5 Things I Wish I Had Known When I Was Rewiring My Brain
Updated: Mar 17
1. Fight/flight is a different physiological state than freeze. Understanding this and
knowing how the different states show up for you is incredibly helpful. It allows you to identify what state you are in so you can tap into the science behind what you are feeling and not be so afraid of the symptoms that are happening. Being able to label what you are experiencing as fight/flight or freeze can do wonders to decrease fear.
It also allows you to choose your tools more wisely. Some rewiring tools are helpful no
matter if you are in fight/flight or freeze, and some are not. Many of the tools that are realistic to reach for when in fight/flight are not realistic to reach for when in a deep freeze state. In addition, several of the tools that help to calm the sympathetic activation of fight/flight will put you deeper into a freeze response if you use them when in freeze and vice versa.
2. Overwhelm feeds the old, unhelpful pathways in the brain. Add it to the list of thoughts/emotions/behaviors you are trying to notice and interrupt. The brain goes into overwhelm very easily with limbic system impairment and it’s important to recognize that this isn’t supporting your recovery and is a pattern that can and should be gently interrupted.
3. Doing 3 practice rounds from a grounded and calm place is probably a better choice than doing 4 from a place of stress, pressure and adrenaline. Doing an hour of practice each day is only a piece of the puzzle. How you engage with doing that hour of practice is also important. It’s counter-productive to do an hour of practice if you are doing so in a way that just creates more stress chemicals and further drives the maladapted stress response you are trying to calm down.
4. You will feel stuck at times. Everyone does. This is normal. How you respond to feeling stuck is what is important. It's common to fall back into old patterns when feeling stuck and this often leads to you then actually becoming stuck. Start being curious about your patterns when you feel stuck so you can make a different choice when this comes up, because it will.
5. Recovery is hard and messy at times for EVERYONE. It’s easy to go on social media or other forums and think that everyone else is gliding through recovery with ease and grace. They aren’t. Everyone has hard, crappy days when they are rewiring their brain, not just you. Believing that everyone else is having an easy recovery process makes those hard, crappy days even harder and more upsetting/demoralizing.