Thoughts change brain chemistry. Our thoughts affect our neurotransmitters on a daily basis. For example, if we walk past an aggressive barking dog, we think “threat”, and the brain releases norepinephrine. As a result, we become tense, alert, develop sweaty palms, and our heart beats faster. What we ‘think’ about a situation, creates our feelings. Much of the time, these reactions occur unconsciously; we live our lives reacting to events and situations, creating thoughts so quickly that we cannot even see them form. We are a product of our chemicals, reacting to our unconscious programming, that is, until we learn to see our thoughts, and consciously change how we think.
The brain works like a huge database. As we go through our daily lives, we are unconsciously, referencing the past all the time. This database formed during the conditioning of our early years, through our conditioned beliefs, experiences and perceptions about the world, and ourselves. If we grew up to think negative thoughts, to perceive the world as a negative place, a overwhelming place to fear, our unconscious mind will continue to react to life from a state of negativity, until something happens to make us change our beliefs and perceptions about life, and to see the world, and ourselves, through a more positive and lighter perspective.
If we have a negative database, when we are about to embark on a new business venture, and as we think about the challenges that lie ahead, the potential threats or failures, we reference all of our related threats and failures from the past, and feed our fear of future threat and failure, which serves only to impede progress and generate negative thoughts and feelings. When attend a dinner party, with a new group of people, and it reminds us of being in a similar situation at a new school, perhaps where we were bullied, we automatically reference our past experience, and experience it as our reality in the present.
While we live, reacting to life in this way, referencing a negative past, while unaware of what we are really thinking, we shall remain as a victim to our minds, and be susceptible to negative thinking and the resulting feelings. However, it is possible to develop awareness of the thoughts we are having, in response to life, and to choose to change our thoughts, and thus, our brain chemistry, which will then enable us to feel happier, calmer and more in charge of our lives.
At the dinner party, when our thoughts reference the past, we can choose to tell ourselves, ‘These thoughts are just my programming, they are not the truth. I choose to see this situation in a positive light; I am about to make new friends and potential business contacts. This could be a fun and eventful evening’. With these thoughts, we create the chemicals that generate positive feelings, and we have a good time. When facing the fear of a new business venture, we can choose to think; ‘This is an exciting time, I am building the foundations for a business that I am passionate about, and I have every faith in my ability to create successes. With these thoughts, we generate the energy and feelings needed to spur us forwards.
Learning to observe our thoughts does take some practice, and there are various developmental methods. Meditation is a common one, and a good one, for those who suite this method. I do not, and so I found another way. It was founded on observing my feelings, in response to events that made me anxious, afraid, angry or self-defeating, and to use feelings as guide to help me see my thoughts. With time and practice, every day, often many times a day, I learnt to see the thoughts that trigger how I feel. Being able to ‘see’, developing this mindful awareness, is the first step in mastering the mind. Once we can see our thoughts, as an outside observer, we can begin to change them, to support our chosen objective, be it an external objective, or inner peace and happiness.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact:
Antonia Behan –Personal and Professional Development.
Tel: 00350 54 02 77 56 email@example.com www.antoniabehan.com
Sessions available in Ocean Village, Gibraltar, and Pueblo Nuevo, near Sotogrande, Spain.