For many people, getting some respite from daily stress is already a huge difference and a blessing. With the EBT tools, that is possible by weakening stress circuits and creating joy circuits.
What if you are only feeling a little stressed and maybe feeling pretty good already? Would you like to feel better? Feel great?
Yes, it is possible!
In Brain State 2 (read about the brain states here), the brain is doing quite well. There is some stress and the neocortex is affected -thinking is concrete (not rigid) and clear, mood is balanced with awareness of the positive and negative, habits are healthy, spiritually aware with dispersed appreciation for a deeper meaning, and relationships are rewarding, but without the intimacy.
The vagal nerve – the care-taking organ of kindness, play, affection, and caring – is activated, and with repeated activations, you train it to have elevated activity, taking you up and over to that Brain State of 1.
LAUREL MELLIN, Wired for Joy
Do you want to feel great? Be in Brain State 1?
In Brain State 1 there is a deep connection within, with those around you, spiritually, intuitively, and with a deep sense of peace. While “every intensive ,joyous state is joined by sorrow. Even the strongest love is coloured by intense ongoing, yet the bad feelings don’t feel all that bad. You feel so alive that the valence of the emotion doesn’t matter that much.”
To move to Brain State 1 from Brain State 2, use the FEELINGS CHECK.
Ask yourself these questions – How do I feel? What do I need? Do I need support? This will enable you to feel what you feel physically in your body, with one dominant feeling that will identify your need. Are you feeling angry, sad, afraid, guilty, tired, tense, hungry, full, lonely, sick, grateful, happy, secure, proud, rested, relaxed, satisfied, loved, loving, or healthy?
This EBT tool is only accurate if you are really in Brain State 2. If you are flooded with a mix bag of feelings when using this tool, you are likely to be in Brain State 3 – use EMOTIONAL HOUSECLEANING TOOL instead.
End the FEELINGS CHECK with a Joy Point to get that groove going.
Feeling pretty good? Let’s feel even better!
The EBT tool for Brain State 1 is the SANCTUARY TOOL and you will know if you are really in Brain State 1 when you use it. You start by being mindful and attuned to yourself and then strengthen the joy circuit by feeling compassion for yourself, others, and all living beings. The last step of the SANCTUARY TOOL is giving yourself a Joy Point. If you are not in Brain State 1, these steps are not remotely possible!
According to Laurel Mellin, the tools reflect the natural ways the brain deals with stress. Because it maximizes our survival to be with others, connection is essential and an evolutionary need. This connection is deepened by compassion. This is also “mirroring the loving connection between parent and child that is the basis for the imprinting of love and joy.” 1
1 Wired for Joy by Laurel Mellin, p 153