I was recently reading a book called ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson and what really resonated with me from that book was something he coined ‘the feedback loop from hell’. And in this post I’m going to be explaining what that is and how to put an end to it.
What is the feedback loop from hell?
Okay so lets say that you are suffering from anxiety. Whatever it is that you’re fearing, could be a person, a thought, a horrific experience you have had in your life, I don’t know what it is but it’s caused you to respond with anxiety. (I’ll explain why the trigger/catalyst is not relevant when it comes to overcoming anxiety in another article.)
So you are anxious about that car crash you experienced last week, you are experiencing anxious thoughts and feelings and you’re anxious about feeling anxious… Voila you have the feedback loop from hell.
When you keep this debilitating cycle in place you’re actually practicing being anxious and so your subconscious mind takes this on as a new behaviour and builds new neural pathways. See my post here about Neuroplasticity.
Before long this becomes you default setting because you have sent a clear signal to your subconscious mind that experiencing anxiety is appropriate.
How do I break the vicious destructive cycle?
Well one way to break the feedback loop from hell is to realize that you are not anxious of what happened but you’re anxious about the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing in this moment. You see it’s never the situation that causes us to be anxious but how we interpret that situation.
The car crash you experienced is gone now, it’s in the past. which means it’s no longer real and you are left with the thoughts and feelings which are causing you to experience anxiety.
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but our thoughts about it” – Eckhart Tolle
So because it’s not an actual outside experience that is causing you to experience anxiety, you can just stop fighting your thoughts and feelings. You can practice being okay with being anxious, in other words not minding how you feel.
Because when you give up the fight and being okay with how you feel then you reclaim your power and cut off the power which this vicious cycle needs to stay alive. Even though it seems completely normal and logical to not want to experience anxiety but the very act of not wanting to feel a certain way just fuels the anxiety, it gives it life!
You are creating inner resistance when you desperately want to feel better and not wanting to feel how you are feeling in this present moment. The seemingly counter-intuitive approach is actually transformational.
In the words of Mark Manson – “By not giving a fuck that you feel bad, you short-circuit the Feedback Loop from Hell; you say to yourself, “I feel like shit, but who gives a fuck?” And then, as if sprinkled by magic fuck-giving fairy dust, you stop hating yourself for feeling so bad.”
This post was inspired by an article from Mark Manson’s site.
Please share this post with others as that way the empowering information can benefit more lives, thank you.