by: Eric M. Kussin

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14 October 2018

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#SameHere Symptoms – Using A Mantra

Been on this “Symptoms & Solutions” kick lately.  We launched the #SameHere Symptoms feature a few wks ago, & it appears to be resonating, based on comments/DMs.

 

After spending the last few days with Dan Carcillo at NIU and Loyola, Chicago, we’ve been brainstorming ways to get these 2 “S’s” out in the open more often…to go way beyond just disorder names, so that we can see the commonalities in the day-to-day challenges we all face, know we’re not alone, & discuss coping & even healing strategies.

 

We had a chance to meet w a # of teams & classes during our days on campus, outside of the large Sit-Down programs at night.

 

A common symptom that kept coming up – whether it was the women’s golf team or the men’s soccer team, or general student body, etc., was the circuitous hamster wheel thinking – thinking about our thoughts, known as “meta-cognition.”

 

Dan shared how, as an NHL player, his brain was wired to go in fits of rage when he saw someone on other teams do something that hurt his team or teammate. As a result his immediate thought was to retaliate, something that might end up in a bad result for his own team (a penalty).

 

Then he shared that he read a book that changed his life: The Joy Of Living, by Rinpoche (a monk). From it, he learned to change his thoughts thru a mantra.

 

The mantra he chose was very complex ;): “No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.” Until he got back to the bench w no penalty. But the biggest learning is, that with practice, it became only 5 no’s, then 2, then eventually he was able to curb the initial rage thought w/o even having to say the word – no. Essentially his brain was wired for one thought upon a common stimulus, & by practicing a mantra, he developed a different thought track – a healthier & more productive one.

 

It could be a golfer who obsessively thinks abt botching their next shot…a student afraid to fail a test…an executive in a board room afraid to say the wrong thing bc of intrusive thoughts. The main point is – we DO have control to rewire our thoughts to more productive ones. We are not our thoughts. We can control them!

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