Un-narrowing our focus!
More things to do when the red brain triggers
As well as an upwelling of emotion, our focus narrows as the red brain triggers. This narrowing occurs as brain resources are drained away from the pre-frontal cortex and into the older parts of the brain. We need to get those resources moving back by firing up the pre-frontal cortex again.
The first step though, is simply to move physically, by shifting position, getting up and moving around, and move attention away from an increasing self-focus by concentrating on something or someone else. If someone is in front of you avoid looking at their mouth, try and look at their eyes – this can be hard but is effective. These efforts will slow triggering.
Next, to start moving back to the blue brain we can use our advanced abilities to start examining our narrowed focus in terms of what it has done to our thinking.Is my thinking open or closed? Positive or negative? Where are my thoughts directed? Am I being defensive? Am I thinking about other people? Or, am I focused just on me? The act of doing this reflection starts to move us back.
Finally, we can start to re-imagine the event that just took place that started the triggering process. We can only imagine in the blue brain, so this is a powerful way to lift us up out of the red brain. We can re-imagine in a number of ways, we can recast the incident in a larger time frame, we can imagine how it would be seen by an external observer, we can imagine what it would have been like if things had gone well.
Our minds are so versatile that we do not need to be trapped in a narrow prison.