Episode 81 Being the Boss of Your Brain
Welcome to the podcast, loving On Purpose. I'm your host, Bonnie Lyman. If you're having trouble navigating through your relationships with your adult children, if you are struggling to connect with them or having specific challenges, you're in the right place. This is Bonnie Lyman and your listening to the podcast, loving On Purpose, episode 81, being the boss of your Brain.
Hello my friends. How are you doing? How is Summer treating you? I notice as we get older that some of the things that we enjoy, joy, joy, I found myself missing some things that I enjoyed even 35 years ago. When my children were smaller and life seemed simpler, but life is good and I get up every day and decide it's going to be a good day. So I usually have a good day if I do that. So today we're gonna talk about being the boss of your brain. And what I mean by that is being the boss of your life of trying to overcome these negative feelings that we have, especially about our adult children when things didn't work out quite like we.
Thought they would. So before we're finished, I'm gonna give you five tips, really? Six. There's a bonus, but I think it's the most important, but I think a lot of this comes down to. When it has to come with our, to our relationships with our adult children, of being able to really want to love them just exactly the way they are and getting past this idea That things aren't working out. Things aren't like what you thought they were going to be, that you're not having the closeness perhaps that you thought you were going to have when they became adults. It's wasteless energy trying to figure out why anybody. Thinks does or says what they do. All we can do is concentrate on what's going well in life. And what can I do to better serve the world, to be a better friend, to be a better mother, to be more loving and kind, that I may uplift anybody I come in contact with throughout the day. So let's talk about the brain a little bit. There are three main psychological. Functions, or you could call 'em motivations that our brain has, at least our lower brain.
And our lower brain is pretty much what dictates our life, and it's when we can get into. Our upper brain where we have a little higher thinking, that's when we start to be able to manage our brain that causes us to feel the way we want to feel. That causes us to have the kind of life we want to live so we have a lower part of our brain that is. Driven by these three desires, we operate on a moment to moment basis from these three desires. Most of our life is not really premeditate premeditated. But we can decide ahead of time how we want to feel, and that gives an assignment to our brain that it usually will help, um, get you that feeling. Our brains are very complying if, if they realize that we're the ones in charge, but, These, um, these three desires that our brain has is they, they're motivated by these three things because they just want to feel. They want to help us feel good, and it makes the brain feel safe. Our brain loves to solve problems, and this came from the basic need or.
The first desire to avoid danger, and that's why we have a negativity bias about us. We're always looking out for something that might go wrong so that we can avoid being harmed. So, That can be either emotionally or physically. But back when, when we lived a much primitive lifestyle and didn't have police, um, we didn't live where wild animals roamed in our yard. You could say, we, we needed this. Um, desire to be on the lookout to avoid danger, and so it's kind of looking for what might or what is going wrong so that we can avoid being harmed. Our brain believes that focusing in on someone that is hurting us will prevent us from harm. And this is the way our brain thinks it's helping improve our lives.
Our brain thinks it needs to protect us, but our brain can't tell the difference between emotional and physical pain. It can't tell if our pain is coming from being chased by a bear. Or is it coming from somebody criticizing us or not being kind to us, or not giving us enough attention? So just as the brain would it tell us to avoid the bear, it also tells us to avoid conflict. And that we need to fix what's going on. Our brain also tells us to be on the lookout for bears or danger, and that could be in the form of, to be cautious around people. They may hurt us emotionally. So that's where our mind naturally goes. So we tend to focus on what's going wrong, so, If people aren't acting the way we think they should be acting around us, especially if they're not being kind to us.So when our adult children spend more holidays with their in-laws, we take it to mean they don't like us as much as they used to, or they don't like us as much. As they like their in-laws and we feel like we're in danger of losing our association, but greater than that, that we're losing their love for us.
The second pleasure. Or the second desire that our brain is modified is our drive to seek pleasure, and it's never ending. We are never satisfied. It doesn't matter if our kids came and spent a whole month with us. And then they weren't able to come for another year, that still wouldn't be enough. This is what most adult children will tell me when I tell them what I do and ask them about their life, especially with their mother. They say, I'm never enough. I can never do enough to satisfy my mom. So it's you. You can manage that, but it comes from our brains drive to seek pleasure. A pleasure that is never ending. One client told me she received a call on Mother's Day, but it was not for another two weeks that she received another call from her daughter. What is enough and whose brain is determining what is enough or how frequent a child is? Should be calling their mother or responding to a text or answering a phone call.
Our brains are looking for short term frequent pleasure. And they're disregarding long-term pre pleasure. That may come from an unexpected phone call from a child you haven't heard from in three months. Your brain wants to tell you that something has gone wrong because it was far too long. That they call, um, from when they last called you and it doesn't even notice and it causes you to miss out on the enjoyment of even hearing from your child, especially since it's been three months. It is your brain feeding you some lies because we do have the choice to focus on. I'm so glad I heard from them. The brain though, focuses on the comfort, doesn't come often enough.
And that leads us to the third drive, the third desire that our brain has, it leads us to why it's so hard to change our thinking from nothing has gone wrong. It's just I haven't heard from them in three months who was the one who decided that that was too long or wrong. It takes work to, to reprogram our brains to think everything is all right. Perhaps it's going exactly as it's supposed to be going. Our brain doesn't like using that much energy to avoid danger or seek pleasure, so it keeps on thinking this isn't the way things are supposed to be going.
