Have you ever had a negative thought?
The kind you keep playing over and over in your head.
Did you realize that each time you THINK about it or tell the "story",
your MIND makes the THOUGHTs worse?
And.... with each-next worse, imaginary repetition,
you get your emotions involved
which makes the thoughts in your MIND become REAL.
I've heard for years that when you're upset
you need to VENT or just "LET your anger out"
but neuroscience research does NOT support that statement.
In fact, it is quite the contrary.
Brain scans show that each time we repeat a hurtful
or negative situation in our MINDS
we make those connections stronger.
And....when we tell someone about it
(with the same intense feelings as the original altercation)
we are causing a reaction in our brain
that is almost identical
to the ACTUAL moment it occurred.
WOW... do I wish I could go back and get a "redo"
on some of the things I have told myself OVER and OVER and OVER.
That's why hatred builds,
and anxiety heightens.
With each repeating of the mental "STORY"
we are making the connections in our brain deep and strong.
Which is also exactly why GRATITUDE works.
Any thought repeated over and over again GROWS!
What thoughts are you repeating?
So.... if letting the negative feelings OUT
causes them to make lasting neurological connections.
What in the heck are we supposed to do
when we're hurting or feeling upset.
Data by leading neuroscience researcher
and best selling author of
Words Can Change Your Brain-Mark Robert Waldman,
and Dr. Andrew Newberg say that
"Expressing anger is destructive, but this doesn't mean
we should completely repress negative feelings.
That too can be quite damaging."
Research shows that one of the most constructive ways
to deal with unwanted emotions
is to BECOME AWARE OF THEM!
Though that may sound trivial,
it is also precisely what makes GRATITUDE work as well.
When we become consciously AWARE of our emotions- GOOD OR BAD,
we become the boss of them
rather than them being the boss of us.
Further research states that
NAMING your emotion is crucial to moving THROUGH it.
So... the next time you are AWARE of your negative feelings.
STOP, take a deep breath
and become aware of your sadness, anger, or guilt.
Say to yourself, "I am feeling hurt
because someone treated me as if I don't matter.
That makes me feel invisible and unimportant."
Instantly, by naming your emotion,
you have caused the brain to move into thinking mode
rather than emotional mode.
And... that is the key!
No one can think their best, or make the best choice in an emotional moment.
Then... take another deep breath
and let the "WHY" statement soak in,
because that is the source of your sadness-
the other person just set off the trigger.
Start today taking control of your Negative Thoughts
before they start making connections in your brain!
Staci is a one-of-a-kind mix of JOY and Neuroscience who is teaching people all over the world to BUILD a BETTER BRAIN by using Gratitude to create a BRIGHTER future. She has a Master's Degree in Educational NEUROSCIENCE and 25 years of teaching experience where she developed a reputation for being able to uncover potential in others like no one else could. Let her teach you how to live a HAPPIER Life by using the neuroscience of GRATITUDE to rewire your brain and build a better future!