Dr Matt James http://www.drmatt.com NLP Training & Huna Training Blog Thu, 22 Jan 2015 13:45:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 Step Into Your Purpose-Filled Life http://www.drmatt.com/2015/01/22/purpose-filled-life/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=purpose-filled-life http://www.drmatt.com/2015/01/22/purpose-filled-life/#respond Thu, 22 Jan 2015 13:45:06 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2875 woman-591576_1280

“It’s not an accident that musicians become musicians and engineers become engineers: it’s what they’re born to do. If you can tune into your purpose and really align with it, setting goals so that your vision is an expression of that purpose, then life flows much more easily.”

- Jack Canfield

 Aloha,

Many of us use the beginning of a new year to think about how our lives are going. What have we accomplished? How do we feel about that? What would we like to see change or improve? We sit down to set goals, make our plans and chart a course for the year.

But the truth is, that none of it matters much if you haven’t discovered your purpose. In fact, all that goal setting and planning is fruitless without knowing what you’re really all about. You simply won’t get the happiness and fulfillment you seek without purpose.

When I mention the importance of living “on purpose,” students often complain that they don’t know what their purpose is and they don’t know how to find it. Growing up, we might find out what we’re good at, our talents and strengths. But our purpose? It’s just not part of the normal curriculum.

But in ancient Hawaii (and in other ancient cultures), certain kahuna (masters) were skilled in perceiving a child’s purpose. Back then, people believed that your purpose was always inside you. Purpose wasn’t something that special people had and others didn’t have. And it wasn’t something that you had to struggle to find. It simply needed to be discovered or revealed.

Children were taken to these kahuna at an early age so parents knew how to raise each child according to his or her true purpose. They didn’t use test scores or aptitude assessments. The kahuna simply sensed a child’s true nature, how he or she could best serve the world, and what path would bring that child the most satisfaction in life.

After a child’s true purpose was identified, the children studied with kumus (teachers) to learn whatever skills and knowledge they’d need to fulfill their purpose. It didn’t matter whether that purpose was to become a healer, a fisherman or a dancer, each child was given training and tools to become the best they could.

But that was then and this is now.

We don’t have kahuna running around to divine our purpose for us. Fortunately, you can use a simple process to help you discover it on your own:

  1. First you need to eliminate any negative emotion or limiting beliefs. The baggage that you carry around—grudges, hurts, low self-esteem, etc.—will keep your purpose hidden. If you haven’t made this a priority in your life, I strongly urge you to do so. One of the best ways to clear out negative emotions and limiting beliefs is via the Mental Emotional Release® process (MER).
  2. Once the gunk had been cleared, stay tuned for an inspirational spark. Once you feel more pono (right with the world, aligned and authentic), your conscious mind may start getting some clues to your purpose from Higher Self. You probably won’t get all the details but pay attention to the hints. Especially notice when something feels particularly good or “right,” that it really fits for you
  3. Coax your purpose to come forward by writing around Start by writing about one area of your life that you feel good about, such as career or relationships. (If you don’t feel good about any aspect of your life, go back to step 1!)

Describe what fulfillment in that area would look like to you. (Remember this is your definition of fulfillment, not necessarily the commonly accepted, politically correct version.) Just write down whatever comes to mind and keep writing until you feel you’ve captured it all.

Next, look at all you’ve written and ask, “Why does this make me feel happy or fulfilled?” For instance, say under the relationship area you wrote, “full expression.” Why does “full expression” make you happy? Is it because you can speak your truth? Is it because you can be creative and loving? Is it so you can explore the inner regions of who you are? Keep asking “why?” until you sense that you’ve hit your most important “why.”

Do this same exercise on all areas of life: personal growth, career, health, relationships and spirituality. Can you sense a theme or pattern? Your purpose is starting to emerge.

  1. Once you have a theme or pattern, let yourself imagine all the ways it could play out in the world. The same purpose can take many different forms. Think about Patch Adams, Dr. Oz and John of God—all healers, but the specifics of how they fulfill that purpose are very distinctive!
  2. Take action. Once you’ve discover your purpose, it’s almost impossible to go back to your old purpose-less life—not that you would want to! It becomes important to take some action, no matter how small, toward it. If you try to deny your purpose, no matter how much success you might achieve in other arenas, you’ll still end up feeling miserable and unfulfilled.

