Following on from talking about how important it is to speak only words of love to ourselves, about ourselves and within ourselves, I am going to discuss a little more from a spiritual perspective and a psychological perspective on how looking for and recognizing the positives greatly affect our lives.
Three years ago I began studying a short course at University about the basics of psychology. I came alive studying that specific module and found that I became more and more fascinated with how our mind works and how our thinking, and our perceptions affect our lives. I learnt a lot about how our memory works and how we come to recognize things and sort them mentally into groups. I won’t go too deeply into this as this will be a whole other blog tutorial at a later date. But how we use our memory and our perceptions is what shapes our thoughts and feelings about things, people, situations thus impacting upon our lives.
I learnt so much about how we CAN re-train our brain this re-programming our negative mindsets so that we become much happier and healthier human beings. Richard Davidson et al (2002) ran research studies that showed the difference between happy and unhappy brains and how it linked to our levels of happiness. By having a happy brain, by thinking positive and loving thoughts about ourselves and to ourselves we can increase our levels of happiness in life. Richard Davidson used a EEG machine (Electroencephalograph) to measure which parts of our brains are active with happy thoughts, and which parts are active when we think negatively. He found that when we tend to think more happy thoughts and are feeling happy we have more activity in the front left side of our brain, and when we are feeling more negative and thinking unhappy thoughts, the front right side of our brain is active.
Other ways in which we can encourage a growth in our happiness levels is by practicing the art of meditation. Richard Davidson teamed up with Jon Kabat-Zinn in 2003 to research the effects of meditation on the front left and right sides of the brain. It’s interesting to note that Dr Kabat-Zinn had already found a link between meditation and patients who had chronic health diseases were able to manage and cope much easier with their symptoms. During their studies they found that the group of people who had received meditation training and practiced meditation built up a stronger immune system against the flu virus compared to those who had received no training at all.
This is when I became more and more interested in Positive Psychology and even spoke with my own GP about Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT – Cognitive Psychology). When I was very unwell with the Swine Flu virus a couple of winters ago, my GP suggested that I use CBT methods to train my own mind into being much calmer and happier. I combined this with my already existing knowledge of Positive Thought practice and Kabbalah. It wasn’t easy to begin with, I had been programmed to be very panic stricken, negative and worried, so it took a lot of determination and perseverance, but I am pleased to say that it did indeed pay off and I am still reaping the benefits from my training, research, GP advice and study. Before, I would find myself quite easily getting wound up, upset, angry, and very feeling despair over my situations with things, or people. Now, with my daily practice of the above mentioned, I am free of those negative feelings and thoughts at about 75% as I ensure I talk only words of Love to myself and about myself. I still have my moments, but thats all they are, Moments, not hours or days or weeks or even months anymore, just moments.
if you find yourself having these moments whilst you are training yourself to be more loving to yourself, it’s OK. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Do what I do, I tell myself, “Dawn, that’s OK to feel like that, but if you were to feel the Love for all the good in your life, and within yourself, you will see that Love is everywhere and within everyone. Remember how caring you are, remember how loving you are, remember how helpful you are, remember how you smile, etc… Remember that God is everywhere and that includes inside of you. Only love is real.”
I also find it very helpful to pray and ask in an affirmative way for guidance from the God energy, I ask for guidance and the patience, and the ability to see and feel the Love within myself for myself and others. In time that strength and inner power returns and I feel immediate peace knowing that I am consistently doing the best I can with the knowledge, love and understanding that I have. That inner peace for me comes from my daily recognition of practicing gratitude, prayer, Kabbalistic thoughts, Hinduism as I call upon the strength and support from the Gods and Goddesses, and the Oneness of Buddha.
I feel that to feel peace within myself, my personal key to this is to take aspects that fill me with love, peace and joy from all world religions. This is my way of finding the soul within, of respecting and honouring myself with love. You may have a different way, and that is perfect for you. The key to loving yourself is embracing YOUR individuality, your Souls calling, and to speak words of love by practicing what fills you with Love. Love of God, Love of the World, Love of the Self.
“The important message here is that while your brain is fundamental in directing your thoughts, and feelings and behavior, you can control your thoughts, feelings and behaviour and alter the way your brain operates to live a happier life” ~ (2007)