We all worry. Sometimes it’s hard to stop. Especially when you are making big changes in your life.  But worry can derail your plans, and cause more things to worry about!

Looking for a simple technique to stop your brain from going non-stop?  Put pen to paper and create a CRAP board.  Developed by Neuroscience expert Mark Waldman, CRAP stands for Conflicts, Resistances, Anxieties, Procrastination  (but it works for any other “problem” you think you have).

Mark created this variation of a well-established technique that has 30 years of research behind it. The Neuroscience of observing negative thoughts shows that you can actually turn off the negative emotional circuits in your brain by being mindfully observant of them. 

In fact, your brain functionally disconnects from any worry when you deeply relax and observe it on a sheet of paper!   Read on to create your CRAP board…

 

Creating your CRAP Board

  1. On a single sheet of paper write down at least 20 of your limiting beliefs, worries, fears, weaknesses, doubts – real or imaginary.
  2. Deeply relax and ask your intuition what else you should add to the list.
  3. Then add all of the weakness that you believe other people would say you have.
  4. Breathe in deeply through your nose, and exhale through your mouth, 3 times.
  5. As you feel yourself relax,  gaze at the paper in front of you.
  6. Don’t judge anything you see; just observe it like any other object in the room. As you gaze, yawn slowly
  7. If you are comfortable doing so gently stroke your hands and arms (it stimulates areas in the brain relating to self-confidence).

Did you notice a reduction in intensity about your list?  No, repeat steps 4-7 at least 3 times.

As you look at each item on your list, ask yourself: are these negative thoughts REALLY true? Are they happening right now? Most of the time you’ll see that they are just memories.

Repeat this phrase as you look at the items that aren’t really true:

These problems are not real; they are memories from the past projected into the future.

 

DO NOT THROW THE PAPER AWAY!

This is the real secret to this technique.  If you throw away the paper, your unconscious mind will start to ruminate on all that negativity. When it’s on a sheet of paper, there is a neural “disconnect,” as if your brain knows that your crap is safely tucked away and doesn’t need to worry about it anymore.

Just post it near your desk or somewhere where you can see the paper but not so that you can fixate/read it.

Some people believe that writing down their “crap” will make it manifest in the world. Nothing can be farther from the truth.  The Law of Attraction states that you manifest what you focus on.  Once your worries are on the paper and out of your mind you don’t focus on them.

 

Bonus Exercise:

Many fears and limiting beliefs live in your subconscious and may require more effort to release.  Take your top worry, reverse it, and turn it into your Sankalpa for your Yoga-Nidra meditation practice.