Why is your brain lying?
What we feed our brain is what we will believe. In other words, the more you feed your brain a message, the more likely you are to believe it’s true. We process negative information more thoroughly than positive information. When we receive information we perceive as negative, we mull it over, ruminate, and over analyze.
The language used to describe negative events is far more descriptive and emotionally charged than those used to describe positive events. People asked to envision losing $100 and later asked to think of finding $100, had stronger and more clear feelings and descriptions about losing the money than finding it.
Consider this when you feel overwhelmed, chewed-up and spit out, or not enough. It’s harder to see the strength, resilience, and ability that truly resides within you when these feelings get the best of your brain.
What you see isn’t what you get?
For someone who’s struggled with weight most of their adult life, it is challenging to see the thinner, healthier version of themselves in the mirror after significant weight loss. The negative feelings and patterns can overrun more positive thoughts. This can make it hard to see the skinny person in the mirror even logically knowing the dress size changed from 18 to 6 (my own true story).
Old habits die hard – don’t focus on the fat.
Dr. Richard J. Davidson and Sharon Begley discuss, what they call, Emotional Style which refers to how we cope and react to any situation. Our individual Emotional Style is as unique as our fingerprint and varies in duration, intensity, and type of behavior. However, we can change our Emotional Style with a little bit of awareness and focus.
Mindful meditation is a hot tool for getting back on track. When you feel your brain going off the deep end and spiraling downward into the dark, negative abyss, take a mental pause before you go down that road. Any time you can quickly stop your thoughts before you start going south, you change the mental process. Your ability to resist the chain of dread your brain wants to start, grows as awareness increases and you pause more often.
Change your perspective
Picture a beautiful, ripe, delicious apple in front of a mirror with the reflection of a chewed apple core. At first you may think the apple’s reflection is of being worn down or chewed-up. But, if we change our perspective, it could be a reflection of the apple’s true purpose and ability. The goal, nourishment. Mission accomplished. It’s a small change of perspective, but makes all the difference. However, it takes practice in mulling over the positive over the negative side of any situation.
Let’s go back to the weight battle. Don’t focus on the fat. Focus on the new healthy image, better choices, smaller clothes, happier you.
How ‘about them apples?
Davidson, R. J., & Begley, S. (2012). THE NEW SCIENCE OF FEELINGS. (cover story). Newsweek, 159(9/10), 46.