Archive - May 2014

NeuroPositivity: On The Right Side Of History
The “Head Trip” Of Gratitude
Meaning Making & The NeuroPositive Brain
The Essence Of Growth & Resilience

NeuroPositivity: On The Right Side Of History

Negative events and our habit of worrying often seem so much more real and powerful in our mind.

For some, it’s the “ambient soundtrack” of their mind and brain.

What are you worrying about? How much anxiety do you experience?

How much THREAT do you feel OR how SAFE do you feel?

Right now your heart is beating in a way that is signaling to your body that you are feeling either safety or feeling threat. Which is it for you?

It is entirely possible to be in threat when there is no real threat at all; we just think the negative thoughts that put us in threat. In SAFETY your parasympathetic systems has you at rest, restoring you, healing you, building up your resilient reserves. In threat, your sympathetic system is arousing the hormones of defense and flight/ flight.

This is the choice: calm/connect or fight/flight? Which describes you?

Negative events create a larger variance from the norm.

They capture more of our attention because they create more “noise” by being greater departures from our real nature. They can move us into a State Of Mind of “threat” and a habit of “fight/flight.”

Our real nature, the neuropositive, is more even, more ongoing, more constant in its nature.

It’s the opposite of the noisy, banging, clanging effects of what is at variance with the neuropositive norm- the negative.

We think we are more negative because controlling it seems to bring greater and more immediate relief.

But the relief is always temporary, so long we believe that “where it’s at” is chasing down the negative variance, rather than increasing the neuropositive, heliotropic, light- seeking and life-giving tendencies that really are our truest, most aligned selves.

If you focus on the noise of the negative, you will increase your “hearing” of it.

So much so that when it is quiet, the quiet goes largely unnoticed, in the search for the cure of the noise.

Your brain can be caught up in that search.

The negative has us fooled.

We are seekers of light.

We have this choice that is heliotropic and growth oriented, or we can get confused and decide against it and block the growth.  However, “the block” is exactly that- an aberration away from what is given, from what is the truth, and that is the movement of the Mind directing the brain toward the positive, toward the light, toward truth, toward virtue, toward well-being. 

We are on the side of history that studies the heliotropic, neuropositive orientation of the Mind upon its servant, the brain.

We are traveling on this NeuroPositive, growth-evoking, light-seeking journey.

This shift to the knowledge and practice of NeuroPositivity is part of the shift of consciousness of the planet.

What is positive and good is everywhere, but it requires a lens.

That lens is to see what is negative as a departure from the rule, and not the rule that orders life and well-being.

What’s your lens?

Do you want to make yourself feel “threat” or “safety”?

It is not a requirement to exhaust the lens of the negative before you can pick up the neuropositive lens.

NeuroPositivity is a more educated choice.

It’s a choice in the direction of the nature of being itself, but to claim this lens, you may have to turn off the television, stop negative conversation and gossip, and generally be much more selective about what you take in.

We worry about so many things- our place in the check out line, the person who cuts us off in traffic, the motorcycle rider who thinks the broken line between cars is his special lane. Try this: let someone get ahead of you in the check out lane, imagine the person who cut you off in traffic has a pregnant wife ready to deliver, and pray that the 19 year old on the motorcycle gets home safely.

We can change our world of “threat” by changing our perceived notion that someone is getting ahead of us, by checking our own need to worry about getting behind, losing time, having to hurry, running out of time, not getting everything done and letting it go.

The right side of history is the way the river is flowing, and that is in the direction and with the force of NeuroPositivty: well-being, improved health, thriving relationships, a deeper sense of meaning and personal significance, and increasing longevity.

The “Head Trip” Of Gratitude

We teach gratitude as an experienced emotion and a NeuroPositive™ State Of Mind in our Emotional Gym.™

To be grounded in gratitude as a “feeling state,” as an experiential reality, not just a thought, an idea, or a cognitive “knowing,” is our goal.

Gratitude is not just a head trip.

The aim is to experience, to feel gratitude as a State Of Mind so entrenched that it becomes like a default setting or the ambient sound track of our mind -it just is and it grows.

It builds and strengthens the “positive emotional muscle” of the brain.

Gratitude is not just a good idea or a thought; it is a way of being in the world. It is a profoundly important State Of Mind.

