You're welcome back already, I'm going to sort of just follow up from my previous one, but also still connecting to what Heather said with the singing and dancing and that kind of stuff. Okay, I'm going to call this one taking the wheel and it's it's again a higher level point that I think is a critical one that if you take from this course it can possibly impact your life in many ways, literally by making you feel more empowered. So let's talk that through our brain and our bodies interact with one another. I'm going to use the word mind rather than brain because I really want to focus on what's what are your thoughts and feelings at a time? Let's call those your mind and your mind and your brain. I have learned through your life to take control every now and then. We have a sort of autopilot unconscious influences or what we call habits that we formed. And let's just do a simple example, let's say you form the habit of hanging a key on a key ring right inside your door of your house. And so now as you come in your arm just does that puts the key there when you're leaving, you reach for it, it's there and it's like your conscious mind doesn't really have to do anything. Your habits can kind of guide your behavior. In fact, we drive, our car is largely on the basis of habit. We don't think a whole lot about what we're doing. We did when we were first learning right? Do you remember what that was like, but now we don't, and things just happen smoothly. So that's sort of what our brain and bodies are, our minds and bodies want to do. They want to get to a point where they can take control and we don't have to worry about things. The problem is of course, in times of chronic stress, the natural thing for the brain to do is to attend to the threats and to become anxious, right? Because again that anxiety response is a natural response to try to help you deal with threats and our minds are not sophisticated enough to go, that's a chronic stress. Forget it, they don't forget it, they keep orienting to it. So in times of of something like Covid or whatever the chronic stress is, if you allow your mind to just do its thing, it will be drawn to that threatening thing. If it's a boss that wants to fire you, if it's a personal relationship that's not going well, your mind will keep going back to that because that's a threat of your current way of being. And if it does go back to that, it's going to make you anxious, right? And so one of the main points that I want to make in this course is that you don't have to allow that to happen. If you just sit back that will happen, but you can take the wheel, you can actually to get away from anxiety and we're never going to completely get away from it it's really kind of getting a break from it is what we're talking about, but if we want to get those breaks, it's up to us to kind of pull the mind somewhere else right? And just not let it go wherever it wants. So that's why I'm calling this, taking the wheel. The idea of you saying no, no, no, no, I want to control what's on my mind and if we can put pleasant things in our mind, positive things in their mind that will put our body into a more relaxed state and we will feel better. Right, so generally speaking, then here's what I want to suggest, a skill that you can learn. Now, every time I say the word skills, it's a double edged sword. I want to remind you of that. Once you develop a skill, it's very powerful. Think of someone who's a great dancer or a great musician or whatnot. They've spent time developing that skill and now they have that skill for the rest of their life. So the investment is paid off, so to speak. But there's an investment and often we're not good at paying that investment. We don't develop the skill well because often it's difficult early on. So let me tell you about this skill, the skill of being at the wheel of your mind and it's a very straightforward, it seems like a simple story. So let's just go through the 12 three here, what you want to the first step, the first critical step and the hardest step is to become a little more reflective, to become better at checking in with your mind. So becoming mindful of your mind, you know, really paying attention, what are the thoughts I'm having? What are the sorts of feelings? And when I say mind, I also mean body here, right? Because with anxiety, we know that there's a bodily feeling, right? There's there's that tingly kind of feeling, that uncomfortable energy which you now know as oxygen rich blood in your body, you can feel that tension. So we're learning to kind of feel that, wow, I'm anxious, We're not very good sometimes that sensing our own anxiety, even though it does feel like that. In fact, sometimes we also have to be mindful of our behaviors and specifically the fight or flee reflex. So for example, somebody might say, I think you're a little anxious and the common response is no, I'm not, I'm not anxious, which is the fight reply, right? And so if you see yourself doing that fight saying no you're wrong. Those are the words that kind of suggests a fight reflex and then maybe you want to check in and go wait a minute am I anxious? Maybe I am? And similarly flee. You might find yourself just wanting to get the heck away from things. And if you're seeing those behaviors or feeling that body or checking in your mind, any of those things can let hey, I'm anxious and so if you can get good at detecting that in yourself and you can now tie that to experiences that you've had, right? So this is where I want to go. You just were in some situation, something just happened in your world. If you could now check in on your mind and say, how did that make me feel? And maybe that thing is happening now, by the way, maybe you're having an experience, how do I feel? That thing may be making you anxious, It may be actually making you feel good or even not anxious, which is a form of good, right? It's not necessarily good, doesn't necessarily release the endorphins, but even if you're not anxious, then the cortisol is not flowing and so you