So many of us beat ourselves up for focusing on negative things in our lives. Well, let me just say that there are reasons you find it easier to focus on the negative, and once we realize what’s happening, it’s going to be a heck of a lot easier for us to be compassionate with ourselves and shift to positive thoughts.
We are still primal: Yes, we are evolved and amazing humans, but even though we are the smartest, fastest super computers of all time, we still have that basic operating system. Deep down, we have been wired with primal instincts and although we have moved away from the need for some of those, they still exist as a part of us.
Have you ever touched a hot burner? If you have, it probably didn’t feel very good. When it happened, without you even thinking about it, your brain made a pathway that said “touching a hot burner is bad” and you probably haven’t done it (at least on purpose) again. Well, when we go through things in our life that hurt – physically and emotionally – our brain makes a special note to remember those things because it’s trying to protect us from making the same mistake twice.
During an argument one night, my husband asked me why I remember every negative thing that has happened in our marriage, but can’t always recall the positive moments. I had no idea at the time and thought that I must be the most horrible person ever, but it turns out…it’s part of our most primal make up! We are coded to remember what hurts and once we know that, we can use our mindfulness to find a balance and shift to a more positive mindset.
Finding a mindful balance: For the reasons I explained above, it’s so important to have a mindfulness practice. Without it, we can often feel overwhelmed by the hurtful things that have happened in our lives and succumb to a victim’s mindset. But…once we realize we have the power to change the way we see the world, we can shift our thoughts to more positive ones and attract more positive outcomes. Here’s some things that might help:
Really look for balance: Yes, it’s easy to see the hurtful stuff, but what did you learn from that experience? What you went through probably added to the depth of who you are and most likely you are a stronger and more compassionate person because of it. Literally look at the bright side.
Affirmations: When we create a pathway of “knowing” in the brain, changing our own mind can be difficult. It’s like trying to create a new sledding path when everyone else is enjoying the already established one. It would be easy to just jump on board with everyone else, and sometimes it feels frustrating creating something new, but once you do it you have it all to yourself. Imagine how nice that would be! Affirmations, said or journaled over and over, can help us change our mind, create a new pathway and break out of old patterns and paradigms. Some of my favorites are: “My body is healthy and strong.” “I am open to receiving wealth and abundance.” “I am loved, precious and a child of God.” There are so many to choose from – you do you.
Self-Explore: Self exploration is the key to awareness and awareness breaks us free from what I lovingly refer to as the Matrix. What I mean by the Matrix is mindless day to day robotic living without question. Be curious, notice your triggers, be aware of what brings you joy and then do more of that. Find out more about yourself every day and begin thinking and acting as if you are choosing the way you live your life instead of just moving through it. Having a relationship with yourself, finding self awareness and practicing self-love are huge ways to shift to more positive thinking and a more fulfilling life! Embracing our primal side can actually help us be more mindful. Give it a try <3