiety problem through a different and clearer filter.  In our imagined role as strategist for a person we care about, we are suddenly able to see possibilities in new ways. In this way, we grow mentally equipped to try a doable strategy as if it came to us from a gifted therapist. What will lower anxiety visibly for you today so that you break a link to fear and add one to delight?


Grace Mindset Book – audio

Grace Mindset Book – paperback

The Teen’s Growth Mindset Workbook – paperback

Growth Mindset Interactive Materials at TPT

Mita (Growth Mindset) Strategies in Class and Beyond

Student Assessment that Works – a Practical Approach

Uncategorizedanxious, calm, disquiet, stress, worry