BRAIN REBOOT - Chapter 5

This chapter explains how brain triggers work to make us happier, healthier, and to be successful at a given task. It shows how brain triggers can cause us to have an emotional and physical felt sense of being in control.

What can you do to trigger your attention?


5.8 Empty Boats

I love the story about the empty boat: a fisherman got angry at an empty boat floating in his way and assumed that it was being directed by another selfish fisherman trying to poach his catch. But alas the other boat was unmanned and simply adrift. The fisherman had no need to worry or get angry.

It reminds me of a client of mine. He explained to me that he simply could not control his emotional triggers when he got cut off in traffic. “I simply go crazy!” he said. His brain had become so familiar with reacting very quickly whenever he was in this same traffic heavy environment. We needed to find him a behavioral trigger that would calm him down just a little to take his stress down a notch.

We agreed he would try to and catch himself before starting to swear at the car that cut him off by simply slumping into his seat, instead of sitting forward and clenching the wheel. It took some practice, but this approach finally worked. He was able to catch his emotion before it triggered inappropriate language with his kids in the car when his temper got out of control.

The behavior of slumping back was just enough to trigger his awareness to stay calm and helped him to start noticing where else he shouted at empty boats in his life.

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