Our primitive reptilian brain knows of only three strategies when faced with a threat - fight, flee or freeze.
Most of our missteps are the result of not stopping the lizard in us from running amok. The results are usually very disappointing.
We have several tools to consciously engage our human brain i.e. to switch from lizard mode to human mode.
Timothy Gallwey suggests that one tool when faced with acute stress is STOP. Instead of letting your lizard brain spring into action, taking along your whole body, we:
S – Step back. Imagine you are a helicopter or a fly on the wall observing what is happening to you and others in this situation. Stepping back gives us the detachment to see situation in a larger perspective. Often, just by stepping back, the situation looks less threatening or the solution becomes self evident.
T – Think. Ask what really is going on? What is causing this situation that brings you acute stress?
O – Organize. Make plans to deal with the situation. Choose one of the plans.
P – Proceed. Take action to deal with the situation.