So, in Friday’s email I explained the concept of dividing the human brain into human (you), computer (information access) and chimp (your deep routed, primal parts of the brain).


You can read it here, if you haven’t already.


The chimp is all about feelings and is the brain’s emotional thinking machine.


It jumps to opinions, can be paranoid and its behaviour can be catastrophic and very irrational.


It is driven by survival and is the root cause of anger or distress.


It can get things completely out of perspective.


Chimps use one of the 3 Fs – the fight, flight or freeze response when under threat.


This is very common when they feel vulnerable, as they are insecure by nature.


I’m now going to briefly go through the 3 main tactics recommended in the book to ‘manage’ your chimp.


These are methods you might want to use when your chimp is playing up – that part of your brain that is more primal and emotional is telling you that you’re no good, you can’t do it, etc.


If any of this sounds familiar, then I’d definitely recommend reading the full book (Amazon link here if you want to check it out).


There’s tonnes more stuff in there about the brain and how to manage it.


There’s even a 5* review from snooker player Ronnie O’Sullivan who says “nothing comes close to to this model”.


This a massive abbreviation of a full book, so might not make 100% sense, but if there’s things in there that ring true to you, get yourself a copy and let us know if you find it useful.


So – you can exercise, box or distract the chimp.


Exercising the chimp


Exercising the chimp means taking it to somewhere where it can be let out to roam and burn off all it’s energy.


Find somewhere quite and private and say, OUT LOUD, all the things that the chimp is saying to you.


You know “I’m fat / stupid / useless”, etc.


Let it all out, give the chimp as long as it needs and don’t respond.


Once it all comes out, the chimp will often calm down considerably.



Boxing the Chimp


Use facts, reason, truth, and logic to calm the Chimp down.


Most of what the chimp is saying won’t be 100% true and can be argued with.


It may take several episodes of exercising the Chimp for any one problem before you can box it.


You may also need to keep putting the Chimp back into its box several times for any one problem.


Sometimes, the Chimp does not need to be exercised and will go into the box of logic and truth straight away.



Feed Chimp a Banana



There are two types of ‘banana’ that you can use to on the chimp – distraction and rewards.


Neither are great ways to manage the chimp long term but can deal with it ‘in the moment’.


To distract the chimp, you just need to crack on with something else.


You might not feel like it, but just get doing something and the voice will go down a bit because there’s too much other stuff going on.


For the banana of reward, offer yourself something you like in exchange for doing something.


Not a cake or biscuit, of course.


But telling your mind that you will pop on Facebook, do you workout, chat to a friend, arrange something fun for the weekend, when you’ve done the thing infront of you is a good way to quieten down that chimp and allow you to get on with your day.



So – that’s some of the methods of dealing with that ‘little voice’ in your head.


Again, a huge abbreviation of what is an excellent book (and there’s much more in there about stuff to do with the brain that we haven’t even touched on).


If any of it makes you want to find out more, check out the book here.


Tomorrow, I’m going to cover what happened when I took my boys to meet and old friend of mine – the World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion – on Friday.


And the parallel that you might be able to get from it.



Much love,


Jon ‘Doing the Macc vs. Buxton session today’ Hall and Matt ‘Possibly me too’ Nicholson


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Jon Hall
Jon Hall

When not helping people to transform their lives and bodies, Jon can usually be found either playing with his kids or taxi-ing them around. If you'd like to find out more about what we do at RISE then enter your details in the box to the right or bottom of this page or at - this is the same way every single one of the hundreds who've described this as "one of the best decisions I've ever made" took their first step.