If you are like everyone I know you will agree: It’s time to stop talking about the election and start working on recovering our collective nervous systems.
You see, our brains are damaged right now and need to repair. Here’s why: When we are bombarded over a long period of time by words and pictures that are hurtful, offensive, deceptive and even sexually violent, powerful regions of our brain that are designed to protect us from danger get overstimulated and stuck “on”. This leaves our brains caught in an angry and fearful mind-state. We are more reactive and defensive than usual. Most importantly, when our nervous system is in this fearful mind-state we cannot experience trust and connection with others. So, a large percentage of Americans are now literally walking around filled with fear. Our overstimulated “lizard brain” is simply having difficulty resetting. This is not only bad for relationships, but this decrease in social trust also damages our immune system and makes us all more vulnerable to illness.
So how do we heal our collective brains? We simply need to activate the smart, calm, loving and compassionate parts of our brains. This is easier than you might imagine. Here are six ways I’ve seen people do this:
- My best friend (who loves Hillary) reached out and dialogued with two Trump-supporting friends of his to have a respectful and kind conversation aimed at mutual understanding.
- I am intentionally expressing kindness and appreciation in small ways, like tipping a little more and giving the city workers in front of my house cokes.
- A former client emailed me to tell me that she is using the Releasing Resentment meditation to soften her heart towards her “gloating” family.
- I spent 7 minutes learning about an awesome organization that is committed to working against sexual assault in our country. I literally took the pledge and got the T-shirt.
- A young, wonderful couple from our neighborhood plans to serve meals to the homeless this year on Thanksgiving.
- Finally, I have decided to fast from political news for a few weeks. As they say, if you want the wound to heal, stop picking at the scab.
Yes, it is time to heal our collective brains. We can recover our compassionate state of mind and get back to courageously loving and serving one another.