A never ending stream of thoughts and questions raced through my head as I laid down on the first night of my first solo trip. Frankly, I did not think this would be too difficult (at least not yet). I arrive, make some friends, explore the city and call it a night — simple right? Long story short, I had a zero social interaction that first night. And right before falling asleep, the crippling thoughts and questions flooded in and I was left pondering for hours on ‘what ifs’ — the idea that THIS may be how I spend the next few weeks scared the sh*t out of me.
Our brains are wired to place greater emphasis on negativity, loss, fear and threats, thus triggering our emotional center to fire off before we can logically think things over. You will feel frustrated, de-motivated, and anxious. In the hunter-gatherer environment, you survived by belonging, so anything that threatens that sense of belonging threatens our survival. Search ‘amygdala hijack’ to learn about why your emotions will always kick in before you can think clearly.
1) Understand the processes taking place in your head
2) When possible, fallback on a habit/routine
3) Accept that the thoughts & emotions will not magically disappear
4) Ask yourself why you don’t feel like it (helps trigger the prefrontal cortex for executive functions)
5) Decide you need to truck forward