So last week people posted a whole lot of #givethanks posts.
It was very curious to see what that did to my brain.
What it did to my brain
For me, suddenly my facebook feed felt so “boring”. I realized that my brain was getting a very specific type of hormone release before all the gratitude posts. I don’t know what exactly it was, but it felt exciting. With the gratitude posts, suddenly the hormone changed, and it wasn’t nearly as exciting for my brain.
Once I realized that, it made me aware of so much.
That is one reason why Facebook (especially on my phone) was so addictive. It was so “exciting” to get so many different types of information so quickly.
I also was then able to be more aware of what do I want Facebook to do for me? What is healthy? Honestly the gratitude posts felt a lot more peaceful and when I wasn’t expecting to be entertained by Facebook, they became a joy to read. Also, to “reconnect” and “see” friends I hadn’t seen for a long time on Facebook.
What it did to some of my coaching students
One of my students just felt happier and enjoyed reading social media so much more.
A few were triggered because it looked like everyone else was having this amazing, perfect life. So many things to be grateful for that they didn’t have.
Some felt judgmental, like people were just doing it to say….”look, look… I am doing what I am supposed to be doing”
Quite a few of us felt the pressure of the need to post, even if we didn’t really want to.
Conflict of the holiday season
So we talked about the conflict of this and the whole holiday season. How can we be grateful when things are really hard?
What if our family is struggling?
What if we can’t be with our loved ones this holiday?
How can we still feel higher vibration emotions?
So we looked at these things using the AWARE tool I teach –
Aware – spinning, thoughts, stories, emotions
Wonder – be curious. I wonder why I am spinning about that? (be kind) What would I like to happen?
Accept – be kind, it is OK you are spinning
Respond –How can you respond to this situation intentionally. keeping in mind what you want to create.
Exercise (faith, patience, agency) Execute, Evaluate
An Example from my Thanksgiving
Let me walk through this with me feeling sad about Devon, my oldest being alone on Thanksgiving.
If it was not covid time, I would have asked my California friends to invite him for dinner, but that seemed wrong at this time. So I was just feeling helpless and sad that he was alone.
Aware – I acknowledged, “I am feeling sad that Devon is alone. Maybe we shouldn’t have moved from California, then he could be with us today.”
Wonder – I am curious why I am feeling that way… I am a mom, of course I would like to be with him. What would I like to happen? I want to make sure we connect on Thanksgiving and he knows we are thinking of him and we love him.
Accept – Of course I feel this way, that is OK!
Respond – I want to create connection, so I will call him while the rest of us are eating dinner.
Exercise faith – this is a step I can take, also I can pray and ask that he feel loved and supported. Execute – we did call him on Thanksgiving Evaluate – Maybe we should have called him when we weren’t eating… felt sort of bad we were eating yummy food without him. Though he told us about his plans to cook steak and mashed potatoes.
In the end seeing pictures of families together on Thanksgiving made me happy for them and I was able to be so grateful for phone calls that allow us to stay connected to all our family.
What did they do to your brain?
What did the gratitude posts do to your brain? Did it feel like too much for you, pretty neutral or just really great.
No matter how you felt it is OK, maybe take the time to walk through the AWARE steps so you can better understand the situation and come up with a plan for the future.
Download the AWARE Steps here