There are many people in the world with amazing, magical qualities. I have my own, very special magical gift. I can, for a seemingly endless amount of time, re-play a bad experience over and over in my head . . .
I Gotta Grudge
It's almost like a loop tape, screening the same bad memory. Repeatedly. And as an added bonus, I replay what I would have said if I only had been on top of my game. Me, at my pithy best, telling who ever, in all my articulate glory, just how wrong they were, how offended I was, how bad they behaved or whatever.
I can easily do this daily. I'm magical like that.
Of course, I never replay the really wonderful events. Like the fabulous fruit salad I had at the wonderful party at Aunt Betty's. And me, assuring her in all sincerity it was the best fruit salad I'd ever had, and how the warmth and love in her home was filling me with such joy. Do I replay that conversation over and over? Do I imagine Aunt Betty's headstone carved with the words "Best Fruit Salad in the World" and "So Loved By Niece Kimberly"?
Never. Not once.
And folks, therein lays the problem.
Why, oh why do we do this? Hang onto the bad stuff and sweep joy under the rug like yesterday's crumbs. Are we just a bunch of angry ingrates running around looking for the next grudge to hold?
Nope. Turns out we're programmed this way. It's science.
Find Lunch, Don't Be Lunch
It has to do with our brain.
Long ago, think cave man days, it was very important that THE BAD THINGS registered higher on our radar. Screw up once and you're lunch. No second chances.
We're programmed to really register negative consequences, it's just how we're wired. Your emotions run high, your stress hormones start pumping out, every fiber of your being is on high alert, heart pounding -- and it's just a co-worker being a jerk. No lion in sight.
Nice events like Aunt Betty's fruit salad, a warm shower, coffee with a friend, are all pleasant but they just don't register the same intense emotions that a negative experience can. Our brain really is biased to 'fire up and wire up' the negative experiences, leaving the positive ones lonely and single with no one to cling to.
Hook Up Those Happy Thoughts
The good news is that you can be your own neuron dating service and work to even out the bias in your brain. You can use your mind to retrain your brain by programming in positive experiences with higher emotional impact. Hook those babies up yourself.
It's easy. Fat Free. No prescription required.
Just follow these easy steps:
- Focus on a pleasant experience, either past or present.
- Hold the feeling of that experience in your mind and notice how you enjoyed it. Let the good feeling fill your mind and your body. Notice how it impacted you and look for something fresh and relevant in the event.
- Absorb the experience into your body. Feel the happiness and joy, the positive emotions filling you up. Really get those neurons firing together in a hot little dance. Spread the feeling to your entire body. Hold that sensation for several seconds or more.
Whew! Doesn't that feel great??
Do this a couple times a day and people will wonder what you're up to. If they ask, just tell them you've been wiring neurons, then change the topic. Ha!
You've just begun the process of using your mind to train your brain to slant towards happiness. Good work and keep it up. Happy rewiring!
Kimberly blogs at FiftyJewels.com where she encourages people to use their powers for good. Stop by for free tools to help you increase Gratitude and Happiness in your life.