If we visited the zoo today, went to the chimp enclosure and popped a balloon, what might happen?
You can imagine the scene. The noise. The screeching. Chimpanzees running around wildly. Some inconsolable. Youngsters huddling under the big arms of their parents. Parents rushing to scoop up their youngsters and carry them away from danger.
They would be fraught with worry. Needing reassurance but unable to hear it.
Sometimes this scene is borne out within our own minds when we feel threatened.
Our mind screeching. Irrational and excessive reactions. Unable to reassure ourselves. Panic.
The way our minds and bodies react to stress triggers has been honed and developed over hundreds of thousands of years, but our response is often out of proportion to the level of the trigger in today’s world.
So what can we do? There are lots of ways to teach ourselves how to reassure the chimp in our head.
Prof Steve Peters describes one such way in his book “The Chimp Paradox” which I recommend reading. He wrote it in response to the many questions his patients and clients asked him, mostly starting with “Why do I…?” or “Why can’t I…?”. The book is a fun and easy to follow guide to his Chimp Management System.
In the Resilience Hub there is a short video where I summarise some of the best tips from the book. There is also a new checklist for dealing with common stress triggers using the Chimp Management System (ref: Prof Peters).
Until next week, take care!