Wellness | Why our mind focuses on the negative, and how we can shift this mindset simply
Our brains our complex and very clever little devices, now in the times of Social media and Smart phones we are bombarded with so much information every second of every day our brain has to filter most of it out, can you imagine if we consciously processed every single thing we saw and heard in a day ??.
Our brains naturally have a way to ensure we see what’s important to us, this is called selective attention, meaning when it comes across something that is important to us , we will consciously notice it, and the rest of the things that aren’t as relevant or hold any importance are left in the background. Have you ever been at work meeting while someone drones on about something totally un important or relevant to you , and you start to think about what to cook the kids for dinner ? whether you picked up your prescription and next minute it’s the end of the meeting and you have totally zoned out and paid zero attention ? Well your brain knew this wasn’t important to you, so it gave you something important to think about instead.
So how does our brain know what is important? ...this is value tagging!!!
When we use tools such as visions boards , journaling and goal setting we are basically priming our brain to know what is important to us , the more you look, see and hear something the higher they are value tagged within your brain meaning that when your processing the hordes of information around us each day the things value tagged the highest i.e. the things we see, hear , talk about the most , these are the things that we will notice primarily .
So, your children (highest rank of importance) and what they eat trumps boring Dave form finance.
So why do I focus on the negative?
Now. let’s talk negativity in this theory, your brain is primed by you, what’s going on around you, what you talk about and what you think of most. If you find yourself always focusing on the negative, talking about the things in life that you don’t have , the things you didn’t achieve and the things that went wrong , what do you think your brain is going to highlight throughout the day ?? All the negatives it can find, the good things and positives are there but YOU have value tagged the negative things as the highest possible importance, so your brain by-passes the positive stuff as unimportant.
How to shift this mindset?
So if we wage war on this negative thoughts we can float around in a positive stupor for the rest of our days ??
Nope , this is so not needed , its super unrealistic, and not really healthy . It's ok to feel your feelings m we are not trying to eradicate ever feeling them ever again, but what we can do is shift the focus, so we aren't always so focused on the negative.
What we need to do now is re-train our brains, we need to begin to focus on the positives, the things that bring joy and the things we want in life. We need to value those things as the most important things to us, and it's not that hard to do . We can use things like:
- Vision boards
- Screen savers on our phones
- Positive affirmations
- Goal Setting
- Gratitude lists
and loads more of simple things to re-focus our minds and begin value tagging the things in life that really mean the most and bring us the most joy.
If you would love to learn more about quitting negative self-talk and discovering the life you've always wanted, you can pick up a copy of Clinical psychologist Andrea Bonio latest book Detox Your Thoughts
Stacey - Founder of Planthaya . A wellness lover and previous mindset coach.