In Huna, I was taught that when you follow your heart and do what you are meant to do, it’s no longer “work.” It feels as pleasant and natural as breathing.

Until next time. . .

Mahalo!

Dr Matt

 

 

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Ghosts of New Years Past, Present and Future. http://www.drmatt.com/2015/01/15/past-present-and-future/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=past-present-and-future http://www.drmatt.com/2015/01/15/past-present-and-future/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 13:45:49 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2868 Woman assessing into a ghostly sunset

Aloha,

Have you ever heard of the Ghost of New Years Past?

Me neither.

But I think Dickens’ old story, A Christmas Carol, is a good analogy of how too many of us run our lives:

We remember who we’ve been in the past, act it out again in the present, then project it into the future.

Then, when we’re reflecting on our lives and getting ready to set our goals for the new year, we’re totally surprised that we seem to be in the exact same spot as last year! We’ve got the same problems and the same unfulfilled desires. We don’t see different results in our lives because we remain the same person who created the old results. We take who we have been and slap that person into our present, yet hope to achieve different results!

Think about it: If Ebenezer Scrooge had remained the grumpy old coot from his past and present, would his future have looked any different? Nope. And neither will yours.

In my newest Huffington Post article, Ghosts of New Years Past, Present and Future, I offer 3 easy ways to break out of these patterns of the past so you can be a better you in the present and the future.

I figured giving you easy and useful techniques would be a lot easier than sending you perfectly tailored ghosts to spook you into changing your life. Plus if you’ve been to one of my trainings, you’ve heard me say that scare tactics and desensitization are statistically not as effective as the tools that I teach.

For my recent Huffington Post article, follow this link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-b-james-phd/ghosts-of-new-years-past-_b_6454036.html

Mahalo,

Dr Matt

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Do It Again. And Again. http://www.drmatt.com/2015/01/13/do-it-again-and-again/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=do-it-again-and-again http://www.drmatt.com/2015/01/13/do-it-again-and-again/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 13:45:48 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2863  

baseball-92382_1280A baseball swing is a very finely tuned instrument.

It is repetition, and more repetition, then a little more after that.

Reggie Jackson

Aloha,

In a previous post, I addressed the question I get asked periodically by my NLP and Huna students: “I was doing so well but now I feel stuck. What am I doing wrong?” In that post,  I talked about the possibility of “operator error as well as the natural “spiral” of personal and spiritual growth.

But there’s one aspect I didn’t mention: Repetition.

One of the beauties of NLP is how instantly people experience positive results. A skilled practitioner takes clients through a 15 minute process and—Voila!—a life-long habit or anxiety disappears! Even our Mental Emotional Release® process that unearths and releases some of our deepest blocks and limitations typically takes around 10 hours of intensive work.

And that’s great! But it’s also unfortunate.

Because personal and spiritual growth is not a one-shot deal. It’s a lifetime practice.

Think of it this way: Doesn’t it make sense that becoming a “virtuoso of life” would take the same amount of practice as becoming a virtuoso of anything else? If you want to learn to play just one short song on the piano, you might be able to take a few lessons and you’re done. But to become a world-class pianist? That’s an ongoing process.

In his book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell wrote about the “10,000 hour rule,” that it takes 10,000 hours to achieve mastery in any field. Though some psychologists argue that the “rule” is not a clear predictor of mastery, Gladwell cites some interesting studies:

Psychologist John Hayes studied the lives and work of seventy-six famous classical composers. He found that, in almost every case, these well-known composers did not create their greatest work until they’d been composing for ten years or more.

Another psychologist, K. Anders Ericsson, studied violin students at the elite Music Academy of West Berlin. He found that on average the best violinists practiced much more than the students who were just “good.” All of these students were similarly talented, but what separated the “best from the rest” was how intently and how long they practiced their craft.

Researcher Robert Howard, of the University of New South Wales, published a paper about eight grandmasters in chess. He found that those in this group practiced for over fourteen thousand hours before they hit their highest ranking.

