I can easily get caught up in S.H.I.T. For me, S.H.I.T is this feeling of being overwhelmed with my life, an inability to control situations, thinking that I have to do it all and then making that happen, wondering if anyone that is part of my life will just get their SHIT together and make my life easier? Have YOU ever had this feeling?
S.H.I.T is an acronym that stands for Super High Intensity Thinking. And although I’d like to say I coined this phrase, I did not. An Al-Anon member who heard it from a speaker at a conference retold this story to me. I’m still researching the source and when I find it, I want to give this person credit because this acronym has stuck in my head and is useful.
Super High Intensity Thinking is something I bet many of you can relate to. I was just reading an interview of the author, Kelly McGonigal who has written The Neuroscience of Change, in the October issue of Yoga Journal and she states that “Neuroscientists have found that everyone has a default state that the brain shifts into when we’re not fully immersed in an activity. This state things about the future and past, makes judgments, and categorizes and compares everything.” Ahhhhhh…. What a relief that is! I thought I was just nuts! Our brains are really hard wired with this chattering state and if left to its own devices, it would continue to go on this rampage.
How do you know when you’re in S.H.I.T. mode and how can you get out? Ask yourself these questions: What patterns of your behavior tend to repeat themselves? Do you have a default mode of thinking? Is your default mode of thinking negative affirmations that sound like; “I can’t do it all,” “I am incapable, not loveable,” “I will always be alone”. Or maybe your voice speaks to you like this; “People are always trying to screw me”, “How come all the jackasses are on the road when I am?” “ Why doesn’t anything work for _________ (insert your name here).” It could be that S.H.I.T. not only sounds a certain way but may look a certain way. Are you running around to every crisis that isn’t yours? Are you fixing things that aren’t yours to fix or helping those that you think need helping? This is all S.H.I.T.!!!
How do we get out of S.H.I.T.? McGonigal states that “mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation can take us temporarily out of the default state of the mind and into an experiencing state.” It’s about compassion, compassion for yourself and for others. The brain will continually try and go back to its default stage. It will remind you how uncomfortable mindfulness or yoga is and try to get back to its comfort zone… S.H.I.T. mode. Knowing this, you can continue to focus on self-compassion and care. Know that the only way out of S.H.I.T. is the awareness of it and then back to self-compassion and care. AND once you begin to have compassion and care for yourself you can begin to see that everyone is just doing the best that they can given the tools that they have and you can start to feel compassion towards others.
With much love,