Negative velcro thoughts


According to a recent podcast by neuro-psychologist and best-selling author Dr Rick Hanson, neuroscience has used brain scans to discover how certain thoughts attach themselves to our brains.

Hanson says negative thoughts get into our brains and stay there like Velcro. Negative, gossipy, sulky thoughts are sucked into our brain as if by a magnet and we subconsciously mull over them far more than we'd like to admit.

A harsh word in a meeting gets our back up. Our brains readily soak up the angry, violent and unjust things around us.

We might get a week of emails and one is negative, but it's that one we remember. It clings onto our brain like a monkey clings to its mother. We wrestle with these thoughts at night; we toss and turn thinking about what we should have said.

The science says people who like to worry, complain, or gossip are simply living out of what has attached itself to their brains the most.

Those same neuroscientists say the opposite of Velcro is true when it comes to positive thoughts. We walk past an inspiring piece of art, we get a compliment, we view a sunset, and the next day we can barely remember it. The scientists say positive, life-affirming and beautiful things don't stick to our brains like Velcro, they are more like Teflon. Positive thoughts slide in one ear and out the other.

That is unless—and here's the tough part—we decide to actively meditate on those positive thoughts for longer than 15 seconds. When we reminisce, when we contemplate goodness and say thanks, when we remember the positive, the good starts to embed in our brains.

The Bible said it first: "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. ... Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." (Philippians 4:6-8)

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