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Ever felt like hump day has extended beyond four hours? The idiom “hump day” was initially conjured up to justify Wednesday’s midweek tendency for sluggishness.
However, the hump has now come to symbolise any period or chapter in life where freedom from an emotional slump is nowhere in sight.
All of us will at some point endure a seemingly insurmountable hump. You may have the perfect job, but your relationship seems to get worse daily.
Or, perhaps you have the partner you always dreamed of, but have hit a financial hump where you are unable to provide for her. Even the global economy seems to be stuck on the wrong side of an economic hill.
Being frozen in a hump-day cycle has nothing to do with age, race, gender or class. In fact, even those who have a history of conquering life’s most treacherous climbs are as susceptible to hump paralysis.
What do you do when forging ahead seems like an exhausted option? Is there a “humpologist” you can phone?
There have been many moments in my life where I couldn’t seem to find the personal power to move ahead – where Wednesday had me in a crippling head lock.
Fortunately, advances in neuroscience offer much insight for us to draw on. Dr Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist and author of The Emotional Life of the Brain, has shown in his groundbreaking work that there is an interplay between different regions of the brain that were previously thought to work in isolation – the emotional and the thinking/cognitive.
Essentially, your emotions can create thinking patterns that affect the foresight and planning regions of the brain, retarding your response to life’s downers.
This is critically important because up until this research, we were taught our emotional brain and our thinking brain worked in isolation.
Davidson’s work shows our brains have the ability to create new emotional patterns by consciously controlling how we respond to moments in life like hump days.
The term for the brain’s ability to change its patterns is called neuroplasticity and while on the surface this is a fancy scientific reference, it simply means by slowing down and being conscious of your emotional state, you can use techniques such as prayer and meditation to alter how you deal with hump-day experiences and recover more efficiently.
Ultimately, you have the ability to rewire your brain to respond to hump-day circumstances with a brain wired to be triumphant rather than one with self-sabotaging patterns.
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