Brains, filing cabinets – and why noone is coming to do your filing!

Is your brain talking to you? Just take a moment and scan this communication list….

My head hurts all the time…

I have a permanent headache….

I just can’t turn my brain off…

I can’t sleep…

I am permanently exhausted…

I had to take a day off as my neck and shoulders hurt so much…

I can’t concentrate…

I keep forgetting things…

The smallest thing makes me angry…

I can’t deal with being around people…

I’ve suddenly developed anxiety about things I used to find easy…

I feel so fragile all the time..

My family are getting really fed up with me being so helpless…

(If you didn’t tick off anything on this list then I can only say well done, you either have fantastic coping strategies in place, a support system which is second to none, are in therapy regularly or have had a peaceful year or a combination of all the above along with an incredible sell-awareness and intervention programme when things get too much).

If you have ticked off two or more then sadistically you are my favourite type of client because we are able to create change very quickly and release these feelings and the triggers behind them… but FIRST I want to tell you what your brain was trying to tell you…

Yes… these were all signs that your brain was trying to communicate with you BUT…

Hmm, the inevitable BUT…..

So, here’s the thing…. if you have any or some (or all) of the above symptoms then your brain has been trying to talk to you for at least 3-6 months (possibly 1-2 years or more) and perhaps you have been…

  • getting on with it
  • too busy
  • ‘distracted’
  • thought you were ok at the time
  • too much to do
  • thought it would pass on it’s own
  • caught up with work/family/life
  • hoping it would go away

The human brain has long been considered programmed for survival. As such it’s primary instinct is to keep you alive. However unfortunately for us, our limbic system (the part that regulates emotions and all the fun stuff) is sitting trying to process all of the chaos around us and sometimes it just doesn’t file things away… especially when we don’t give it a hand!

My favourite way to explain how the brain functions and why you have all these symptoms is the FILING CABINET ANALOGY

Are you ready?

Your brain is like a three layered filing cabinet…

From the moment you are born and begin to respond to the environment around you the filing cabinet starts to collect internal suspension files with lovely labelled tabs telling us what goes in them…

In the bottom draw you can find all the suspension files for your body’s physiological systems – breathing, heart rate,  digestion…. each with their specially labelled tabs telling us which to use and when

The great thing? Once the file and tab is created you brain just accesses it whenever it is needed! No thought power required

In the middle draw your brain starts to collate suspension files for emotional, behavioural and motivational requirements. As you experience an issue and find a resolution for it the file is created and a tab added so you can access the required response when needed

In the top draw you can find all the rational and logical solutions to problems you have encountered… as you find a solution to an issue, situation or problem a suspension tab is created, a tab is added and you filing cabinet grows…

Now, on top of the filing cabinet, like all good filing cabinets is an ‘in tray’, this tray is where all experiences in your life (positive and negative) start their journey. On entry to the ‘in tray’ the filing cabinet quickly identifies which layered draw it requires… then it opens the tray and starts rummaging for a few micro-seconds as it identifies where to file the experience…

When it finds the right tray it pops the experience into it and closes the draw and your day continues as it was…

BUT – what happens when there is no suspension file? There is no tab? ARGHHH

Well the piece of paper floats around at supersonic speeds as it tries to file itself, it may try to pop itself into a similar file, but if it doesn’t meet the requirements then it quickly flies back out again! As it flies around your filing cabinet of a brain it starts to get tired…. and more tired… and every day it keeps trying to find somewhere to place itself…

Now, when there is just one floating piece of paper we can manage this… but when a multiple number of sheets of paper start flowing round, colliding and can’t find a home we have a problem…

This often happens in difficult times and situations where we have little or no prior experience e.g. trauma, bereavement, difficult circumstances, bullying, conflict, abuse, domestic violence, child illness, birth trauma.

And this is where stress is created… A filing cabinet with too much overdue filing… = the symptoms of stress.

If we don’t take the time to create a suspension file and tab to file away the issue (aka therapy) then it continually floats around creating warning signs that the filing tray is overflowing and you need to take action…

Remember those symptoms at the start of this article?

Warning signs that your filing tray is overflowing!

Leave them longer?

The filing tray simply overflows and creates an absolute mess that takes even longer to sort out

So the morale of this story?

Do your filing! 

 

Is your in-tray overflowing? Are you ignoring the papers falling on the floor?

 

Next steps? Find a therapist who focusses on reprogramming responses or developing suspension files so that you can put away the paper in the in-tray and return to peace a quiet.

The best fairytale we could ever yeah our children. teenagers and friends – we can’t expect the filing to be done for us!

 

If you would love to clear your filing in-tray before the year is out and enjoy some peace of mind and less stress then get in touch and we can get your filing done and you can start a new year with an empty in-tray!

Contact me at www.astepatatime.org.uk 

 

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