Is this 10,000 hour rule set in stone? Of course not. Some people required less time to become masters at their art while others required much more. The point is that no one becomes a virtuoso without a commitment to practice.

And so it is on the path of personal and spiritual growth. No matter how “evolved” you are, if you want to become a virtuoso of life, you need to commit to put in some hours of practice regularly. If you want to stay in physical shape, you need to keep exercising, right? If you want to be clean, you probably need to bathe daily, right?

I’ve been doing personal and spiritual growth work for over 30 years now, and I still use many of the most basic NLP techniques and Huna processes on a regular basis— just like I exercise and bathe on a regular basis!

The interesting thing is that your “practice” doesn’t have to become more and more complex. Your practice just has to be consistent. It can include your consistent practice of ho’opono’pono or forgiveness. It can be consistently using your NLP re-framing techniques or noticing and releasing your limited beliefs as they pop up.

The good news is that life will give you plenty of material to work with, a constant flow of people and situations to help you peel back the many levels of who you are!

Until next time. . .

Mahalo!

Dr Matt

 

 

 

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I’m Just That Kind of Guy http://www.drmatt.com/2015/01/06/im-just-that-kind-of-guy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=im-just-that-kind-of-guy http://www.drmatt.com/2015/01/06/im-just-that-kind-of-guy/#respond Tue, 06 Jan 2015 13:45:42 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2850 Happy New Year!Man stands looking out at the water

Many of us use this time of year to evaluate last year and to set up new intentions and goals for the months ahead. For some of us, it’s an invigorating process. We’re excited about the progress we’ve made and the new heights we’re preparing to climb.

But for others, it can feel like déjà vu all over again.

We put forth honest effort but didn’t achieve what we wanted to achieve. We’re still far from the goals we set and we don’t know why.

In my recent Psychology Today article “I’m Just That Kind of Guy” I talk about one of the biggest blocks to getting your goals.

Oftentimes, the problem is not what you did or didn’t do, it’s that internal belief that says, “I’m just not that kinda guy (or gal).” You want to be slim and fit but “I’m just not the kinda gal who exercises regularly.” Your goal is to be debt-free but “I’m just not the kinda guy who can make a lot of money.” You want a great relationship but “I’m just not the kinda gal who connects well with people.”

You’ve got a goal, but your beliefs about who you are force you to swim upstream against a current that is strong and relentless. Some people can just tough it out and achieve their goals anyway. But that takes super-human effort. And there’s a much less stressful way to handle it.

Learn more by following this link to my Psychology Today article here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/focus-forgiveness/201501/i-m-just-kinda-guy

Mahalo!
Dr Matt

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New Year. New Goals. http://www.drmatt.com/2015/01/01/new-year-new-goals/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-year-new-goals http://www.drmatt.com/2015/01/01/new-year-new-goals/#respond Thu, 01 Jan 2015 13:45:46 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2846 Aloha,

goalsetting.02

Happy New Year!

I don’t know about you, but I’m SO ready for 2015. There are so many great things already unfolding in this year, I can’t help but be excited.

One of the things I love to do at the start of a new year is to sit down and get really clear on my goals…

Wait!? Everyone’s sitting down and doing their goals right now? What?!

Okay, I know, I didn’t invent goal setting and I didn’t invent declaring resolutions…

What I have been able to do, is refine and improve my goal setting system so that I actually accomplish my goals. Maybe I should repeat that last part.

I actually accomplish the goals that I set for myself.

And you can to!

I’ll show you how in my “Goal Setting Webinar.”

Let’s start the year off right together.

To sign up for the webinar follow this link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5160273414946562561

Mahalo,

Dr Matt

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Trust and Listen to the Universe http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/18/listen-to-the-universe/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=listen-to-the-universe http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/18/listen-to-the-universe/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 13:45:42 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2842 Woman sits appreciating the sunlight

Aloha,

Do you realize that you get everything that you ask for from the universe?

You do 100% specifically get every single thing that you ask for. My guess is that you miss opportunities all the time because of a lack of two specific things.

First let me be clear, I’m not claiming I have this down in any way shape or form. Most of you know me by now. My blogs are about my students and the lessons that I experience. One of my most amazing students Ron Poltuski, gave me an analogy that I think is fantastic. It has to do with ordering food in a restaurant.

