Mental rehearsal for the day

It’s all in there

Today I have a bunch of things I need to get done, among them having a quick nap in the afternoon. I didn’t get enough sleep again last night, and I’m really dragging. I have a lot I have to get done, and I’ll need to refuel at some point. So onward. Until I need to refuel.

I am using what I learned about mental training the other day, and mentally rehearsing a meeting I have in 30 minutes… I can see myself doing well, being patient, helping and contributing and doing a good job. I’ve had good experiences in the past, and I’m hoping this will be one, too. No, not hoping — planning. And preparing. There’s no “hoping” here — just getting ready to do what I need to do.

I’m also visualizing myself answering all my emails and finishing up on some things that have been hanging around waiting to get done. I have a bunch of things like that — and I may take some time this weekend to get them all squared away, so I can have a freed-up schedule next week — well, freed up of the things that have been hanging around — they’ll very likely be replaced by another ton of stuff, starting Monday morning.

Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately), some of the folks in my group will be traveling next week, so I’ll have the chance to run things a little more like I’d like to see them run. It’ll give me a chance to un-cramp my style. At least, that’s what I’m visualizing. I get to run things for three days. Again, this needs preparation. Goals, visualization, self-talk, and — perhaps most importantly — arousal control.

I’ve been thinking a lot about those Big Four components of Navy SEAL mental training, and it makes more and more sense each day. Obviously, I’m nowhere near their level of performance, and the “threats” I react to on a daily basis are mostly manufactured by my flawed perception and reactions, not the real (shoot-to-kill) world at large. But the effect of these “threats” is similar — it still feels like life and death, sometimes. And what makes it even more stressful is logically knowing that these are not a big deal, but my body is telling me they are. It can make a person crazy, it can.

So, work it out, work it out…

  • Goal-setting
  • Mental rehearsal
  • Self-talk
  • Arousal control

I feel like God/the universe/the cosmos/fate put these in my path, so I should really make the most of them. Let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth, shall we?

Oh, look – the day is waiting… time to make the visualizations into reality. Enough rehearsing. Time to live.

Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

4 thoughts on “Mental rehearsal for the day”

  1. BB – good luck with this – I think it is the right path. As part this it is helpful (I believe) to make positive associations – so telling yourself that the meeting is a good chance to hear other peoples thoughts and organize your own or that you enjoy the feeling of accomplishing reviewing emails. The positive associations with mundane tasks makes you see them as beneficial rather than as something to slog through. Don’t forget SEAL training is about combat facing situations – work should not be viewed as combat or that will increase your sense of stress.


  2. BB – a look at this video leads me to repeat the above – part of the problem is that life is not a battlefield but people with BI feel that way. training yourself to deal with battle is different from training yourself to not assume battle. The seals program does work to help individuals make rapid assessments of the situation but in BI that facility is sometimes challenged. Also in BI the amygdala is overstimulated – and since it responds more strongly to fear than to other emotions fear gets control. Mediitation based programs can be beneficial because they work to calm the amygdala. So just pay attention to this technique; you want to make sure that it is not amping up the fear in preparation for attack but empowering you to know that you are capable of handling all situations including the mundane and frustrating.


  3. No worries about the combat associations. I’ve never been there and don’t intend to ever get there – this is just something that I see as helpful on a much smaller and more benign scale. There’s a certain “fractality” to it, that seems to make sense. At least to me.


  4. Well, considering the first rule of martial arts, as I understand it, is to run away, I tend to focus more on that as a first response. Then again, I can’t run away from everything — which I have been prone to do all too often. Again, it’s usually not the actual situation which is threatening, but the feeling I have when I’m approaching it. It might not be battle, but my interior experience of it is, no matter how hard I try to defuse the tension. My NP has often tried to warn me away from “battle-i-fying” my experiences, but it’s the experience of it all I need to chill out and manage, not the actual facts of the situation.

    I’m not trying to make it into something it’s not — I’m trying to find coping mechanisms for something that has derailed me and made me pretty miserable over the years, in no small part because I’ve never felt justified in feeling the kinds of reactions I have. At least with some of these techniques I can draw on bits and pieces to handle what has handled me for close to 50 years.


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