The most important thing to remember is that we are giving our brain a new job that is neutral or even playful or fun. Once you have done at least three preoccupying brain games, check back in and Sense, Notice, and rate yourself again on that 0 to 10 scale to get another number for yourself. Then, depending on where you are on the scale, Apply and Preoccupy.
If you are below a 2 on that scale then you are ready to welcome in a new framework! Creating a new framework around your anxiety and worry can change your view of yourself and the world around you. This can be as simple as changing the wording you use. We often start off statements about us in relation to the world with “I am.” These are known as self-statements and can get in the way of us taking positive, healing actions. Shifting your language slightly can change the framework.
When you find yourself saying “I am anxious,” try this instead: “I am feeling anxiety.”
Or, instead of saying “I am a failure,” say: “I failed at that (test, event, proposal, or whatever it is)”. For an added bonus, remind yourself that the word F.A.I.L. also stands or First Attempt In Learning!
What you are doing in that simple change of verbiage is shifting the narrative in your brain from labeling yourself as something negative to describing your experiences and feelings. You are giving yourself an opportunity to move past anxiety or on to the next challenge, rather than having the anxiety or failure define you.
Remember that Amy the amygdala is great at telling us stories of fear and spreading them so they generalize and become ever-present in our minds and bodies. So, we want to help her calm down and heal, while also building a new system, or framework, for Amy to connect into.
For more detail on the SNAP CPR for the Amygdala protocol, see the Havening Techniques Guided Meditation to SNAP the Brain out of Anxiety video in the sidebar of this article.