When you order food in the restaurant you trust that you’re going to get when you order. You say to the waiter, “I would like chicken salad with no dressing.” You placed the order and continue with your conversation or doing whatever it is that you’re doing while you’re waiting to eat.

What you don’t do, is go to the back of the restaurant and begin to micromanage the cook. You don’t walk into the kitchen and double check that the cook is grilling the chicken in the perfect way. Personally, I don’t like my chicken overcooked. Yet when I order something that has chicken in it I don’t sit there worrying every second oh my god I hope she doesn’t overcook it! Or worse, undercook it. I hope it comes out exactly right. What if it is wrong!!!! And start to freak out over chicken….

I trust the chicken will come out the right way. Has the chicken ever come out the wrong way? Of course. And in those instances either I eat it or send it back. Even when I send it back and ask for them to redo it I don’t go to the back of the kitchen and micromanage the cook. I trust that my second order will be a lot clearer, and they will get it right.

Yet so many students that I meet, set a goal, and then attempt to micromanage the universe and thus prevent the goal from happening. They meddle with it so much; the goal is never allowed to unfold on its own.

This process that we’re talking about here is called “Letting Go of the Form.”

What that simply means is that at some point in your goal setting you have to realize that the path is unknown. Have you ever achieved the goal in a way that you could never have imagined? I have. If you cling to the path happening in a certain way it’s like you prevent the energy from ever coming out.

Imagine. I’m standing in front of you right now, and I’m grasping my two hands together. And that I am saying, “I want this so much, I want this so much!” And then at some point because I haven’t received what I’ve been asking for my hands fly open, and I say, “If it happens it happens if it doesn’t it doesn’t.” That’s the moment the path appears.

It’s almost as if when you surrender and let it go, that’s the moment the universe says, “Finally!! Great…. Thank you, because I know how to cook this and I’m so glad you’re going to let me handle it…  Here you go here’s your chicken salad!”

I know maybe you don’t want a salad, maybe you want the perfect relationship, yet you cling to it so tightly, that the universe is never able to do what you are asking it to do. The moment you let go, perfection appears. Maybe you want an amazing opportunity to make more money, yet while clinging to it so tightly you’re unable to ever manifest. The moment you let go, the universe knows what to do.

Some of you need to learn how to trust. Some of you need to learn how to let go.

There is something that’s actually worse than that. (At least to me.) It’s when you’re actually shown your goal. The universe has stepped up and has given it to you. And now….. It’s your turn to take action. And you don’t.

There’s a concept called energy in energy out. What you put in is what you’re going to get out.

One of my coaching clients that I’m working with is working on relationships. Let’s use an analogy that may be near and dear to many people’s hearts. We all have an ideal partner. The person that we want to be with. The person that we’ve dreamed about. Maybe we’ve gone through relationships in the past and settled. At the time, thinking that this was the best we were going to get. Let’s say one day you wake up you let go and all of a sudden the universe says, “Thank you I can finally place that order for you.” And there appears your goal.

The food is at the table what do you do next?

I know the simple answer is you eat it, and how many of you have been given an opportunity and you saw the path and you didn’t take action?

Continuing with the restaurant analogy when you ask the universe for something and it puts it on your table, well the proverbial ball is in your court (or in this blog the plate is in your lap)…..

What I see so many students do is avoid taking action. Here’s a simple idea, the universe is NOT going to feed you. You have to pick up the fork and dig in. The universe is NOT going to remind you to eat it all. You have to decide that. The universe did its job, now it is up to YOU.

The obvious downside is that you miss an opportunity if you don’t eat. The greater impact on you as a spiritual being is that you are no longer allowing your consciousness and the universe take you seriously.

Here’s what I mean by that.

When you ask for a goal and you receive it yet do nothing, you’re saying to your unconscious mind, to your higher self, and to the universe, don’t take my requests seriously. You see the universe has taken its time to create this perfect dish for you and it has now appeared in front of you. And you do nothing. How would you feel if you created a perfect opportunity for someone, and they just completely ignored you? The next time they asked for something how would you feel? What would you do?

