In my article, “Negative Thinking - Why is it So Hard to Change?” I mentioned that one of the ways we keep the negative thinking going and therefore the adrenaline flowing is by finding things/people/events to be offended by.
This struck a nerve with me so I spent a couple of weeks really paying attention to this.
I was shocked at how often I was feeling offended. I found myself constantly saying, “Tsk, tsk, look what he just did. Look what she did. That jerk just cut me off.” I was constantly offended. It was an automatic response.
I also started to pay attention to how those moments felt in my body. I noticed right away that I was in a constant state of agitation. In addition, once the offense was over, I was still talking about it for a moment or two or even longer afterward. I would be kilometers down the road and still mouthing off about the driver who cut me off and was now long gone or whatever “offense” was committed against me.
As I paid attention, I became very aware of my need for another adrenaline “hit”. I had no peace in my body or in my mind. I was putting out the vibe of “be offended” and I was finding lots of things/people/events to be offended by. My adrenaline addiction was constantly being fed.
I share this experience with you because I want you to start paying attention to this for yourself. Are you constantly offended by someone or something? Is it an automatic response for you? Do you feel the release of adrenaline with each incident? Do you want to feel peace in your body and mind?
Once I became aware of this pattern, I made the conscious choice to take several vagus breaths at these moments to trigger the release of oxytocin and shut down the release of adrenaline. I have been doing this for a while and I have had significant changes in my body.
As you start doing this, you may still feel offended by people/things/events but the vibration in your body is changing. As you continue to do the vagus breaths, you will feel much more peace in both your body and your mind. You will also find that you are becoming less sensitive to the triggers that would have put you in an instant state of “offense” in the past.
The wonderful thing about the adrenaline response is that you often have a window of opportunity with each trigger to choose which hormone you want to experience in your body.
If you are experiencing the feeling of being offended, you have 6 – 8 seconds to recognize that feeling and choose which hormone you will release. As you become aware of your feeling of offended-ness stop what you are doing and receive 5 vagus breaths. This will instantly trigger the release of oxytocin and block the release of adrenaline.
If you aren’t aware of how you are feeling and don’t do the vagus breaths, after the 6 – 8 seconds, your body will automatically release adrenaline and keep that cycle going.
If you are beyond feeling offended and are now feeling angry, jealous, resentful, greedy, revengeful, or entitled your body will automatically release adrenaline. With these emotions you don’t have the 6 – 8 second window. In order to deactivate this release you will need to consciously choose to do several vagus breaths to bring yourself back into balance and to shut the adrenaline response down.
If you live in a constant state of anger (or jealousy, revenge, entitlement, greed, guilt, shame) your body is constantly releasing adrenaline without you having any time to change this. Think about this the next time you beat yourself up and feel guilty for eating certain foods or for whatever it is you are feeling guilty about. Think about this the next time you look at your body and feel shame. When you do this you are constantly feeding your adrenaline addiction.
With conscious awareness of how you respond, you will be able to change the chemical reactions that are happening in your body. You have the power to change the addictive, automatic responses that are going on now in your body.
Become aware of how you respond and how that feels in your body. Are your responses increasing your feelings of agitation? Or are they increasing your feelings of peace? If you are feeling agitation, take numerous vagus breaths and switch on the oxytocin response. Keep at this. Your body chemistry will change. You will become less offended. As you become less offended your adrenaline addiction will decrease. You will be bringing peace and positivity to your body and mind. This is beautiful self-care.