Brian and I have been lifelong friends, our relationship has had many ups and downs over the years, but one thing has remained consistent, my willingness to control and manipulate Brian for my own personal gain.
Whilst this sounds like typical narcissistic behaviour, Brian is actually my brain. So take a deep breath in… Yes, actually do this, and relax.
Brian is someone I have come to love and respect over the years, our relationship has been far from easy, but we have an understanding and so do those around me. As an empathic person, I can sometimes get overwhelmed in social settings, a simple solution was to give my mind a name and so Brian was born. When that social anxiety flairs up, the last thing you want is to explain yourself, so by telling my partner who is almost always with me in such settings, that Brian is playing up and I need to get home, ensures that I have an immediate get out clause, without the fear of ridicule. In fact we are so connected within our relationship, that all I have to do is mouth Brian and the rest is done for me, I’ll be whizzed away and given the time and sanctuary I need to repair and the best thing is, no one suspects a thing.
Brian and I have done all sorts of mindfulness exercises together and do so on a daily basis, the first thing on our list it to be grateful, we don’t always write a list, but we always work together to find the best from our day, on bad days it could be something as simple as,
“I am grateful for waking up”
“I am grateful for having the energy to get washed and dressed”
“I am grateful for being able to walk my children to school”
“I am grateful for being able to observe”
By taking the time to be genuinely appreciative of the small things, it gives us a sense of empowerment, it allows us to send positive vibrations out into the universe and we all know that what you send out, you get back, so by remaining grateful even when you really aren’t feeling it, is a valuable asset in Brian’s tool box.
Now I mentioned being able to observe, this to me is such a crucial tool, mastering this one opens up so many doors and all it takes is a little practice. You’re feeling stressed, anxious worked up… Take a mental step back and take a good look at what is happening, there is always a reason for feeling out of place, the key here is to work out the cause and to work towards removing it.
For example, years ago I would get worked up over speed signs, the ones that flash your speed as you go past, I wouldn’t get a little bit irritated, I would be overcome by a full on rage… I’m doing 27mph and it’s telling me I’m doing 33… That’s a speeding ticket on the wrong camera! I knew that this was irrational, yet still I played this game and felt increasingly angry with this particular screen, sometimes I would drive past faster just to be defiant, then I learned this little observer trick and it changed my perspective, not just on the speed sign, but in other more important areas of my life.
I would and still do take a deep breath in and allow my body to fully relax, slump back in a chair and relax. If you’re a smoker, you’ll be familiar with the feeling you get when you take that first drag on a cigarette when you’re stressed, you breath in so deeply, filling your lungs and as you do, you get an almost immediate sense of calm and an “ahhh that’s better” sensation. Now that you are calmer, take a look, what caused the issue?
It’s by recognising patterns and observing them, that you can then work out your triggers, with that in mind you can then work on finding solutions that fit your needs. A big one for me is being late, if I’m running late, I can feel my blood pressure rise and the stress is unreal, so I tend to leave the house 10 minutes earlier than I need to, if I get caught in traffic, it’s OK, I still have the time to make my journey, arrive in good time and still be un-fashionably early. It’s little tweaks like this that have a positive knock on effect for the rest of the day. I wasn’t late, I was early, I was able to grab a glass of water and go through my notes, I was able to talk to that person before everyone else arrived, I was able to go and run errands based on my conversations in my meeting, I had a really positive experience and it was all down to knowing how my Brian functions best.
By establishing a good relationship with your mind and understanding how it works, you put yourself in a great position, it allows you to recognise what’s OK and what isn’t OK, how others impact your mood and what you can do to stay in control to aid your personal growth and shape yourself into the person you want to be.
In my next blog I will write about the effects that others have on Brian, the true narcissistic and abusive characters out there and how you can start to repair you mind, take control and learn to be stronger as a direct result from these once negative experiences…. In the mean time I highly recommend starting the above mentioned techniques. Do let me know how you get on and if you have any alternative suggestions for keeping your Brian in line.