Archive - August 2017

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Thoughts, Feelings, Sleep
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Looking for “Like Minded” Friends?
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UpSpiral, DownSpiral?…

Thoughts, Feelings, Sleep

What’s the connection?

Think about this.

With every thought and feeling, you are affirming something.

What you affirm, what you think and feel,  add up neuron by neuron into the neuropathways of the brain that become an ambient mood than leans in the direction of a way of believing and thinking.

It is not as though we base our thoughts on facts; to the contrary, that is seldom the case unless make that our intention.

Every thought and feeling is affirming something that is a building block upon which you are building your predisposition to mood and thought.

What are you affirming throughout the day?

What is your mood, what are your feelings, what are you thinking?

In our Emotional Gym, you learn to “lift” the weight of a positive emotion.

You start small and then make the feeling heavier, weightier. You can learn to get there in instant, you can learn to nurse a positive feeling in the same way you nurse a negative one, and then you can intensify those feelings.

What are you affirming as you think and feel?

Why feelings and not thoughts?

We think our thoughts are all powerful, but they are very often simply the expressions of patterns of “used to” feelings that have originated in the oldest part of the brain, the amygdala.

There we have learned to associate and feel almost instantaneously the feelings we so subtly and usually feel, that we don’t even know they are driving our moods, our anxieties, and our ups and downs.

And in case you’re skeptical about these thought and feeling patterns you’re creating every day, here’s the research on sleep that you need to know.

You need an average of 7-9 hours of sleep every night.

This gives the brain an opportunity to flush out the “clutter” that builds up, like protein plaques and beta amyloid tangles, through an ingenious disposal mechanism called the glymphatic system.

Over the long term, that can buffer you against cognitive decline, dementia, even Alzheimer’s.

What you think and feel, what you habitually “affirm” during your day, MATTERS.

What are you affirming as you enter into sleep?

© Dr. William K. Larkin

Looking for “Like Minded” Friends?

Think again.

Maturity is primarily characterized by mutuality.

Mutuality is the capacity to accurately see and know another person as they are without projecting yourself onto them.

We call this self/other differentiation.

The clearer I see you, the healthier will be my response to you.

The cloudier I see you, based upon my own projection, the more off-base will be my communications with you.

When you are trapped in tight, closed ways of thinking, you have to see others as you need to see them, not as they are.

Consequently you can never really connect with them, or them with you, because you would have to change how you think and know your world to be.

Most people are full of ideas of how other people should be and how they should or should not act.

The crunch comes when you get bent out of shape because others are not acting or being in ways that you think are essential to their relating to you.

Some even talk of wanting to be surrounded by “like-minded” people.

Good luck with that.

If you’re experiencing a shortage of like-minded people in your world, or your like-minded people are just not behaving like you think they should, chances are you’re the problem –at least you’re not in the solution.

Chances are you are walking away from your strengths, or can’t even connect with them.

You’re living in an a more pervasive experience of what’s not working, seeing it even as more a permanent part of you, than temporary and limited in nature.

How permanent and pervasive can you make the good things in you? In your life?

Are you holding on more tightly to your worldview, and your consequent view of others, whether it works or not?

How is that an expression of your UpSpiral, your Emotional Scale, the range of your optimism, or the pervasiveness of your focus on what’s missing or not working?

The more you do try and hold on, even cling, to your view of how others should be, the more others behave less and less like you think they should.

These “others” also have the complete and utter nerve to suggest that you might be the problem, or they just outright tell you that you’re the problem.

Of course, you know that you’re not.

These “others” become more and more wrong, and you hold more and more rigidly to the idea of being right rather than being happy.

Happy with that, are you?

© Dr. William K. Larkin

 

UpSpiral, DownSpiral?…

Or Somewhere In Between?

There are times when we are aware that “this or that” caused the emotions we feel. And very often we are sure that “someone” else caused us to feel like we feel.

While we are the cause of our emotions, it is just as true that long existing emotional patterns are hard to control. Memories that are implicit, or prior to our actually remembering, cause deep-seated emotional reactions.

However, the answer to managing emotions may be much easier than we expected. Instead of undoing negative emotions and their patterns, we are going to focus here only on building positive emotions.

We do not ignore negative emotions, but we just don’t choose to live there.

Here what we do choose is to reverse the cause and effect of positive emotions.

We treat positive emotions as though they are the rewards or the outcomes of living in some sort of way.

Something will make us grateful, an event will give us joy, a relationship will give us love, a goal will give us hope, and a pill will give us some peace.

Positive emotions are treated as though they are the results of things on the outside, happening to us in a certain kind of way, and when the stars line up, or our problems get solved, or people line up in a certain way, then the result will be our joy or our gratitude.

Positive emotions are often results oriented, and we get to have them when something happens on the outside of us that creates that response in us.

What underlies all of this is that you have to have a reason to feel positive emotions, and that reason is almost always on the outside of us.

Outside events can be very significant and some are very negatively impacting. That’s true, some are, but all of them are not.

And even for those that are, you will learn that managing your emotional responses and building up a reservoir will make you much more capable of handling outside events.

The key to being able to do this really lies in where you spend the majority of your time– in an UpSpiral or a DownSpiral, or waffling back and forth in between the two.

Learning to live in an UpSpiral of positivity greatly enhances your ability to experience positivity, and positive emotions greatly increase the probability that you will play less to outside events as the “cause” of your feelings. Life in the UpSpiral also gives you the fullest access to your strengths.

In an UpSpiral, there is a much greater probability that you will feel the positive emotions that you choose to feel.

© Dr. William K. Larkin

 

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute