Chapter 7.2 Thought Reversal

Thought Reversal

“Reality can destroy the dream; why shouldn’t the dream destroy reality?”
George Moore (1873-1958)    English philosopher

Let’s do a selective mini-scan of the brain.  The brain is a very complex, enigmatic organ.  It has been said that more than 95% of our brains are not used.  No wonder it weighs us down at times.  Many researchers are studying the brain to try to understand how it works. In the brain ….

“The amygdala, being the center for identification of danger, is fundamental for self-preservation.  When triggered, it gives rise to fear and anxiety, which lead the animal into a stage of alertness, getting ready for fight or flight.”
Limbic System: The Center of Emotions
Julio Rocha do Amaral, MD & Jorge Matins de Oliveira, MD/PhD

All of our senses are processed through these little almond shaped structures (there are two of them), that are located deep inside the brain, very protected from harm.  These little masses are responsible for basic survival.  They decide where to route the response reaction … fear, anxiety, distress, enthusiasm, pride, pleasure.  But as we have learned before, the first option is usually to route toward the negative.

“…the prefrontal cortex … may be important in inhibiting activity in the amygdala and dampening response to negative events, and particularly in shutting off the negative response quickly once it has been activated.”
“Understanding Positive and Negative Emotion”    Richard J.  Davidson, PhD

So, the instinctual reaction of the amygdala has to be over-ridden by engaging the front of the brain.  When my brain is engaged … when I’m concentrating on something, learning something, enjoying something, … I can note that the front of my brain is working.  It’s activated.  I can feel it.

When I’m apathetic, not feeling chipper, or being zoned-entertained by a sit-com, I can feel that my neurons are firing (or fizzling) in the back half of my brain.  Let us ponder …

I am a big proponent that a sports team or individual should try to win a game or match.  But many times I see a competitor focusing on trying to not lose.  What’s the difference? Have you ever seen a team try to run out the clock, trying to protect their lead, only to lose their rhythm and get beaten? Does this sound like a negative approach to sport?

Trying to win comes from the frontal lobes.  Trying to ‘not lose’ sits deep in the security centers.  It is the fear of losing.  The team that keeps pressing onto the end of the game is not thinking about not losing.  They’re just thinking about winning.

“…change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change.”
Power of Intention Dr. Wayne Dyer

So, as positive thinkers with a warrior mentality, we must train ourselves to be aware of our own negative thinking … and then diligently work to reverse any negative thoughts.

“Our most intimate relationship is the one we have with our own minds.  I was in terrible shape till one day I realized a simple thing.  When I believed my own thoughts about myself, I suffered.  When I didn’t believe them, I didn’t suffer.  Everything changed for me after that day.”
Byron Katie’s “The Work”, from “Quit Your Pain” by Mark Matousek, AARP magazine, May/June 2006

So our focus is to reverse our thoughts, to look for Positive first, instead of expecting the Negative. Our physical make-up as humans has been set to protect our survival. But as humans, we also have the ability of conceptual thought. We have the ability to change our responses and our strategies.

“They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
Andy Warhol (1928-1987)     American Painter and Filmmaker

Let’s gather up some additional tools that may help us to become stronger disciples, and ultimately, trusted proponents of Positivity.


2 Responses to “Chapter 7.2 Thought Reversal”

  1. Son in Law D'light Says:

    I love that you quote Warhol here… As he knows the literal effect of change. In Art, without the conscious decision of the artist to create change, the canvas would be blank. Haha! (my own personal laugh track)

    I have heard more than one person say, in the few years that I have been here on Earth this time around, that it is harder to change your behavior the older you get and I just want to say for the record that I think this is a complete lie created by the lazy to give themselves an excuse to maintain the status quo… Just wanted to share that mythbuster with anyone who thinks they are too old to change thier lives.

    • alpinerainn Says:

      Good point, SIL D’Light! I agree that people sometimes get complacent when they get older. Maybe they just get tired of the grind.(?) I think keeping up with things; always being curious; always trying to figure out how to do it better…keeps us young! At 53, I still feel vibrant and curious. If I can master this negativity monster, and “not believe” what my stupid brain tells me….I will have it made in the shade!! Haha! 🙂

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