Owning How You Think
Can you believe it’s March already? Seriously, where did all the resolutions to be calm and stress-free “this year” go!? If you are like most of the people we’ve been chatting with these last few weeks, you are finding yourself with old stressful habits creeping back into your day to day. If you took note of our last blog, then by now you’ve had two weeks to keep a log of what your stress triggers are and rating them (right?). If you missed our last blog, go no further and read this first.
We ended our last blog with the very fair question: “What does all of this have to do with sex?” It may be easier to explain if we take a journey in empathy through communication.
You can use this as your next exercise - you’ll be able to identify the reasons behind the mystery of your missing libido. Pretend that you have gone to some super high-tech eye doctor who has, with your permission of course, implanted an eye filter that clearly shows you the stimulus around you that is sexually relevant - AKA: the reasons for and against having sex. For example, if you are in your bedroom and you scan your environment, you can find some obvious stimuli: your bed (where “the magic has happened” before), your partner - that loving, sexy human you chose to bring into your life, maybe a romance novel on your nightstand with a buff protagonist on a horse (why is there always a horse?). You get the idea, right? Your brain notices things that are sexually-relevant and sexually-stimulating.
But there’s more. These fancy filters look for both the why and the why not of sexual arousal.
What about your baby’s dirty bib on the chair? And your partner’s raggedy pajamas with a coffee stain on it that you know should have been put it in the hamper this morning. If it’d been dumped where you’d asked (the hamper!!!), you would’ve washed it with this morning’s load but nooooo...How many times do you really have to ask someone to put dirty clothes in the hamper? But I digress…there’s the clock by the bed that reads 10:27PM and you think, “How in the world is it so late already?” So you’ll begin mulling over the the time, calculating how many hours of sleep you’ll get if you go to bed right now.
You get the picture.
All these little “reasons” to avoid intimacy or to seek it out are the stimuli I’m referring to. The reality is that we pick them up as we move about our day and they add up. I’ll let you in on a secret: you already own these high-tech filters. No one implanted them. It’s just our personal way of running through a bunch of stimulus at the same time in order to make a decision - this goes for all decisions, not just for becoming sexually aroused (or not). Your subconscious mind loves shortcuts. It wants to help you to make quick decisions by combining past experiences with current ones. It won’t ask questions. It will either allow for sexual arousal or it won’t.
There is good news to all this decision making, the questioning is up to you. You hold the power to slow down the process and redirect the outcome of all this stimulus evaluation.
The key lies in separating a stressor from the actual stress. In our above example, the coffee-stained PJs, the baby’s bib, the clock - they are all stressors. The stress (as micro as it can seem) only exists as a result of the meaning we give it. So how do we change the meaning? We test the validity of the stressor and we evaluate how much power we have over it.
The bib: Is it true that the bib is dirty? Yes. Do I have power over the cleanliness of this bib? Yes. When do I have this power? Right now. What is the worst case scenario if I don't handle this one thing right now? Probably not a big deal. You and the house will survive the night if the bib simply gets moved to the hamper for another day.
The dirty pajamas: Is it true that your hubby forgot to put it in the hamper? Sure. Do I have power over this? Yes. What can I do to feel better about this while still connecting with my partner? Put the hamper in an area where they can see it.
We can reduce how much our stressors affect us by questioning everything. It is said that the average human thinks upwards of 40 to 60 thousand thoughts per day. Isn't it time you began to question their validity? Keep journaling and questioning. In a shockingly short time you will see how flimsy some of these thoughts really are and how difficult it is for some of them to stand up to just a little bit of questioning.
Want to delve deeper? Join us on March 11th as we dive deep into the subconscious and root out some old thoughts that have overstayed their welcome. It’s your brain, clean it up!