How to Control Your Brain for Optimal Functioning: Methods for reprogramming that huge three-pound organ to work for you rather than against you.
When we are prepared for big career events, we frequently focus exclusively on preparation. If we are tasked with a large presentation, we practice until we feel comfortable. If we are scheduled for an interview for a new position, we conduct research about the firm and its key people to ensure we are prepared to answer all pertinent questions. If a project has a deadline, we manage our time and resources effectively to achieve the greatest results. However, when we follow this approach, we are only completing half of the work required to be effective and successful. Let’s go further on how we can control our brain for optimal functioning.
How to Control Your Brain for Optimal Functioning
How frequently do you prepare your brain? What steps do you take to guarantee that you retain control over that critical organ, not only your body and actions? While it is true that physical preparation affects the brain, there are particular things you can do to ensure that your brain is as prepared as your body for those critical job moments.
The function of thoughts
Many individuals believe that emotions just happen and that we have no influence over how we feel. This leaves us at their mercy, reacting solely on the basis of our emotions. The issue is that emotions are subjective and often do not allow for logical or strategic thought.
The truth is that you can manage your emotions, but you must first master your thinking. Each emotion we experience begins with a thought, whether conscious or unconscious and is followed by one or more emotions. A difficulty you (and probably most of us) face is that you recognize the emotion but do not take the time to identify the thinking that caused it.
This can be damaging to business at best, and dangerous at worst. If you act emotionally, you may not make the best choice or take the most effective path. You may be distracted, unable to direct your energy and attention toward constructive activities. Rather than operating at peak performance, you are sucked into a whirlpool, leaving you feeling out of control and depleted.
To avoid this, follow the steps below:
1. Clearly define the emotion you are experiencing, and then consider whether that mood is beneficial to your purpose: For instance, you may have more anxiety when preparing for a professional presentation. Rather than succumbing to that fear, consider whether it serves the objective of performing well on the assignment.
2. If the emotion(s) do not serve a purpose, pinpoint the concepts that generate them: Concerns about making a fool of yourself, coming off as a phony, or simply that people will be gazing and judging you may contribute to anxiety about the aforementioned presentation. This nervousness is not simply a result of your dislike of public speaking; it is the result of specific ideas that you have now identified.
3. Take the time to deconstruct these thoughts by substituting data for them: By posing specific questions to yourself, you can replace harmful and anxiety-inducing thoughts with information. Consider how many successful presentations you’ve delivered in the past, and/or perform a fast mental check of your résumé to remind yourself of all the accomplishments, training, and education that qualify you to deliver this presentation. Additionally, you might consider your audience and find potential allies. When you present data and facts to your brain, it is relieved of the need to fill in uncertainty with “What if?” By reminding your brain that you possess the abilities necessary to complete this activity — that you actually possess the background necessary to be credible on the subject — your brain will generate emotions consistent with these thoughts, so replacing nervousness with confidence.
The significance of words
As a professional, you are probably aware of the persuasive power of language. These can be used to motivate or demoralize, to strengthen or weaken, but how frequently do you consider the ones you employ on yourself? These are not just the conscious words you speak to oneself, but also the unconscious or muttered ones. I find it beneficial to question myself, “Would I say the same thing to my coworkers or my team?” Many professionals are not aware that the words they use to empower others are geared at themselves.
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Once again, the issue is that words generate thoughts, which in turn generate emotions that might be detrimental to good functioning. These may be self-evident, such as labeling oneself an “idiot” for making an error or telling yourself that you “are not as skilled as others believe.” You may come to believe that you are doomed to fail in something significant. These words elicit negative ideas, which in turn elicit negative feelings.
Additionally, there are minor words that might destroy your ambitions by creating an internal atmosphere. “Should,” “have to,” “need to,” and “must” are all examples of words that evoke ideas of not accomplishing enough, not being enough, or falling behind peers. Additionally, they give the idea that you are being compelled to perform particular actions. And, once again, these phrases elicit emotions: You may feel pressure, tension, or guilt, leading you to make decisions out of desperation to prove yourself, which will impair your ability to perform optimally or healthily.
To prevent establishing an internal atmosphere of negative ideas and feelings, substitute power words for these pressure words – alternatives such as “desire” and “will” can alter an internal dialogue and reclaim control. For instance, rather than telling yourself that you should report to work to review practice for the presentation in order to avoid making a mistake, your internal dialogue becomes, “I will report to work to practice because I want to be confident in the presentation.” By replacing the pressure word “should” with “will” and “desire,” and focussing on growing confidence rather than making a mistake, you regain control of your thoughts and emotions.
The brain’s function
At the end of the day, your brain is slothful: it will focus on anything you want it to. Consider the following: When you were last in the market for a car, you probably narrowed your options to one or two styles. Almost certainly, you began to see these trends everywhere you went. Was there an unexpected increase in the number of these models purchased in your area? Unlikely. Then why were you noticing these things around you when you hadn’t before? This perception is created by a procedure known as priming. Our minds are trained to look for evidence and instances of anything we instruct them to. When you specified the types of automobiles you were interested in, it compiled a list of as many examples as possible to support your selection.
How can you apply this similar philosophy to your work life?
One technique is to decide on your desired outlook on work. If you tell your brain that you despise your job, it will look for and offer evidence to support that feeling – all you will see is data that supports that thinking. Therefore, how do you employ priming in such a way that it works for you rather than against you?
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As it is true that you dislike your job, you can communicate to your brain that you value earning money while you search for alternative opportunities. It will then look for examples that exemplify that concept of appreciation, as well as areas of opportunity. You do not need to fabricate an incorrect statement about your profession and deceive your brain; nevertheless, you can direct your brain’s attention to which component of the scenario it focuses time and energy on. This method enables you to function at your peak capacity rather than being sapped with attention and energy.
The preferred role
When you work on a project for your business, do you intend to complete half of it and then hope the rest falls into place? Of course not, yet this is certainly how you have been acting if you have been focusing only on physical preparation for your professional role. In general, how you function is entirely up to you: You can choose which thoughts to encourage in order to generate favorable feelings that will get you closer to optimal performance. You may choose which phrases will elicit behaviors and activities consistent with goal accomplishment, and you can instruct your brain on where to focus its attention and energy in order to achieve the desired consequences. These tactics assist the brain in becoming your greatest asset, rather than your greatest hindrance.
However, This article has taught us how to control our brain for optimal functioning.