If you’re like most of us, your brain is filled with a constant chatter of thoughts, beliefs, and memories, some of which can be negative and often have a huge impact on your life. In extreme cases this deceptive thinking can result in depression, anxiety or anger, and sometimes all three. This cycle starts with a thought that causes discomfort and moves your focus away from your goals and aspirations in life.
These thoughts are generated as part of your automatic, subconscious mind, often referred to as negative self-talk or inner-critic they are made up of implicit memories and learned beliefs from your past. Some common deceptive brain messages are, I should have/shouldn’t have, I’m a bad person, I don’t deserve to be happy, I’m not good enough or I can’t do that. These thoughts might be accompanied by a physical sensation or an emotional state. For example, heart is racing, excessive sweating a feeling of hopelessness or craving something.
In an effort to ease the unpleasant sensations or emotions, some people may behave in automatic, habitual ways, often they are not even consciously aware of their response, or the motives behind it, for example, using drugs or alcohol, over eating, gambling, avoiding situations, repeatedly checking something, or generally just overthinking or worrying constantly.
The good news is that just because you have had these thoughts and/or behaved in certain ways in the past, even if it seems its been there for most of your life, it doesn’t mean that you have to behave that way in the future.
You have the power to change your life and your brain. Neuroscience tells us the brain in malleable, that means when you learn how to focus your attention on the positives in life, and you start to behave in ways that empower you, you actually rewire your brain. This is a very powerful process when applied and because it is backed up by research, we can have confidence in the approach.
Why not try it yourself, I ask my clients to focus on the three Ps, Positive Thinking, Positive interaction and Positive action, when they do this they spend more time in the left prefrontal cortex raising serotonin, our happy hormone and when we raise lots of serotonin we are happy, now that has to be good.