So we avoid change and stay stuck in our negative thinking about how our children are acting. Our brain helps us do this because the third drive is to conserve energy and use as little as possible. There was a time, and there still are times when the motivation to avoid danger and to seek pleasure and to conserve energy was beneficial, but our brains relied too much on them to be the signal of what things, of which thoughts to hang onto to keep thinking. To even ruminate over that cause us not to live the life we want. True satisfaction in life comes from being in charge of our brain, which results in being in charge of how we wanna feel. So how do we be the one that controls the thoughts, the 60,000 thoughts a day that come into our brain? How do we change from being so negative to being more positive?
How do we become the boss of our brain? We do it by intentionally taking control by getting our brain's attention. Our brain is like a computer. When I ask it, a que a question. There's a dropdown menu that comes down with suggestions. It's trying to figure out what I'm looking for. If you. Were to ask the very same question that I asked you would get different suggestions in your dropdown menus. That's because you look and search for different things on the computer than I do. So your computer is just trying to figure out. What you're searching for and my computer is trying to figure out what I'm searching for, and so your computer is just like your brain. It wants to help, but you have been or we, when we have been thinking negatively for so long, it thinks that's how you want to think and feel.
So it finds more and more evidence. For everyone to be doing everything wrong. You your, like I said, your brain just wants to help you, but you have been judging people and finding fault with people for so long. It thinks that's what you want to do. It thinks it brings you pleasure, so it continues to find more and more evidence of why you should judge others and find fault in them. But when you intentionally decide you're tired of getting nothing but negative results in your life, Especially in your relationships with your adult children, from your negative judgmental thinking, then you're ready to take charge to stop this negative cycle, but you still need to retrain your brain, define evidence of what's going right. You can't control others. You can't control others to be kinder to you to give you more attention, but you can control your brain. It takes work, and you have to be the one to help reprogram. Your brain. So here are five things you can do to have a more optimistic, positive outlook on life, and especially on your kids, so that you can just choose love every time. And not let their faults get in the way of robbing you of that wonderful feeling. Here are five things I have found that have been helpful. You have to remind your brain. You have to get your brains attention. When it starts to go down that negative path, you've gotta stop your brain from doing that. And you say, stop brain. I don't wanna go there. I've got this. We always wanna be kind. Think if you were correcting a toddler that you wanted to redirect them in another direction, you would do it in a kind way. I also find it helpful to name your brain. My brain's name is Piper, so I go, Piper, nope, we don't wanna go down that path.
I've, I've got this. Remember, I've decided I want to notice the good in others, not their faults. So number two, I kind of jumped ahead of myself and I addressed it, but you want to speak and be as kind to your brain as you would a toddler. And then your brain starts to understand that you've changed what you want. It notices that you're, you have a desire that you're trying to find the good in others. And so it thinks, oh, You don't wanna be judgmental anymore. I can help you do that. The eye sees what the mind looks for. Your brain loves solving problems, so let's give it a problem we're solving. Let's give it the problem of now. You want to be a nonjudgmental person, but someone that accepts others for just who they are in finding something good in everyone. I, number three is come up with some power statements that you tell yourself if you start to go down a negative path. And it'll help train your brain in the direction you wanna go.
A couple of power statements are they're doing the best they can. They must be hurting. It's really none of my business why they choose to do what they do. Number four. Another direction we can go is to get curious. I wonder why they're choosing to do or say that, but you can also get curious about you and your thoughts. I wonder why I'm choosing to have an opinion about what they're doing. Number five then is to commit to focusing on something good in everyone. When the negative thoughts pop up, remind your brain you're choosing only to focus on the positive or at least get curious. But commit to not judging others and focusing on their faults. Just like your computer, your brain will help you find those good things in others easier than you ever could have imagined.
You'll start to focus on what your adult children are doing right in their lives and not the things that disappoint you. Your life will completely change. You will be in charge of how you feel, not your children, not the weather, not any other circumstance outside of you. You will have taken back the power to feel any way you want to feel. Good thoughts. Create good feelings. You create your feelings about your children, not your children. We're not trying to change our brains, our brains. Are the most complicated, amazing things that is in our body, but we want to change our thought process. We want to manage the thoughts that come into our brain. We want to manage those thoughts and hang on to those thoughts. That service joy comes from what we focus on, on focusing on the good, not how someone treats us. So we want to start being the boss of our brains. And be focusing, be concentrating, be giving our attention to be hanging on tight to those thoughts that make us feel good. And thoughts that make us feel good are usually about seeing the good in others. I. An easy way to start being more positive and noticing the good is starting today. Compliment someone every day for the rest of your life. Your brain is onto you. It will help you become the kindest, most loving person you could ever imagine you could be.
That results in you living the kind of life that you want to live a well lived life. I wish for all the happiness. For all of you listeners out there in your families, and there can be happiness and it comes from choosing love, of loving those that are difficult to love, of loving those that maybe don't even deserve to be loved, but it is to your benefit. That you choose love and I wish the very best for you and your families. I'm right here until I talk to you next week. If you like this, be this episode and you felt it was of benefit to you, I ask you to share it with somebody that perhaps it could also benefit. But if you're still feeling kind of stuck in that you don't know how to apply what was talked about or where to start, On, on changing your thoughts, on changing your perspective, on bettering your relationship.
Get on a call with me and we can have a discussion and I can tell you how to apply it and where we start, and then you get to decide. What you want to do about this relationship that maybe you're struggling with with your adult children. There is no reason to go on the rest of our lives struggling with our relationships with our adult children. Let's assume the best. Let's assume that we all love each other and we're just trying to figure out. How to maintain our own boundaries and respect another one's, but I can help you with everything. So just go to bonnie lyman.com and book a call. I can't wait to hear from you.