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  • Andy Steele

Relief from beliefs

Updated: May 30

[You can alternatively listen to this article as an audio clip, which includes an exercise to help work through any beliefs that you might have, here.]


Have you ever lost your temper at someone or something without meaning to?


Or found yourself getting upset, frustrated or agitated without really understanding why?


Or maybe you have an opinion about something which matters to you and something or someone happens and it really seems to push your buttons?


There could of course be many reasons why this would be. I know when it's happened to me, I've always blamed it on my ADHD or some previous experience, and just sort of accepted it. And whilst it can be comforting to know why it happens, it can also feel overwhelming when trying to think of how to do something about it. If only there was a way to stop feeling agitated, frustrated and angry to the point that you had a blow-up or blowout at something in the first place? Or felt overwhelmed at a particular situation or person?


We all have opinions and attitudes towards certain things. And sometimes these ideas and thoughts and opinions coalesce into a belief. Beliefs are essentially a framework to how we live our lives. They help us live our lives in a way that matters to us. There are many benefits to them in a slowly changing world where we don't need to constantly evaluate what is right or wrong- we can just be the way we want to be. And as we age, the need to have those beliefs increases. We don't have the time to constantly evaluate stuff. We have more people that depend on us to make a decision for them. We have more responsibilities to make decisions on.


But beliefs can also hold us back if they're not periodically reviewed. Beliefs are founded on static pictures from a moment in time. They are based on stale information. Ironically, it's a bit like using AI for everything where all the data in the models is 2 years out of date. (Although I'm quite impressed with what it generated as the angry squirrel at the beginning of this article, but there is no chance I will ever write a blog post with it; it can't recreate my randomness. :) ) When we challenge those beliefs; that's when the magic happens. As a minimum we learn something new. But that's how you stop wars. That's when you see real change in the world.


Now whether it's due to a life event or medical condition or just part of life, there are things that you can do to help you in this situation, although I would like to caveat this at this point in saying that whilst I'm a qualified sound-therapist and meditation teacher, I'm not a GP so if you have any concerns that you're experiencing things as the result of an undiagnosed medical condition or need further advice, please speak to your doctor first.


When something happens in our life that affects us in a positive or negative way, we will take a kind of mental picture of it. In the case of trauma, this is written to a special part of our brain called the Hippocampus for quick access. When something similar comes along our brain just goes for the quickly-accessible memory that keeps us safe so we can take immediate action and stay safe.


So ok, you're probably thinking, "It can't all be trauma". But we all have stuff that grinds our gears. It could be something really trivial. One of the things that I find challenging is putting my kids to bed (and keeping them there). But you know, if that same situation repeats and repeats, more and more of those mental pictures get taken and grouped together, over and over until your brain decides, it needs you to take a quick response to help you feel better again.


We have a part of our brain that I like to call "The Shit Filter" but the posh name is the Reticular Activating System or RAS. It sits at the top of our brain stem controlling basic functionalities like when to sleep and when to wake, when to focus and when not to focus. Anything that it finds overwhelming, it will just filter out for us. But likewise, if we have a set of thoughts and memories consolidating into a belief, the RAS will alert us when it finds more things which prove that belief to be true. The more pictures are taken, the stronger the belief becomes and the harder it becomes to break it down. Each new picture taken just reinforces the ones that came before.


Sometimes we can have other things going in our lives at work or at home or with our families that put us under increased strain and then something else really small happens and that's the straw that breaks the camel's back. We might think that we have a belief about one thing, when in fact, there's something else going on making us agitated at the same time.


Ultimately, if you have experienced an adverse emotional reaction to something; it's your body telling you to take notice. It's like it's saying "Hey, you need to pay attention and learn something here!" It's not something to beat yourself up about or bury away hoping it will go away on it's own. It's a chance to learn something new about yourself. It's a chance to become more emotionally resilient, mentally rational and physically more aware of triggers within your body that is telling you to stop,

take a few deep breaths,

feel yourself rooted to the earth

breathe deeply


and ask yourself these 6 questions*:

What aspect of my life is being challenged when I react this way?

Do I have a belief or thought about this aspect of my life?

Is that belief helpful to me?

Is that belief useful for others?

What would my life be like without that belief?

If I can't live without it, what steps can I take to help me to live with it better?

If you can live without that belief, send it out of your body. Imagine it as a picture or a shape that you can send it out of your space on an exhale and vaporise it. The more real you can make that picture or shape before you vaporise it the better. Then inhale clean fresh air to come back in and replenish you, leaving you feeling nourished and relaxed.


Yes, meditation can help calm back down, but this is one of the situations in life where you need to probably take the opportunity to be honest with yourself to get a little further understanding. You might be surprised at what answers you come up with in that moment.


I hope this helps someone else or at the very least shows you a different perspective on something that you have experienced.


Andy


*I have to credit an energy healer called Jeffrey Allen as he helped me see how questioning our beliefs like this can help healing. I have merely applied my own sound-therapy training to that questioning and combined it with a meditation to combine these modalities together along with my research and studies.

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