The brain is like Velcro for negativity and Teflon for positivity

June 24, 2015

These words by Dr. Rick Hanson (psychologist, author, mindfulness teacher) changed my outlook on life today.

For some reason, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.
I had at least three nightmares where I hopped outta bed scared that there were snakes & worms in my bed. It just kept happening over and over like groundhog’s day. And I was convinced there were reptiles everywhere.

Once awake, I forgot about these dreams. And had a morning full of irritation, annoyance, lethargy, low mood, depressive negative thoughts.

And to make matters worse, its a dark and gloomy day here in Chicago.

So, I turned to one of my daily practices of writing in my journal. Morning pages. Doing some CBT reframing of my negative thoughts.

And I was surfing thru my podcast app, looking to find something to listen to. I ran into The One You Feed with Rick Hanson as guest. I didn’t listen but skimmed the description.

This led me to an article written by him about the brain’s propensity towards the negative. Our brains naturally will go towards the negative things in life unless we create daily practices to focus on the positive. That’s just the way our brain works. Nothing we can do about it except work hard to lean positive.

And finally, I bought two of his books on changing the brain with thoughts. All of which made me feel better.

Dr. Hanson says that positive thoughts/emotions/feelings/memories are like water passing thru a sieve. It passes thru easily and doesn’t stick around. Negativity is like big ass rocks that get collected.

I keep remembering and forgetting these lessons. Fuck!
So I’m writing this post sharing these things with you, hoping that I will remember it in the future also!

Being positive is a daily motherfuckin’ practice.
The only other option is to let the god damn weeds take over the garden.
Sucks, right? But at least we have the power to do something about it.

Two Wolves fighting in our mind – Native American parable
Dr. Rick Hanson (audio interview) – The One You Feed
How the brain takes criticism (article)
Just One Thing (book) – Dr. Rick Hanson, daily practices to help brain be positive
Hardwiring Happiness (book) – Dr. Rick Hanson