Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Environmental stimulators

Many incorrect actions, bad responses to situations, and failures to maintain resolved improvements in your life (feeling or acting better) have a factor in common. This factor is environmental stimulators.

An environmental stimulator is a scene, a situation, even just a room or a photograph, that stimulates a response from you that is inappropriate to your goals.

Your computer, or phone, when you check it every morning instead of doing your 2 minute meditation? That object and its immediate presence is an environmental stimulator. It’s also a habit, but in this case reactivating habit instead of doing your meditation is stimulated by that piece of your environment. Do you find yourself adopting a certain mindset or feeling dread when entering the office? Or, due to negative past experiences, when entering any private office not your own? Or, as with many of us, a dental office?

Do you have things in your house that distract you by reminding you of failed dreams and goals- things you wanted to do or think you could have done differently, or don’t have time to finish?

These, and other things, are all environmental stimulators. Some can be positive. I can walk into a dojo and all my outside worries and cares disappear instantly. I've trained myself over time that the dojo is the dojo. If you find a good meditative space, it can become an environmental cue to improve meditation.

Manage your environment. You cannot fix your home life with your partner simply by moving a photo and some chairs around. But you can use some more involved changes to the environment to not push old buttons. And make agreements that no fighting or negative talk happens in a given space. YOu can change environmental factors in your workspace to some extent. You can remove habitual action stimulators for periods of time. An example of this would be not placing your phone by your bedside, or even your kitchen, in the morning. Remove the object that leads to a habitual reaction, and it is easier to manage the habit.

More is available in Volume Three: Simplicity at Amazon.

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