Here we are, again. Welcome to the latest installment of cogjam–one to easily have us following lemmings over the virtual cliff.
Impeachment hearing broadcasts further drive the wedges between those of differing opinions. The gut brain can’t help but react. It perceives threats within disagreeable statements and behavior, no matter which side of the divide. It sees only safety or catastrophe. Our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are at risk of following suit.
Potential Cogjam Consequences
We do, however, have some control over this unfolding drama–specifically, whether we let circumstances:
- override common sense and our use of evidence-based thinking
- get ourselves all stirred up emotionally
- cause us to lash out at others or otherwise act poorly
- withdraw into the perceived safety of limited groupthink behavior
- as a result, further increase the divide between ourselves and others
In other words, it is possible to keep ourselves from ramping up personal distress and antagonizing a cogjammed society.
How, you may ask?
Effective coping means making active choices. Following is what my new book, The Cogjam Effect, would suggest:
1. Soothe the inner lizard, and its ongoing negativity bias.
- Thank your inner lizard for pointing out potential threat, so it knows it has been heard.
- Slow down your thoughts–mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation techniques are good for this, or even just a hot bath or leisurely walk in the park.
- Look for any gut-brain faulty “knee-jerk” reasoning, and be willing to consider information that suggests all may not be as you believe or fear.
- Break patterns of back-and-forth reactions that perpetuate social problems, and find more productive ways to interact.
- Seek out your own personal niche for bettering society, wherever it may lie.
2. When in the throes of cogjam anxiety, note that in reality, you are just fine:
- Your heart is still beating. You are still breathing. The ground beneath you is still there.
- Shift focus to your strengths, rather than vulnerabilities. You’ve made it this long through cogjam. Therefore the necessary competence, determination, and fortitude are at your disposal. You are, in fact, resilient.
- Decide if the distress is truly necessary in that moment. If that’s not so, let it go.