Imagine for a moment entering a pitch black dark room. If the first thing we see is a beautiful doll that looks like a lovely fairy, we’d likely feel more secure in the darkness. On the other hand, if the first thing we see is a broken doll or a creepy clown…it’s quite likely we’d feel anxious or scared and start worrying how & when we’re going to get out.
In either situation, nothing positive or negative has happened. But our minds shifted focus and began forming opinions—relaxing or getting defensive.
Our brains work by going to vast libraries of memories—real or imagined. The more vivid the memory, the more likely we are to recall it. Suppressing thoughts doesn’t work. In fact there’s plenty of research confirming if we’re told to try to forget something, we’re actually twice as likely to think about it. A great example is when we’re in a public place and someone says: Don’t look now…but…” And what happens? We look! This same response is exactly what happens when we tell ourselves we have to go to sleep or we have to stop thinking about something.
So what do we do? In a slight continuation of an ongoing theme: Find & Focus on the positives. By focusing on what we like, in ourselves, others, or a situation, we are shifting our focus. We aren’t pretending to like traits, behaviors, someone or denying our feelings about a situation. Nor am I suggesting we repress or try to ignore anything that is bothering us because trying to suppress a thought or feeling is like trying to cool a pot of water over a flame—when what we really need to do is turn down the temperature. Instead, the idea is that we shift the focus to try to find something positive about the situation or person. We can choose to be the Ruler of our mental domains by shifting our focus to noticing what we do like. And, here’s a parting thought: At this stage of life, if you’re not the Ruler of your thoughts, who is?
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