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  • Collaborative Awareness

Pick Up the Sled to Amplify Your Mental Wellness

Updated: Feb 13

Person Carrying a Snow Sled

Making Tracks Down the Snowy Hill

A visual representation of how our minds process the world. 

Visualize yourself standing at the top of a snowy hill with a sled in your hands. If you sled down the left side of the hill, just a couple of times, it creates a rut in the snow. You don't have to steer anymore. The path has been made and your trip is virtually the same every time going forward. 

The brain works in a similar way. You think a thought a couple of times, whether it’s a judgment or something that delights you in reaction to a situation, and your brain says, Hey, let me make life easier for you. I’ll create a neural pathway around that thought and put it on autopilot so you don’t have to learn it again. And I’ll run it in the background without you needing to do a thing. You have just created a rut in the snow of your mind. 

The majority of what we do on a daily basis is actually determined by our subconscious mind. We don’t make a choice in the moment. In essence, you don't have to steer the next time that judgment or belief shows up, your brain thinks it on autopilot. Which means that the next time you see that person, you don't even have to think about what their behavior means, it just pops up in your head. The sled goes down the hill. These are your patterns that can become stressful or exhausting. 

The beauty of the sled down the snowy hill is that you can create a new path down the right side of the hill, but this new thought is the Connected Brain version of the same topic.

The Awareness Phase

The first step to creating the new, calmer way of thinking is to pause and pick up the sled. But it’s hard to drag the sled from one side of the hill to the other, so let’s pick it up. When you experience the same trigger over and over, take a moment to pause and notice that it’s happening. No need to change your stressful thought, just take some time to create an awareness of when the pattern gets triggered. Be curious.

Picking up the sled helps you interrupt your stressful thoughts, giving you space to breathe. This encourages empathy, connection and creativity for yourself and others. All things you need access to when there’s something that calls for your attention.

The New Path

After the awareness phase, you have a chance to take your sled, put it down the right side of the hill, and create a new pattern that is a less stressful, more Connected Brain relationship to what is happening. 

Every time that situation appears again, you now have a choice. There are two patterns to choose from, one down each side of the hill. You can ask yourself, do I want to be stressed about this, or do I want to be more connected? Which version of  myself do I feel will create a moment that is healthier, collaborative and joyful.

Connect with us to learn how to use Pick Up the Sled in your team, your organization or in your life. PICKUPTHESLED.COM


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