Jan 26, 2017

How Negative Thoughts Trump Positive

You’ve experienced it many times. You’re having a great day. The sun is out, you’re with those you love, the food is phenomenal and then it happens. Something negative. Nothing earth-shattering, but enough to make it feel like the whole day has been ruined. How does that happen? How does the human mind and body go from a state of happiness and elation to anger or sadness so quickly?

We were built to survive

Everything about humans points to creating the ability to survive. Here are a few examples:
We were born with only two fears. Fear of heights and fear of loud sounds. Anthropologists believe we were born with these fears to survive at a time when the earth was a much scarier place. There were wild animals roaming about freely and could easily attack at any moment, so, when our ancestors heard their roar, they knew they had better run and run fast, possibly escaping to the trees. The fear of heights caused our ancestors to be careful when they in those trees. These two fears allowed our ancestors to survive. All of the rest of the fears we may have are artificially created in our minds.

50 trillion cells. That’s approximately how many cells it takes to make a human. Each cell creates a kind of microcosm within itself. Yet, cellular biologists have discovered that all 50 trillion cells work together to keep the whole organism alive. Even our beliefs and thoughts interact with the 50 trillion cells through vibrations and frequencies so that no part of us is left out of the survival mechanism. We are made to find ways to survive and thrive.

So, then, how is it that when we have the choice between negative thoughts and positive thoughts, we tend to go with the negative? This, too, is a survival mechanism.

Fear and negativity have a stronger impact

When neuroscientists measure the impact of thoughts on the mind and body, the negative have a much more profound neurological impact than the positive because the negative thoughts are sending threat/fear signals to the brain. “Something is trying to hurt you in some way, so get ready to fight or flee”, is the underlying message. The response will be commensurate to the perceived threat or fear and here’s what happens; The neuropathways of a negative thought fire more frequently, more intensely, and more powerfully. The chemicals released are Adrenaline, Cortisol, and Norepinephrine. Adrenaline increase your heart rate, gives you a surge of energy, and focuses your attention. Norepinephrine makes you more aware, awake, focused and shifts blood flow away from areas where it might not be so crucial, like the strategic parts of your brain. Cortisol helps to maintain fluid balance and blood pressure while regulating some body functions that aren’t crucial in the moment, like reproductive drive, immunity, digestion and growth.

You would think that people would avoid negative thinking because when those chemicals are being released on the human body on a regular and consistent basis they cause a lot of damage, including dis-ease. But, we get addicted to the “rush” and the overwhelming impact of the sensations we receive. Also, the human mind is always looking for “What’s next?” This can be good, neutral, or bad, depending on what is happening currently. If you’re lying on the beach and the “What’s next?” is a cool, refreshing wave of ocean water washing upon you, that’s great! If you’re lying on the beach and the “What’s next?” is a shark biting your foot, that horrifying! And, there go those heightened chemicals releasing into your body!

Can negative thinking be managed?

Since negative thinking is based on beliefs and thoughts that sense threat and fear, then it’s logical that positive thinking can be enabled when the person feels safe and secure. Is that fair to say? So, the more a person feels safe and secure in all facets of life, the more they will be positive. More than anyplace else I have seen this to be true is feeling safe and secure in knowing your Core Identity. I’ve written on this topic many times, so I won’t go into detail here. What I will say is that knowing your Core Identity gives you inward stability so that no matter what is happening externally, you are like an anchor that’s firmly secured. You may know people like that and you’ve definitely seen or heard of people like that. The first person that comes to my mind is Viktor Frankl, the author of the book, Man’s Search for Meaning. Frankl survived the worst Nazi concentration camps during WWII and came out stronger than when he went in to them. Most others perished. One of Frankl’s most famous quotes is, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

So, the next time you find yourself thinking negatively, ask yourself, “What is causing me to feel threatened and fearful?” You’ll find most of the time the threat and fear aren’t real, that they are imagined from your own mind. And, this is wonderful! Why? Because just as easily as you imagined feeling threatened and full of fear, you can trump those thoughts and imagine being safe and secure, just a Frankl said!

Change you thoughts. Change your life…quickly!

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+++++++++++++++About Dr. Edward Lewellen++++++++++++++++++++

Dr. Edward Lewellen an expert in creating methodologies for people to learn to use their mind; their beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors, and put them back in control of their lives and become top-producers. He is a Master Executive Coach, leadership and sales expert, and keynote speaker for some of the largest global organizations.

Author of The 90-Second Mind Manager