When you ignore that path you’re telling the universe, I am not someone that should be listened to. You are telling the universe, in the future my requests should be ignored. You are telling the universe, in fact just ignore me altogether.

Okay maybe I’m being overly dramatic for the holiday season, and I think you get my point.

I believe that we create opportunities all the time. I believe that we manifest our dreams and desires from moment to moment. I also believe what you put in is what you get out. During this holiday season and moving into the New Year, begin to think about how much energy you are putting in to what the universe is giving to you.

When you set your goals for next year, visualize the path and how you think it will unfold. Then, simply close your eyes, go into peripheral vision, and let that image fade away. By doing that, you are holding onto the goal while letting go of how the goal will form. Meaning the goal is still there, and you are freeing up the universe to do what it needs to do so you get your chicken salad.

Mahalo,

Dr Matt

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Create Your Own Meaning for the Holidays http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/16/create-your-own-meaning/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=create-your-own-meaning http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/16/create-your-own-meaning/#respond Tue, 16 Dec 2014 13:45:33 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2836  

Create Your Own Meaning for the Holidays Aloha,

The holiday season is upon us!

And by “the holiday season,” I’m including not just Christmas but all the other traditional holidays—Hanukkah, Kwanza, Bodhi Day, Pancha Ganapati, Yaldi, etc—celebrated at this time of year. Heck, even if your holiday of choice is Black Friday!

In my recent Psychology Today article Create Your Own Meaning for the Holidays, I explore the question, “What is “the true meaning” of the holiday season?”

Maybe your answer comes from your religious tradition: “It’s to celebrate the god of beginnings, Ganesha” or “It’s to celebrate the birth of the son of God, Jesus Christ.” Maybe you connect the holidays with “the banishing of winter darkness through the light.” Or maybe you learned the “true meaning” of the season from more secular sources.

In everything from Good Housekeeping to Coca Cola commercials, you’ll hear that it’s about loving mankind, generosity, goodwill and peace on earth. Even musicians like TobyMac weigh in on this “true meaning” issue: “I think Christmas is about celebration and come on, on the inside everyone wants to dance!”

I don’t believe that the holiday season has its own specific, intrinsic, unalterable meaning. For me, the important question is: What is the true meaning of the holiday season for you? And is your “true meaning” empowering you and getting you what you want?

For my newest Psychology Today post, click here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/focus-forgiveness/201412/create-your-own-meaning-the-holidays

Mahalo!

Dr Matt

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NLP & Managing Holiday Stress http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/11/nlp-managing-holiday-stress/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=nlp-managing-holiday-stress http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/11/nlp-managing-holiday-stress/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 13:45:30 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2826  

Holiday Stress Webinar

How you can use NLP to manage the stressful aspects of the holiday season

Aloha,

There’s no denying it, the holiday season is here; it’s happening. This season can be a magical time and it can be a stressful time for many of us. Every now and then one of my students will ask me, “How can I use NLP to help me get through the holidays.”

I’m going to tell you exactly how NLP can help you this holiday season in our “NLP & Managing Holiday Stress” webinar.

 

In the webinar, I’ll be covering the following topics:

— Dealing with negative friends and relatives

— Staying grounded in change of routine

— Maintaining your energy through the holidays

— Importance of forgiveness

— The power of focusing on what you want

 

To watch the webinar follow this link: http://www.nlp.com/nlp-managing-holiday-stress/

Mahalo,

Dr Matt

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5 Steps to Make Yourself Miserable for the Holidays http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/09/make-yourself-miserable/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=make-yourself-miserable http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/09/make-yourself-miserable/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 13:45:30 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2822 Wrapping presents is a pain

 

Aloha,

You may be anticipating the upcoming holidays with the glee of a five-year old or you may feel the grumpiness of a Grinch as the days of “merry and bright” get closer. Whatever you feel and whether you celebrate it or not, as Garrison Keeler says, the Christmas season is “compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.”

Now I know you’ll read a zillion articles giving you great advice on how to make your holidays festive and special, filled with warmth and good cheer and sparkling moments.

But in my recent Huffington Post article I give you 5 incredibly easy steps to make your holiday absolutely and totally miserable!

