5 Mental Fitness Discoveries to Change Your Life copyright 2008 Sandy R. Lawrence
We can choose to affect our hard-wired physiology and be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
- Your mind is never neutral, it's always thinking.
- Your mind can't think on two opposed things at once.
- If you don't set your mind on something, it will default to thinking about something else.
- Emotions and actions follow your thoughts.
- Negatism and replaying negative events reinforces problems.
Your mind is never neutral -#1 Many brain studies show that we speak at a rate of 200 to 300 words per minute, yet our thoughts zoom (consciously and unconciously) at thousands of words per minute.
Your mind can't think on two opposed things at once-#2
Functioning MRI's and neuroscientic studies show that when your brain's left pre-frontal cortex, the part that generates contentment is active, it suppresses the right pre-frontal cortex that controls resentment and anger. Left pre-frontal cortex thinking enables us to feel more connected, more optimistic, hopeful, joyful, and energetic. See work by Dr. Richard Davidson, M.D. et al.
If you don't set your mind on something, it defaults to thinking about something else - # 3 (see point #1)
Emotions and actions follow thoughts - #4 (see point #2 and point #5)
Negatism and replaying negative events reinforces and makes problems worse - #5
Experts in the field of Positive Psychology, Barbara Frederickson and Marcial Losada, explain that when we focus on positive thoughts and experiences, we push back the negative tide of emotions and increase the likelihood of positive action. Frederickson, B. L., Losada, M. F., (2005). Positive Affect and the Complex Dynamics of Human Flourishing. American Psychologist, Vol. 60, No. 7, pp. 678-686.
Their research reveals that positive impressions widen the array of thoughts and actions facilitated (such as behavioral flexibility). Whereas negative emotions tend to narrow someone’s behavior to minimal life-preservation actions, such as inaction about a situation, or remaining in what is “comfortable” even if the situation is not beneficial or healthy.
In one of their experiments, a 28-day study, 188 participants provided daily reports of positive and negative sentiments or attitudes they experienced. Losada was able to calculate what is known as the “tipping point,” the mean ratio of positive to negative influences as being 2.9013. This is known as the Losada Line.
So, in order to overcome the toxicity of negative influences and to promote your own flourishing, make sure your positive thoughts outnumber negative ones by 3:1.
If you'd like to work with a coach or trainer who can translate these principles into practical and easy to apply disciplines for work and life success, please email me.