Sticky Brain Syndrome is a tongue-in-cheek syndrome that I invented this morning in the shower, after telling my mind, in no uncertain terms, to shut up because I was entirely fed up with hearing the same sentence repeated over and over again. Thankfully, it listened and dutifully went quiet.
I can put this mornings sticky-brain-moment down to a lack of sleep due to an early morning airport drop-off for a friend who had been visiting. Thankfully, years of creative visualisation and mindfulness exercises have given me three skills needed to effectively deal with sticky-brain-moments when they arrive. First is the ability to recognise unhelpful repetition of thoughts. The second is the ability to stop the repetition and direct the mind down healthier pathways. The third is the ability to reflect on possible triggers that could be off-set, reduced or avoided altogether (such as a lack of sleep!).
Have you ever had sticky-brain-moments? Times where you find yourself stuck on the same topic, going round and round in circles like a broken record? For me, Sticky Brain Syndrome can occasionally manifest as a single line from a song that repeats itself throughout the day. It can be quite irritating, having such a noisy head! If you are verbalising your thoughts, you might find yourself talking in circles and repeating yourself. (This is probably more annoying for others than for ourselves). If you are prone to anxiety or you tend to be a thinker, you are probably all too familiar with Sticky Brain Syndrome.
Even non-worriers have to occasionally do battle with SBS. Too many late nights, nutrient deficiencies and hormone imbalances can all be classic SBS triggers. And then there are those moments when someone presses our buttons or pulls our strings, instigating a flood of repetitious emotional thinking. Those of us who habitually feel resentful or jealous often struggle with a noisy head full of sticky thoughts that inflame emotions.
In Aura Colour Therapy, sticky thoughts are represented by Rumination Yellow and Anxiety Yellow. These colours could be thought of as a congestion of the mental aura. Rather than a free flow of fluid thought (represented by airy, sunlit yellows like Vision Yellow and Clarity Yellow) the congested mind is more like a traffic jam; thick, yellow and sticky like honey. These thoughts tend to stall and loop, like cars bunny-hopping slowly through a traffic jam or getting stuck on a round-a-bout. There can still be speed associated with these thoughts, almost as though the cars on the round-a-bout are missing their exit because they keep inadvertently speeding past it, but this speed is inefficient because it doesn’t achieve anything constructive.
Other aura colours that can feed or reflect SBS are colours like Resentment Green and Conflict Green. Getting stuck on an emotionally inflammatory topic and not being able to let it go is a sticky-brain symptom. Our thoughts can either feed an emotion or help us find a healthy balance between validating and reasoning with it. If the later can’t be done, we need the mindfulness and mental discipline to redirect our thoughts elsewhere, along more constructive pathways.
If you struggle with SBS, here are some basic guidelines to help you find the mute button in your mind:
Identify your Triggers
What tips you over into a mental traffic jam of repetitive, circuitous thought? Classic triggers include lack of sleep, substance abuse and nutrient deficiencies such as low B vitamins. Our B vitamin status can be negatively impacted by digestive problems, drinking alcohol, eating too much sugar, smoking and stress. How can you reduce or avoid these triggers? Other triggers can include unresolved emotional issues. It can help to visit a counsellor to resolve these issues so that your buttons do not get pressed every time someone rubs up against your raw spots.
Seek help to improve your mind-body health
If you are struggling with mental health challenges such as anxiety, or health conditions that mess with your emotions like pre-menstrual syndrome or menopause, seek the help of health professionals. Both mainstream and complementary medicine have a lot to offer a person suffering from SBS. A psychologist might familiarise you with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, a doctor might prescribe medications and a naturopath might give you herbs and supplements that will tone your nervous system and improve your ability to cope with stress. A meditation or mindfulness teacher will teach you self-awareness and mental discipline so you can see your SBS coming from a mile off and head it off at the pass.
Aura Colour Therapy
For clients and students with one of Om’s Aura Reading Kits:
Therapeutic colours for SBS syndrome include mindfulness colours like Watchful Blue and Patience Green. Colours that enhance the health of the mental aura include Vision Yellow, Clarity Yellow and Happiness Yellow. Playful Orange can help us find humour and perspective when we are taking ourselves, life and other people too seriously and Harmony Purple can help us come to peace with unresolved emotions. Home Brown provides the grounding that can so often balance excessive thought and Freedom Blue provides us with the personal space and emotional stability needed to stay centred and stand back from the dramas that surround us.