All of us experience “dis-ease” of one kind or another, some worse than others. Every condition is an opportunity to use the discomfort as a cue to find something beautiful, to move in the direction of the “felt feelings” of gratitude, the think some grateful thought, to feel love toward someone.

Simply stated, we can learn to use the discomfort as a cue to find something that feels good.

The things I most enjoy I cannot buy or own. They are just there for the appreciating and experiencing. I am rich.

I look at the intricate miles of highway systems that I am minutes from being able to jump on to go just about anywhere, and I know that my taxes give me a piece of the ownership of the passages to places of enjoyment. I am rich.

I consider the things I enjoy: the coffee shops, the treasure hunts to consignments stores, the mountain climbs, the trails, the sunsets, and the feel of the air. And I know that I am rich.

I think of the friends I can reach by a phone call and find understanding, help, or a laugh, and I am rich.

I think of the inexhaustible resources of knowledge, fun, engagement, and pleasure that are all around me, and I am rich.

I have my mind and my consciousness, and I can create the emotional state I want to be in at any time. And I am rich.

The most important things I have, economic ups and downs cannot take from me, and I can only own these things by growing my “felt feelings” of gratitude and appreciation. I am rich.

The NeuroPositive Method™ isn't “change a thought-change your life.”

It's affective (emotion-based), and our focus is on affective interventions to most rapidly change neuropathic growth.

The limitation of cognitive-based interventions is that there is no guarantee that they will change affect (feeling), and a change in affect is where long-lasting change lies.

The primary tool is The Emotional Gym.™ We can change our experience of feeling safety or threat in life by changing a feeling first, an affective intervention.

Challenges of threat and the conscious decision to pivot to an experience of greater safety are cues to go to a feeling state, not a thought, not a cognitive affirmation, or a cognitive “I can think this away,” but to positive emotions, an affective intervention.

A cognitive intervention will work if there is an affective change first.

Otherwise, we just embark on a head-trip.  

On the pathways of your neurons, affect (feeling) takes the lead, and cognition yields the right of way.

Meaning Making & The NeuroPositive Brain

Your brain has an optimism bias, by the nature of your evolution.

You have a biological, genetic bias in your brain that moves you toward an UpSpiral.

The longer you live in an UpSpiral, the more you stay there and move up, instead of DownSpiraling. Learning to be constant in the higher states of an UpSpiral, you build your UpSpiral energy until you reach a tipping point, where you have trained your brain to cooperate with the optimistic bias, rather than to block it and to create some kind of disease or dread or stagnation in your life.

Yes, you can undo the optimistic bias of the genetics of your brain. You have the power to rewire your positively inclined brain to stagnate, be pessimistically biased, and as a result, the higher forms of structural unfolding in your brain, that are higher forms of creative reasoning and problem-solving, don’t unfold.

If you DownSpiral enough you become depressed. We have a national epidemic of DownSpiraling people.

Can we tell people to dream and to vision? Most certainly.  But these dreams and visions come from a process of learning to live in an UpSpiral, of learning and using strengths, and learning to live in a state of flow that affects the nature of what we image.

NeuroPositive™ is our trademark process aimed at the growth and strengthening of the neuropathways in your brain that enable you to be in an UpSpiral more of the time.

NeuroPositive™ is about growing a more positively biased, more hopeful, more creative, alive-to-life brain.

It is about the creation of higher and higher levels of aliveness and optimal performance.

It is about aliveness and health.

The NeuroPositive™ Method creates an UpSpiral, and it is in this UpSpiral that you are healthier, more creative, more likely to use your strengths, and better able to creatively know and assess your options.

One of the 7 steps of this method is goal-setting, what we call the “FuturePac.”

The issue that underlies the formation of goals is meaning-making.  How do we make meaning?  What are the constructs of meaning-making that provide a sense of personal significance.  These “meanings” are different at different times in our lives, so a knowledge of developmental issues is important.

There are stages in life with different kinds of meaning attached to them, related to getting one’s needs met, having relationships, a sense of personal power and self, and finally transcendence of some sort or another that represents the attempt to encounter “oneness.”