It doesn’t matter if you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanza or any particular holiday during this time of year.  If you follow these steps carefully, I promise you will have the worst season ever. And, as an added bonus, you can make others around you miserable as well.

Let the Bah Humbug begin!

Click this link for my Huffington Post article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-b-james-phd/5-steps-to-make-yourself-_b_6246080.html

Mahalo!

Dr Matt

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How to Avoid That Holiday Retail Hangover http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/02/avoid-holiday-retail-hangover/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=avoid-holiday-retail-hangover http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/02/avoid-holiday-retail-hangover/#respond Tue, 02 Dec 2014 13:45:01 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2809 Woman collapses from stress of shopping

“Hunger and self-control do not go hand in hand.”

- Kathy Freston

Like most of you, I’ve been seeing a lot of holiday ads lately. It seems like they started somewhere before Halloween this year, with stuffed Santa Claus’s showing up right next to the pre-lit pumpkins.  And now I hear that Black Friday was extended to Black Thursday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday-and-Monday-morning!

Yikes!

Don’t get me wrong. I am not anti-shopping and gift-giving. For me, especially with my beautiful wife and two terrific kids, shopping for their holiday gifts brings me real joy.

But what irks me is watching advertisers and retailers try to whip up a desperate craving in us to Buy, Buy, Buy! especially at this time of year.

And honestly? Many of us are easy targets. The holidays bring up all kinds of memories, unfulfilled dreams, and ancient desires. Consciously and unconsciously, we believe that this particular time of year is supposed to be better, more magical and more satisfying than the rest of the year. Our expectations are much higher, for everything from the quality of our relationships to how our cookies turn out.

It’s a kind of hunger. And advertisers definitely use it to their advantage!

Even with the TV on mute, you’re still aware of that loving couple holding hands as they watch their adorable 7 year old light up with joy as he unwraps the latest remote controlled helicopter. Clearly, if you want your family to be that happy, you need one of those things!

Or what about the jewelry ads? “Every kiss begins with Kay.” “A diamond is forever.” “Crystal gets closer to the body than ever before.” Wow! Don’t you want some of that?!?

Now, maybe you’re too sophisticated to fall for those specific ads. But as I look around, it seems like there’s an intense, pervasive energy of heightened desire at this time of year that’s pretty easy to fall into. We “crave” more out of life, and shopping seems to be way to satisfy that craving.

And it’s all in our heads—literally.

Scientists use fMRI to examine what our brain does while shopping. Seeing a product we desire activates the nucleus accumbens, which is associated with the anticipation of pleasure. If the cost of that product is higher than we thought or more than we wanted to spend, our insula (the pain center is activated).

As the researchers explain it, when we’re shopping, basically we’re weighing anticipated pleasure against immediate pain. And as our “anticipated pleasure” becomes more intense (after seeing all those ads), the immediate pain has to be greater as well to stop us from buying. Interestingly, if we pay with credit cards or deferred payments, the pain is automatically “numbed.”

So a great item that has promised to make us happy and can be bought on credit will certainly to end up in our shopping cart—even if we don’t want it or can’t afford it! But we can avoid that trap.

First, acknowledge and feed the real hunger. Just like you are less likely to over-buy at the grocery store when you’re full, when you are emotionally “full,” you’re less likely to overspend on gifts or treats for yourself.

And check your “shopping motivation.” Think about it: When you give a gift to impress someone or make them happy or make them love you, doesn’t that feel more like craving? Like you’re filling a void? How about shopping for yourself because you’re feeling down?

On the flip side, how about shopping for a gift to show your appreciation or love for someone? Or shopping for yourself because you’re feeling good about yourself? To me, this kind of shopping experience feels more fun and satisfying rather than hungry and desperate.

Rather than getting caught up in the holiday craving, let whatever shopping and gift-giving you do really give you pleasure!

Oh, and one last tip: Researchers at Bangor University found that, after about 23 minutes in a store, we tend to make decisions with the emotional part of our brain rather than the analytical part. After 40 minutes, the typical brain stops making rational decisions altogether—so you may want to keep your holiday shopping excursions brief!

Mele Kalikimaka!

Until next time. . .

Mahalo!

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