How to Catapult Yourself Out of Caveman Brain

My brain, as played by Buster Keaton in Joseph M. Schenck’s The Three Ages.

My brain, as played by Buster Keaton in Joseph M. Schenck’s The Three Ages.

I have a hard time recognizing brain spin as it happens. 

Even now, though I’ve been aware of my own overthinky tendancies for years, I still find myself randomly carried away by my negative thoughts. It’s understandable. Getting abducted by thinking is the way my life has always been. My brain is habituated by years of caveman practice.

Evolution = standing up to the brain.

Evolution = standing up to the brain.

To get away from a possible clubbing, it’s clear what I need to do:

Evolve quickly.

I need to recognize when the caveman brain gets overly active. Then I need simple, useful tools to get set free.

There’s another word way to describe the technique I'm about to share: redirection.

Redirection comes down to realizing when you need to change course, then knowing how to do that.


The dismount

Every person goes about this differently. For me, Tight sentences, short phrases — even cliches — help greatly. They pop me off the caveman’s back, like a tiny but powerful redirection catapult.

Mass = me

Mass = me

Here are some of my favorite catapult redirections:

  • What someone else thinks of me is not my business.
  • You gotta be gawky to get to graceful.
  • Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
  • Small stakes, cupcakes.

To that I add today’s tip. It's very simple. One new 5-word catapult redirection.

  • When in doubt, get out.
Try to get to the nearest place with the biggest sky.

Try to get to the nearest place with the biggest sky.

Feel free to give my catapult redirection a try the next time you feel your shoulders start to constrict and your head start to throb.

When in doubt, get out. Where is the place nearest to you with a lot of sky? Go to that place.

The caveman feels very uncomfortable in vast, open spaces. He’ll usually be gone before you reach your destination.