As important as stages of development are, what’s perhaps even more important are the transitions between them.  People who are solidly established in a stage of their development of meaning are not likely to seek coaching.  At least they are not as likely as someone whose life is blowing up and whose sense of meaning is disintegrating because they are in a transition between the stages of making sense of their life and their world. 

We need to know how people are making meaning before we believe that their goals are real representations of something that will give them any kind of lasting value, if they, in fact, don’t just fizzle and are ever accomplished.

We especially need to know if a person is going through a life transition that is causing them to question meaning in their lives before we agree to assist them in attempting to put great effort into pursuing goals that will be fleeting, in either accomplishing them or in feeling any sense of fulfillment in having done so.

The UpSpiral is the thriving, flourishing movement of your psychic energy used most efficiently.

It is your brain’s best anti-toxin. It creates integration and wholeness, and it links more and more neurons for the unfolding of higher structures of reasoning and problem-solving, leading to the creation of meaning, personal significance, and a set of goals which translate it all into action and manifestation.

NeuroPositive™ is the heliotropic, growth-seeking, life-seeking, creative, unfolding evolution of personal life.

The Essence Of Growth & Resilience

If you are sad, in a funk, dealing with loss, large or small, there is a space or a clue, if you will look, that moves you forward and leads you on.

It is the question of the next attachments in your life. It is a wondering that looks over the loss and asks, “Where is the opening? What can I make of this? What do I want to become in the midst of this and where do I want to go with this sadness?”

How can I stop and listen, notice, and be still and more attentive to what wants to grow?

Each of us has “TouchStones” stored in our brains that affect your energy level.  “TouchStones” are memories which are big reference points for our thoughts and feelings.

Negative memories are linear and they are managed by the left hemisphere.  The left hemisphere will give you whatever negative memory or collection of them you need to sustain isolating and playing it safe.  The left hemisphere will store your memories of a “door that closed” so that you don’t even consider where a new door could or even already has opened.

Negative memories and their patterns lose their power to create isolation and the host of other issues that comprise structures of blocked, negative energy by the way they are integrated by the right hemisphere.  There are over 100 billion neurons and thousands of connections that are at work here, either holding you back or moving you outward into a healthy exchange with the world around you.

A “TouchStone” can be a positive or negative anchor in our brains.  We tend to make much more use of negative TouchStones in our lives than we do of positive ones.  The left hemisphere of your brain will remember a “touchstone,” particularly a negative one, in a factual way that fits how you use it.  Your right hemisphere recalls a memory within a much larger context, and transforms negative energy into positive, open, and attachment-oriented energy.

How do you get a negative “TouchStone” of a memory that makes you angry or upset over into the right hemisphere so the memory can be healed?

First, make a list of the “TouchStone” memories in your life that you consider negative or that still feel negative.  Then ask one, solitary important question that you are willing to give some time to answering: “What was the good that came of this?” or “what is the good that can come of this?” Then allow your right hemisphere, which is connected to the “oneness” of your nature and to the Universe, to give you the answers.  There are always benefits to negative TouchStones if we are willing to allow the answers to emerge rather than to nurse old wounds.

Give as much energy and emotional play to these answers as you need to move them from the left hemisphere negative list of psychic energy-wasters to your right hemisphere “integrator” of experience.

This is the benefit. You unblock your psychic energy and you become freer and much more able to be in an UpSpiral, where you learn faster, are more creative, and “feel good.”  This increase in positive energy is a “lubricant” that allows your brain to function with greater ease and integrity.

The experience of sadness and loss is a process. Life is a process, and we are also the author of our processes of attachment in life that creates, unfolds, and allows the process of life to evolve.  If we demand that our lives remain fixed, and the possessions, plans, and lives of those to whom we are attached remain constant, we become fixated in a way that turns against the emerging health and growth of our bodies and minds. It is a significant root cause of what makes us ill.

We are made for attachment, and because of that we are often detaching to evolve and move on, even when it seems to make no sense.

Religious practices of detachment from the senses and detachment from expectations can be an important discipline when we are attached to things that will not come through for us– things that will not supply what they seem to promise.

But don’t get caught up in “detaching” from life.

Attachment to the space that occurs in suffering and loss, and attachment to what can come from tragedy, is the process of the ongoing evolution of life.

And our very health, vitality, and resilience in this life depend upon it.

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute