The Puzzle piece THE POLLUTION IN MY HEAD
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Explore the Puzzle framework
Witness how others have used the Puzzle and inspire yourself
Pick one Puzzle piece
Apply the tip(s)
Follow up on results
Acknowledge positive impact
The puzzle tips
INTRODUCTION TO THE PUZZLE PRACTICE BOOK
The practice book is available to keep track of my thoughts, and support me step by step through my transformation to live well.
I will find here all the Puzzle tips, together with some help on how to apply these tips, and measure progress.
I can either print it and write on it, or use a side booklet of my own to take notes.
3 key advises to live well are:
Start small, and build up from there.
Experiment in place and/or with people I am comfortable with, then expand.
The more I practise, the more comfortable I am, and the easier it gets!
Have fun anchoring these new habits!
SETTING THE SCENE TO LIVE WELL
How do you feel starting this practice book? On a scale 0 to 100.
How do you want to feel after applying the Puzzle in your life? On a scale 0 to 100.
Close my eyes and imagine being there.
Capture here with my own key words what it feels like - with some thoughts, feelings and sensations how it will be:
When do I want to be there?
And when do I want to start?!
I have chosen to focus on the tips of the Puzzle piece:
THE POLLUTION IN MY HEAD
Capture why I have chosen to transform the role "my Filter" plays
On a scale from 1 to 10, capture my perception how dysfunctional the Puzzle piece "my Filter" is today
On a scale from 1 to 10, write down what success will look like after I have successfully practiced the tip for 7 days in-a-row
Last, capture what I have achieved after these 7 days
SETTING UP EXPECTATIONS
PAUSING THE POLLUTION IN MY HEAD
What this tip is about:
How to practice this tip?
Pausing the pollution in my head implies being able to take a step back, and reflect on my reactions. The objective is to course correct, or keep going – as a conscious choice.
Acknowledging that I am polluting myself is an important 1st step.
Then I need to assess what is true, versus what I am projecting into the situation. Am I reading the scene as it is, or am I interpreting what people mean (and are not saying)?
If I am misreading the situation, then the solution to cut loose the pollution in my head is to ask questions. I am not in the head of the people I am talking to: I do not know what they think – and so I need to ask to know.
Then only, I can decide whether I am right to think the way I do, or I really missed the point!
1. Acknowledging I am polluted is an essential first step, as I instantly become present.
Realising it is happening allows me to exit my head, and reconnect with reality. This is because the Pollution in my head requires my full attention and dedication. It is a parallel imaginary reality that solely exists in my head. Any contact with reality, any thought of my own, makes it immediately disappear.
To assess my current degree of Pollution, how much time would I say I spend in my own world per day?
I am so preoccupied that I cannot help thinking about my challenges all day, and miss most of what is happening around me
(1) I go on and off between reality and my own world, or (2) my days are so busy that I have no time to think about my issues. But they come back in the evening and at night, when things are more quiet.
I am hardly polluted, as I actively ensure I am present and connected to my environment
2. One way to pause polluting myself is to be sure of what is going on - and that implies to ask the other person.
I am not in his or her head, hence I need to explicitly ask whether I assumed correctly. Or rephrase what I understood the person meant, and validate whether it is correct. Asking is the only way to check whether what is in my head is real.
As needed, I can even partner with my Ego to find the courage to dare asking, or keep my emotions under control so I can concentrate on the words and the body language.
In addition, after I have asked, I should capture whether the scenarios in my head were, or not, correct.
3. At the end of the 7 days-in-a-row experiment, compile how many times these scenarios in my head were correct:
In all cases
in 50% of the cases
in ~25% of the cases
None to not much
And for all cases where reality was different, how often did I end up being positively surprised by the person’s answers?
75 to 99%
50 to 74%
25 to 49%
Less than 25%
The intent behind capturing these numbers is to witness that the ideas my Ego generates when it is in lead position; are by far worse than reality is.
4. The last trick to pause the Pollution in my head is to ask myself what I need (as also explained in the tips for the Puzzle piece My Ego).
When I am polluted, while my Ego is in charge and craving for attention. Giving myself what I need in the moment, helps lower the pressure. Plus rest assured that my Ego never asks for more than I can give in the moment.
Table of content
Pausing the Pollution in my head
Escaping the Pollution in my head
Reflecting back on this experience:
What worked well?
What will you change with the next Puzzle piece?
Be kind to yourself!
Habits come and go: what matters is to be directionally correct.
It is OK to come back to a Puzzle piece you have already tackled, or to take more time to anchor a habit.
Do as it suits you best.
Come back to the Puzzle as you see fit
Seeking for inspiration?
Go through Thoughts and People’s stories to find out how others have leverage the Puzzle to solve their challenge
ESCAPING THE POLLUTION IN MY HEAD
What this tip is about:
How to practice this tip?
The Pollution in my head causes me stress, as I then imagine all what could go wrong in the future, and how bad my life will become! Or I blame myself and feel guilty for events in the past. For what I could have done and did not.
To anneal this dark future and turn emotions around, the author Katie Byron has created the following efficient process:
(1) Ask myself whether "this is true?" Whether this is "always true"? Whether "I am sure this will happen"? Whether I am "100% sure"?.
(2) Figure what other positive realistic option(s) there could be, and choose my favourite outcome.
(3) Close my eyes and feel how I would be if this favourite option was real. Dive as much as possible into this feeling.
Finally (4) ask myself what prevents this future from happening? Could it be a valid option?
It does help a lot to realise that there are positive alternatives too!
It can happen that I go back and forth between being present and being polluted.
For these cases where I can’t help coming back into my head, I can follow the upcoming 6 steps to make these scenarios go away.
This approach covers both my emotions and my brain, as both are involved when I am polluted.
1. First, find a quiet and comfortable place.
2. Ask myself whether the scenario I have in mind is true in 100% of the cases?
Or is there at least one other option possible?
Write down the idea that is polluting me, and next to it all the alternatives I could think of.
The Pollution in my head - The alternatives
3. Assuming the scenario in my head is not the sole option, then what would be my ideal scenario?
How would I like the story to be?
Though it has to be plausible, allow myself to dream big as I write it down.
4. Keeping that ideal scenario in mind, describe how I feel with it in mind:
5. Certainly this is a dream in my head, but so is the Pollution in my head, is it not?!
Given that everything is in my imagination, why not choose to feel the positive emotion, instead of the stressful one? Both the Pollution and my dream are constructs in my mind: why stick with the ugly one?
Is there any good reason that would prevent me from choosing to install my dream and its positive feelings into my life? Yes No
At times, the pollution is so strong that I could feel trapped in it - and answer “yes” to the above question.
If so, then go to the Puzzle piece “my Filter” and read about Cold Cases, and how to get rid of them.
6. Next time the Pollution comes back, block it by thinking and feeling my dream scenario.
Be this positive feeling, leaving no room for the Pollution to remain, as it cannot coexist with positive emotions. Don’t think too much, just be my dream and enjoy the sensations that come with it.
YOU ARE MASTERING THE TIPS RELATING TO THE PUZZLE PIECE "THE POLLUTION IN MY HEAD"!