Changing your mind can sometimes be difficult. It requires the capacity to see things from a perspective that opens to the possibility that there may be more than one way to see a situation past or present. However, making the time and space to free yourself from ongoing negative thoughts related to anxiety, depression, and fear leads to greater wellness and well-being.
Recently, the groundbreaking research of Dr. Daniel G. Amen, MD that proves you can change the quality of your life by improving the functioning of your brain has been included into Resonance Repatterning®. In his book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, he suggests that there is a tendency in life to move into what he terms, ANT’s, or Automatic Negative Thoughts. These ANT’s affect how your body responds to light, assimilates energy, controls neurotransmitters activated, and affects the communication between all the systems of the body. In fact, heart rate changes, breath becomes more shallow, blood pressure goes up and you access less of your problem-solving brain when you are in the rut with negative thoughts.
Thoughts are very powerful. They can make your mind and your body feel good or they can make you feel bad. Every cell in your body is affected by every thought you have. ~ Dr. Daniel G. Amen, MD
Beginning to Changing the Way You Think
Dr. Amen suggests that one of the ways to begin making the shift from the view of what you think is true, is to notice how you are reinforcing the view that you are keeping. Does your view keep you focusing on the negative, making it seem that it is someone else who is at fault, and keep you feeling as though you have no power to change the situation? Does your perception of a situation keep you in a worry cycle or make you feel guilty? Does your view limit your potential to see beyond what you think is obvious by labeling the situation or person based on what has happened in your life in the past? Are you seeing through the lens of “all or nothing”?
Getting stuck in the past through holding on to emotional pain, being stuck in a current situation or relationship that creates great stress, or fearing the possible future through extreme worry keeps the gerbil wheel of fight, flight or stuck in place. By looking at your beliefs about a situation or relationship more closely, you can open the doorway to new possibilities and solutions. This leads to an expanded sense of well-being, freedom and opportunity for feeling better.
Another way to view your thoughts comes from the work of Byron Katie who encourages people to ask themselves four questions when they become aware of ongoing or repetitive negative thoughts.
- Is it true? (Is the stressful or negative thought true?)
- Can I absolutely know that it is true?
- How do I react when I believe that thought?
- Who would I be without the thought? Or how would I feel if I didn’t have the thought?
When complete with this first round of questions, she then asks that you take the opposite of the negative thought that is causing you distress, and ask yourself, “Is this thought not true, or is it even more true?” With this information gathered, the next step is to ask yourself how the opposite of the thought applies to yourself and if another person is involved, how does the opposite apply to them also?
It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves. ~Carl Jung
The Institute of Heartmath works with creating greater coherence between the heart, brain and body. When you are stressed out, angry, upset, or feel like you are at a loss for next steps, you lose access to all of your whole brain capacity for thinking. In fact, when you are upset you are more likely to be coming from your emotional brain. When scared you are likely to be coming from your fight-or-flight brain. You lose access to your thinking and problem solving capacity.
Focusing on breathing into your heart and anchoring an image of gratitude, joy, love or compassion within helps you to move back up the brain stem so that you can get access to your full functioning. Through this simple process, the Barr System is activated which expands both the electromagnetic field of the heart and brain. With this in place, the systems of the body entrain, and problem-solving improves.
Listen to the following recording to try a process that comes from this meditation practice for problem-solving when you feel stuck: http://kimberlyrex.audioacrobat.com/download/windowstotheheartmodality.mp3
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