De-clutter the Brain
March saw an interesting awareness day “Old Stuff Day”. Were you aware of that day and how has your March been? “Old Stuff Day” is a day to sort, sift, organise, and de-clutter our environments. But what about the environment that lives inside of us? Are we aware that there is another environment that needs a good clear out from time to time? Our brains!
Did you know that the average human brain thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day? That is a lot of thinking! Those thoughts can be neutral, optimistic or pessimistic. It’s interesting to notice the default patterns of how we think.
You know the old classic, whether the glass is half-empty, or half full? Which way does YOUR thought pattern lean? If you lean towards the more pessimistic side, then it is likely that your brain could do with a de-clutter. Negative thoughts that hang around in our system can, like weeds, grow and begin to take over our world. If we are not careful, we could end up with the weeds overtaking the garden of our mind. This can result in a vicious cycle of negative thinking, promoting negative behaviour, which attracts negative experience. Then reinforcing the negative aspects of life, and so on and so forth.
The brain is divided – essentially into two parts, an emotionally primitive part and a logical intellectual part. The primitive part, which is the original part of the brain from primitive times, is responsible for keeping us safe, protected, and alive. It wants to check things out for safety and security.
It is the mid-brain that our primitive ancestors used mostly to survive in the threatening conditions that they lived. However, although we do not live in caves any more with sabre-tooth predators at our door, we still have this part of our brain to protect us from modern-day threats. This part of our brain is always negative, and it has to be this way to ensure our safety, so you can now see if our thoughts hang around in this part longer than necessary, this can cloud our optimism and better judgment.
We need to learn to live our lives and manage our thoughts from the intellectual part of our brain. When we master this skill, we can see the positive aspects of ourselves and our environment. We have balance, feelings of clarity and calm, and know and understand our personal strengths and internal resources that help us navigate our way through life with a solution-focused and relaxed approach.
So, how do we control how we think and make the switchover – from worst-case scenario pessimism into the positive side of optimism and solution-focused thinking?
Well, it’s simple! It’s just a recognition about which part of the brain your thoughts are being filtered through. For example, if you experience a problem, and you immediately come up with the worst-case scenario, or have a doom-and-gloom approach to it, then you are surely in the grips of the emotionally primitive mind, and you will struggle to find a resolution. However, if the same problem occurs, but you are thinking with your intellectual mind, you will have a much better perspective, gain facts, find solutions or resources and get the problem sorted out in a calm and relaxed way.
Knowing how to identify which way your thought process leans is something that Solution Focused Hypnotherapy teaches you. We, as humans need to find our own way into our intellectual minds. We simply do this by learning how to de-clutter those thoughts and relax.
Positive thinking isn’t just a soft and fluffy feel-good term. Yes, it’s great to simply “be happy”, but those moments of happiness are also crucial for de-cluttering your mind to be able to explore and build the positive skills that are valuable in all areas of your life.