Supporting Executive Function

Executive Function (EF) refers to our ability to actually do, or "execute," the tasks of life. These tasks include.... literally all the tasks. Getting out of bed, getting dressed, making and eating breakfast: these are all executive function at work.  Executive Function allows us to focus attention, plan ahead, multitask, and make things happen. 

When it's compromised, that can look like:  

  • trouble getting out of bed in the morning
  • trouble "doing the thing"-- whatever it is that needs to get done
  • impulsive behavior (instead of planned behavior)
  • having a hard time organizing the materials needed to complete things
  • time blindness (an involuntary struggle with the passage of time--instinctively perceiving time in a way that others do not understand)
  • forgetting to do things, possibly even normal and routine things that other people may not understand how it is possible to forget
  • trouble meeting deadlines

And more. But we'll keep talking about it. 

EVERYONE has limited executive function. Literally all people. I do, you do, your kids do, your ex-spouse does, your parents. Every human has an executive function limit. This refers to how much executive function they can expend in a day before they suddenly "just can't even."  Every person has a different EF limit, and this is important to understand. Some people are go-go-go, and others are less so. 

BUT something else also important to understand is that everyone's daily EF allotment is also highly dependent on the DAY. 

What I mean is: maybe at one point in your life, you had a lot more EF than you do now. AND THAT IS OKAY. Maybe not ideal, but it is okay. Nothing is broken about you.

For me, I have pretty high EF naturally--but in the past few weeks mine has felt pretty low, for me. This makes sense. Why? Because I was super sick, and I've got a baby that keeps me up all hours of the night, and between sleeplessness and my body healing, of COURSE my EF is lower this week than normal.

Our daily EF limits fluctuate based on our daily health, our emotions, and the needs of the day. 

If you have a lot of external stressors in your life, and you're vitamin-depleted, and you have a backlog of emotional stress and trauma, all those things add up to lower executive function. 

THIS IS OKAY. 

When executive function is compromised more than usual, it's a call to REST, eat your vitamins, and work on your emotional stuff so that your nervous system can calm and reset.  Basically, I just want you to not beat yourself up if you feel less functional on some days than others. This is normal. Everyone fluctuates day to day. If you have a hard time getting things done on one day, it's a call to get some good sleep and basically attend to your self-care. 

Of course, sometimes executive function issues are long-term and severe. It's one thing if you're normally pretty good at getting things done--but what if you NEVER are? What if the bad days outnumber the good ones 100 to 1? That's when we have a bigger problem. 

This is what my new Executive Function session is going to address. The intention is that this goal will be helpful for everyone, at all levels of executive function, but ESPECIALLY to be helpful for those with low EF. My goal is to raise all of our EF limits and help establish higher general levels of executive function--as is reasonable. It's not reasonable to be SUPER HIGH FUNCTIONING EVERY MINUTE. Our bodies need to have that ebb and flow that keeps us in touch with reality. But it can be helpful to have a baseline of functionality that keeps us going even under some level of stress.  In the meantime, here are some tapping scripts for you. Tap on your forehead and/or collarbone and say aloud 3x:  

  • It could be safe to accept my current level of executive function.
  • I am now accepting the divine perspective on how much I am able to complete in one day. 
  • I know my worth is separate from my ability to complete and accomplish things.
  • I give myself permission to rest and heal in the now so I can function better later. 

 Breathe it in! How does that feel? 

Come join me for a full session on healing and expanding our executive function. 

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