How Do We Distract Our Brain's "Peanut" That Worries - Based on Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor Lecture

How Do We Distract Our Brain's "Peanut" That Worries - Based on Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor Lecture

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a doctor and professor who studied and once again now studies the brain's workings.  Some years ago, she experienced a stroke herself and survived it.  It took her eight years to return to functioning status, and quite a journey along the way. 

In every loan and real estate transaction, "turbulence" happens.  The appraisal is low, the buyer spent their cash to close on a trip to see family, the termite repair is thousands... We give our clients a list of "88 Types of Turbulence," and it was written before distress sales became the norm; so we could add 88 more I'm sure.  What holds true throughout is, most turbulence can be fixed with experienced professionals, good research and negotiation and persistence.  Worry and loss of sleep simply do not help fix the situation, and in fact they lead to bad decision-making and failure to solve the problem. 

After the video of the doctor's speech are suggestions for reducing anxiety and worry, and letting us sleep at night, gleaned from both the doctor's speech and other motivational speakers over the years.

Watch Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor's riveting apx 19-minute talk at the TED Talks (Technology, Entertainment, Design):


Here are some suggestions for reducing anxiety and worry, and letting us sleep at night, that have worked for me using thoughts from Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, Anthony Robbins, and even's hypnosis (she has lots of free stuff on her website).  I don't know about hypnosis, but I do believe that we become what we think, so running the brain through its paces by choosing our thoughts is empowering and can help reduce stress and let us sleep.  Okay, now to the suggestions:

1.   Do the right thing and tell the truth. 

2.   Plan your next day in the evening before you go to bed, so that when a worry or thought wakes you, you can repeat to yourself, "I've already planned that; I'll take care of it tomorrow."  Now, imagine yourself at your preferred vacation spot relaxing - beach chair in the sand watching waves, jacuzzi in the mountains, etc.

3.   If you didn't make a list for tomorrow, keep a notepad by your bed and write down the few "gotta do tomorrow" items that are keeping your brain repeatedly thinking about them, so you can tell yourself you've already planned it and will take care of it tomorrow.

4.   Visualize the peanut-sized part of your brain in the left hemispere - Dr. Jill talks about it in her speech - where organized thought takes place.  "Watch" how the peanut thinks and repeats the same thoughts.  Stepping outside of the peanut helps distract it.

5.   Visualize the vast other part of your brain where repeated thought (worries) do not exist, where Dr. Jill existed in beauty and "as one with the universe" for a long time during her recovery from the stroke, and try to imagine yourself inside those areas: floating in beauty and twinkling lights, thoughtless and in wonderment.

6.   This is a new one I thought up recently: imagine "the peanut" as a tiny hamster that runs on a wheel in the left hemisphere of your brain.  See it running, running, running, fluffy and cute.  Now he's finished his workout, so imagine him stepping off the wheel, curling up beside it, and sleeping peacefully and contentedly.  If a thought from your life pops in, immediately switch your visual imagery to your sleeping hamster and watch him sleep.

7.   If you're worrying or stressing about something that happened in the past, stop yourself.  Tell yourself that you can't change the past, you'll do your best to fix what you can in the future, and that's all you can do.

The Disclaimer: These suggestions have worked for me personally.  They may or may not work for you and are not medical advice about your particular situation.  Consult professionals (doctors, etc.) for your particular situation.

Lisa Delzompo (951-704-4559)

"May your home always be too small ... to hold all your friends!"

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Comment balloon 2 commentsLisa Delzompo 951-704-4559 • October 24 2010 12:43PM


I think this is a great post and some marvelous suggestions. I've definitely had my share of sleepless nights do to worrying about things that have already happened as well as things that might happen- ugh!  I like your spinning hampster- I will definitely give some of your suggestions a try.  I'm pressing suggest on this one- I think alot of agents deal with this issue!

Posted by Jenny Durling, For Los Angeles real estate help 213-215-4758 (L.A. Property Solutions) about 8 years ago

Thank you, Jenny!  Yes, after a few years practicing law, then helping raise 4 children (now aged 9 to 16 years old) and now 6 years in this industry, I've studied this subject a bit. 

Posted by Lisa Delzompo 951-704-4559, Experienced, Trusted, & On Your Mission: Home (PRW Lending, Inc) about 8 years ago

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