Previously in our Brain In Love series, you got scientific proof how your thoughts change your brain and your life. Now, learn how to see and hear thoughts that sabotage love, which is the first step to changing those thoughts to change your life and relationships.
Get the story in highlights of my radio conversation for A Lasting Love with Dr. Sean Sullivan.
Dr. Sean is a Harvard-educated psychologist in private practice in San Francisco. He guides people on Mind Master Journeys world wide.
Hadley: Dr. Sean, you help people become aware of what’s going on in your inner dialogue 24/7. I also help people do that, because we all have an inner critic that can steal your joy and ruin your life, unless you send it on a permanent vacation.
Let’s help people who are stuck in a rut of negative self chatter. Tell us how to see and hear our own thoughts, which is the first step. You must be aware of them, before you can change them. How do we get started?
Dr. Sean: It’s a recognition, first of all, that we have an inner dialogue going on inside of us. It’s like an inner movie that’s playing inside your head at all time. If we calm ourselves down, most people are quickly able to start to watch this movie. I help you do this in my mind master programs through mind exercise, which has elements of meditation.
You quiet yourself down. Then I direct your attention to different aspects of your inner world, your inner experience. One area to focus on is the people of your inner world.
So you bring into your mind a person in your life. Then notice how your inner dialogue changes when you simply bring the imagination of that person into the movie, into your inner world.
Hadley: The key is to be aware of your gut response, your emotional response, because it is not neutral. It gives you a clue if this person is supporting you, or a negative, destructive influence, if they’re draining your energy. Is that your purpose for doing this exercise?
Dr. Sean: The beginning purpose is to get recognition and practice in noticing what is going on inside you when different experiences happen. Like when you interact with a certain person.
Most of us are good at watching our inner movie when we choose to, but most of us are bad at doing it when certain experiences come into our day.
We all have different backgrounds, different vulnerabilities. So I help people get very clear about what your trigger moments are that make it difficult for you to continue to watch your inner movie.
Hadley: When you go on automatic pilot.
Dr. Sean: That’s right.
Hadley: That’s when knee-jerk reactions happen. You think, “Where did that come from?” Or, “How did I do that?” You’re just on auto-pilot.
Dr. Sean: You’re on auto pilot, and a self-defeating cycle ensues. You get triggered. All of sudden you start having thoughts on auto pilot, and those thoughts generate emotions that change your whole emotional state of being.
When you emotional state changes, and this goes back to Dr. Lipton’s work, all of sudden, what you’re inviting into your life completely changes. What you’re bringing to you through this visualization process, through the (thought) energy we talked about, completely changes.
So you might start to block the ability to connect with other people, block the good vibes that are coming to you. Instead you’re pushing people away.
Hadley: Here is the gold in this discussion. How do we break that knee jerk reaction, so we don’t do this destructive behavior or build walls of armor, instead of amore’?
Get the answers in the next highlights of our Brain In Love episode of A Lasting Love. Want to hear the whole episode now? Click here.
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