have an escape from the anxiety. So that's the first step is starting to kind of make an inventory. Hey, when I do that, it makes me anxious when I do that, it makes me feel good. And we're going to continually reinforce throughout this course, various things that will probably make you feel good. And so you want to kind of keep track of these things and test for yourself because we're all different, right for some of us that comedy makes us feel really good for some of us. We watch a comedy, we go, that's stupid. And we end up feeling like annoyed or frustrated or something like that. So it's got to be you, right find out what works for you. But if you can start getting this list of things that make you anxious And things that make you feel good, then two and 3 emerge naturally, right? And two is just, well, once you know what makes you anxious, let's say, watching the news leaves you anxious and it probably does, then you have to make decisions. Is this something I need to engage in? And in the case like the news you might say? Yeah, I need to engage in it. I need to know what's going on. I need to stay on top of it. Okay, that's fine. But now limit that budget a certain period of time when you're willing to watch the news and watch the news, get the information you need and then stop and not only stop, but maybe jump to three. If you just stop and walk away, the news is still going to be in your mind and that's still going to be causing you sort of to feel anxious thoughts, to have the anxious thoughts to feel the anxiety. But if something you could do right after watching the news I sometimes call this a cognitive palate cleanser, something you can do to change your mind to put it somewhere else. So maybe watching a little bit of a comedy, maybe it's like a soap opera or a game show or something that makes you feel good. But if you can move to that for a little bit and until it has you feeling good again, it brings your mind again, we're using the environment to trigger our mind right into a certain state. Then that's a better way to leave the news. Leave the news and then do something good that makes you feel better and then walk away. Generally speaking, this 3rd category becomes a really critical category. Find those things that make you feel either good or that at least make covid go away and this is going to be different for different people. I've learned how to use garageband. It allows you to create songs. And I've had all these songs in my head. So I spend an hour pretty much every evening in the basement creating songs when I'm doing that. Covid does not exist nothing else exists. It's just what I'm doing. I'm so into it, I'm so engaged that the rest of the world disappears. And so I've learned that and I've learned that this is medicine for me and I've intentionally now made it part of my daily routine to spend some time doing that. And so that's what I suggest for you figure out what things make you feel good or at least allow you to escape Covid. And then once you know what those things are, this is what I mean by taking the wheel schedule them. And I'm going to talk about schedules a little bit more as we go through. But so this is sort of your introduction for this schedule. Those events really put time in your day and we're going to talk about relaxation and friend time. We haven't got to some of that stuff yet, but put times in your day where you're going to spend some time doing that, whatever that thing is, and during these times, of course you are going to escape the anxiety of covid. And that's the idea just to give your mind a rest and to give your body a rest because the cortisol stops flowing. And when that cortisol stops flowing that's the build up of cortisol, that's the big problem with chronic anxiety. So giving your body and your brain a break from anxiety now and then is very important to keeping it strong and again, some of these things if they really make you feel good like music and dancing and singing usually does laughter then it may even be countering cortisol. And so it really is like medicine and you should think of it like medicine and just like you might take your two Advil if you had a headache every morning, you should be taking your anxiety breaks, you should be scheduling them and you should be using them to help you stay as productive as you can the rest of the time. And that's the idea. Okay, so okay big point. Your mind and body will just take control if you let them but don't let them, you have the ability to affect what's on your mind the way you do that usually is through the environmental interactions that you have. The environment pushes our minds certain places. So if we start to become aware of these things, form those connections create a list of things that bring our mind to the right place and then use that in a very intentional way. We can control our minds. Now I've been talking about this at a personal level and I know some of you are interested in sort of institutional things you can do, you can take this logic up to the institutional level, right? You're not talking about a single person's mind now, but you can imagine changes that you add to the environment or various things that you think might be helpful, let's say, you add a pure support line. We'll talk about your support lines in a moment or in a subsequent lecture. But if you had that and you could then sort of try to take the pulse of your institution. So you may have surveys or various other things where you try to get a sense of how anxious your staff is. And again, if you find that there's some change that you've made that's led to a positive impact on anxiety institutionalized that just like we're sort of scheduling it here make it a core part of your mental health approach. So really I'm asking you to become mindful of those interactions between the environment and mental states and then to use that information intentionally to create a context or a life that gives people some escape from anxiety now and then. Okay, cool see you in the next video, guys. Bye bye.