Best-selling author and neuroscience expert Mark Waldman developed a powerful tool to stop the brain from ruminating on problems, fears and weaknesses, the C.R.A.P. board; which stands for Conflicts, Resistances, Anxieties, Procrastination and any other "problem” you think you have.
Mark recounts how he developed the strategy:
"I created it one day flying back from a multi-city speaking tour in Texas. It was an incredibly successful tour, and I even received a Distinguished Speaker award from the Mind/Science Foundation.
As I boarded the plane to return home, I expected to feel tired, but instead I was immersed in a deep feeling of depression. Why depression? It didn’t make any sense, and I wondered, “Am I still walking around with a ton of unconscious and unprocessed crap? I took out a sheet of paper, wrote down every negative thought and feeling I had. I wrote down all my weaknesses, my failures, and disappointments and I continued until I filled the entire “sh*t” of paper.
Then I sat back in my chair, exhausted, and feel into a deep state of relaxation. As I did so, I started to neutrally gaze at all my words. After about five minutes, the words on the page began to lose their meaning – their emotional impact. I saw that a lot of my negative thoughts were minor and that many of them were more related to old memories than my present situation. I began to actually feel euphoric, and all of the negativity disappeared.
What happened? I didn’t realize it at the time but I was doing a variation of a well-established technique that has 30 years of cognitive therapy research behind it. I decided to look into the neuroscience of observing negative thoughts and found substantial evidence showing that you can actually turn off the negative emotional circuits in your brain by being mindfully observant of them. In fact, your brain functionally disconnects from any worry when you deeply relax and observe it on a sheet of paper! I wrote “CRAP BOARD” at the top of my paper and posted it next to my work computer to remind me that my negative thoughts weren’t real."
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Here's how to create a C.R.A.P Board:
On a single sheet of paper write down at least 20 of your limiting beliefs, worries, fears, weaknesses, doubts - real or imaginary. Then deeply relax and ask your intuition what else you should add to the list. Then add to your page all of the weakness that you believe other people would say you have.
Put your paper in front of you and relax as deeply as possible as you gaze at it. Don’t judge anything you see; just observe it like an object in the room. As you gaze, yawn, slowly stretch, and if you are comfortable doing so, gently stroke your hands and arms (it stimulates areas in the brain relating to self-confidence and it turns down activity in your limbic emotional areas). You should immediately notice a reduction in the intensity of your negative thoughts and feeling.
Put your C.R.A.P. Board on the wall where you can see it regularly while at work. DO NOT THROW IT AWAY. If you do, your unconscious mind will start to ruminate on all that negativity. But when it's on a sheet of paper, there is a neural “disconnect,” as if your brain knows that your crap is safely tucked away and on hold.
When new negative thoughts and feelings come up, quickly jot them on your C.R.A.P. board. Each day you will notice less negative thoughts.
Remember: Old memories are always "there" in your brain, but you don't have to listen to them or believe they are true. You can even talk to them and tell them to 'shut up'. They usually will. Then focus on your 3 deepest values for that day and the new belief you want to embed into your memory.
Check out Mark Waldman's free 6 Days to Enlightenment email series for information on how you can access enlightened states often and easily.