Tweaking My Amygdala

After reading about how doing exercises in imagining positive outcomes can affect the influence of right amygdala and reduce your fear, anxiety, and worry, I decided to do such an exercise while walking today in preparation for my writing session.

In the exercise that I read and remember most sharply, people were asked to imagine that they were Superman. Bullets bounced off them. They could fall off cliffs and not be harmed, which made sense, as they could also fly.

So often, it’s my own doubt and lack of confidence that undermines me and my writing efforts. Like many folks, the impostor syndrome shadows my life, with the attendant fears that I have no talent, intelligence, or ability (sound familiar, writers?), and that exposure as a fraud is imminent. I wanted to counter those effects with positive visualization. Of course, I don’t know how I’ll measure the impact of what I did. I awoke feeling pretty damn confident, optimistic, and hopeful (I know – I exist with a complex dichotomy of feelings and thoughts), and I write almost every day, regardless of my mood. What I really need is a team to test me, check on my amygdala, and give me updates. Barring that happening, I’ll assume it’s working and drink my coffee.

Coffee always helps.

Almost always.

Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.


2 thoughts on “Tweaking My Amygdala

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  1. “the impostor syndrome shadows my life, with the attendant fears that I have no talent, intelligence, or ability”

    Something that doesn’t get talked about much: Knowing that you do have talent, intelligence, and ability doesn’t solve everything; it just changes what the problems are.

    “Coffee always helps.”

    And sometimes even an ordinary phrase can make someone feel better. Coffee always helps… Yes. Even if the only way it can help is by triggering a very brief “viewpoint shift” that disrupts a bad mood.

    “exposure as a fraud is imminent” I’m lucky, I think, because I can use this kind of fear in my own writing. Helps me get inside the minds of some of the characters.

    One thing to be careful of when using positive visualization to combat anxiety: Some studies have shown that imagining (doesn’t have to be literal imagining-with-images, BTW) a desired outcome has the same effects on the brain as actually doing the thing, so there’s some reduction in motivation to do the thing for real.

    Liked by 1 person

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