Neuroscientists are discovering incredible things about our brains. For instance, did you know that you can’t focus on both a positive and negative experience or memory at the same time? Find that hard to believe? Just try it…our brains simply will not let us hold two opposite or opposing thoughts or feelings at the same time. It forces us to choose. Maybe that’s a good thing because as humans our brains prefer to imprint a negative memory more so than a positive one. Why would this be?
It’s really more logical than we might think. According to Dr. Mark Waldman and other neuroscientists it’s a protective maneuver from our cave/hunting/gathering experiences. Our brains protect us from future threats by storing negative memories which may help us react faster if a new threat approaches than if we allowed ourselves the time to think about something using our conscious mind before reacting. So it’s really a survival technique.
However, we can actually cause our brains to release harmful stress neurochemicals when we continue to perseverate on negative issues. When we think about the negative issues in our lives the brain records them as happening over and over again each time we think about them. That’s why when we ruminate on the possibility of something bad happening we feel more and more exhausted, depressed or out of control. We can fall into the trap of feeling both hopeless and helpless as we spiral downward.
So what’s to be done? Developing a plan to address the issue is essential. Why? We feel more in control when we develop steps to address the concern – a plan gives our brains something to think about rather than allowing it to rehash the problems over and over. We begin to feel hopeful rather than hopeless.
What if the problem is so big and involves someone else who refuses to address it? When we love someone we want to help them and continuing to talk about the need to create a plan may not be heard the first or even the tenth time. Don’t be discouraged or give up. For some they may need to hear the message 30 times or more but little by little you can help them realize that things in life can change for the better – and it takes a plan of action – a belief that success is possible. Just remember the old adage…’inch by inch it’s a cinch’ regardless of the length of the journey it can only be accomplished step by step.
When we develop a plan we change our attitude and our energy. We become proactive rather than reactive as we tap into a reserve of strength from the Universe.
The famous British leader, Winston Churchill said in 1941, “This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” The enemy comes in many forms but you are more powerful!
Develop and plan and Do It!