Happiness

You May Be More Negative Than You Think

You May Be More Negative Than You Think

A negative mentality is profoundly harmful to the the circuitry of the brain. Fortunately, the problem is addressable. Anyone who struggles with negativity can take measures that are proven by science to help regulate negativity and become more positive. Unfortunately, most people who are chronically negative don't even know that they are. Without this self-awareness, it is impossible to do anything to address the core problem.

A person who is chronically negative, by definition, is one that is habitually negative. When someone forms a habit, it moves from the part of their brain that is self-aware (the frontal lobes) to deeper parts of their brain that are unconscious and automatic. The more anyone does anything, the less aware they are of it. Thus, negative people are usually not aware of how negative they are.

We have to be very deliberate to become aware of our own negativity. The good news is that as we become aware of it, our brains become less negative.

You May Be More Negative Than You Think

Neuro-exercise:

Can you can go an hour without a negative thought or feeling? Give it a shot. This includes worries, doubts, fears, disappointments. When you have a negative thought, write it down. It will help you become more aware. Don't be surprised if you have as many as 25 negative thoughts or feelings an hour. The more you do this exercise, the more you'll see your negativity drop. For even faster progress, enlist your brain's reward circuitry by promising yourself an indulgence if your negativity substantially drops. This exercise will significantly improve your brain's performance and enrich your experience of life.



The above post was lovingly crafted by Josiah Hultgren. Josiah Hultgren is Founder/CEO of MindFullyAlive, a Senior Lecturer at California Lutheran University, a NeuroCoach, and a practical neuroscience expert. He produces and curates mindfulness content designed to improve structure and functioning of the brain. His mission is to help create a more vibrant world and apply neuroscience in ways that help people reach their highest potential. 

The Science of Weakening Trauma and Becoming More Positive

The #Science of Weakening #Trauma and Becoming More #Positive

NOTE: This article is intended for educational purposes only. If you are struggling with trauma, we highly recommend that you seek the help of a licensed therapist.


A sense of positivity is essential for our wellbeing. Positivity enables us to have a well-connected brain. Conversely, negativity triggers neurotoxins that poison the brain. Unfortunately, life is often harsh and tragic. It is hard to maintain a positive mentality when we experience horrible things. So, to live our lives to the fullest, we need to develop a skill-set that helps us stay rooted in a positive mindset in the midst of the traumas we experience over the course of our lives.

The #Science of Weakening #Trauma and Becoming More #Positive

For many, feelings of anger, fear and sadness from past traumas seem insurmountable. Once their traumatic memories are triggered, they become overwhelmed with debilitating emotions.

Fortunately, there are powerful, research-backed techniques that regulate and dramatically weaken these crippling feelings. Many trauma therapists suggest that if you do something pleasurable when a painful memory comes up, the pleasure interrupts the pain, anger, and fear sparked in the brain. Theory of memory strongly suggests that painful memories get altered when they are recalled in a relaxed and pleasant way. The next time the memory gets recalled, some of that relaxation and pleasure gets embedded into the memory circuit. The result is that the person does not feel the full impact of the original trauma. The trauma becomes neurologically weakened.

On the other hand, if you talk about or dwell on the trauma without being extraordinarily relaxed, you end up traumatizing yourself more. You end up strengthening that trauma in your brain.

The #Science of Weakening #Trauma and Becoming More #Positive

An outstanding way to achieve a relaxed state is to yawn, stretch, and then stroke your hands, arms or face in an exquisitely mindful and enjoyable way. Sensory-awareness through self-touch is a proven technique to increase one's sense of groundedness. It helps the brain build a stronger self-image. Meanwhile, the pleasurable sensations weaken the effects of the traumatic memory.

When in a relaxed state, you can more safely allow yourself to visualize and recall a trauma. It is best to limit your visualization to one small piece at a time. You can allow yourself to feel the feelings, and let them float away. This way, you end up turning down the volume of negativity in your mind.

Concurrently, whenever anything positive comes to mind, spend a moment to deeply connect and savor those feelings. Turn up the volume on thoughts about your successes, your confidence, and your positive self-esteem. By deeply experiencing the good, you wire your brain for positivity.

The #Science of Weakening #Trauma and Becoming More #Positive

The above post was lovingly crafted by Josiah Hultgren. Josiah Hultgren is Founder/CEO of MindFullyAlive, a Senior Lecturer at California Lutheran University, a NeuroCoach, and a practical neuroscience expert. He produces and curates mindfulness content designed to improve structure and functioning of the brain. His mission is to help create a more vibrant world and apply neuroscience in ways that help people reach their highest potential. The content was derived from the Neuro Coach Pro Certification Program training created by Mark Robert Waldman.


How Emotional Technology Can Enhance Your Life in the Future

How Emotional #Technology Can Enhance Your Life in the #Future

Our pace of technological advancement is changing our lives exponentially. It's exciting to think about what is around the corner. We are set to travel vast distances in minutes. Space tourism is becoming a thing. Some scientists believe we may live past 1000 years old. Artificial intelligence is rapidly improving to spot patterns in overwhelming amounts of data. Yet, how technology can enhance our interior and empathic lives is often overlooked. According to Alain de Botton, future emotional technologies will profoundly enhance our lives. 

In this School of Life video, Alain explains three particular technologies he believes will be among the most impactful:

I: The Mood Reader
"One of the major sources of conflict and grief between people, especially in relationships, stems from how bad we are at explaining the contents of our minds to other people... When we are on the receiving end of inaccurately communicated feelings, we tend to make bad guesses about what might be going on in the other person. We get overly alarmed. We come up with jumpy, ungenerous stories... The Mood Reader will be able to give people close to us (whom we elect) beautifully expressed executive summaries of what we’re really feeling at a given point; laid out in ways that are accurate generous and imaginative - like something a great novelist would come up with. Currently, too often, a person in a couple will say in despair, after a long sulk or argument, 'how did you expect me to be a mind reader?' Technology will spare us the cumulative years of sulks and arguments by allowing us to be, for a time, just that."

How Emotional #Technology Can Enhance Your #Life in the #Future

II: The Spouse Finder
"The Spouse Finder of 2050 will be an expert finding you a match. Partly because everyone on the planet will be registered with it, but just as importantly, because it will have such an acute understanding of our deepest needs and emotional vulnerabilities... The spouse finder will have a picture of our long-term development in its memory... The spouse finder will know us and others so well it'll have the authority to convince us when we do hit tricky patches with a partner it's found us, but for all its faults our relationship really is the best available for us. It'll give us the confidence to believe that the trickiness of our couple emerges not so much from the other person as from the inherent difficulty of being with anyone."

How Emotional #Technology Can Enhance Your #Life in the #Future

III: Socrates
"Named after the world's greatest early philosopher, Socrates, who famously said that the first philosophical priority is to know yourself. Socrates will be a piece of wearable emotional technology that will make up for our failures of self-knowledge in real time. We imagine it as a kind of wearable life coach, with the total understanding of our mental health, who we are, and what we need to thrive emotionally. At key moments, Socrates will be on hand to temper our excesses and correct our emotional blind spots. It will know when we're getting to an angry outburst and counselors wisely before it's too late. It will sense mounting panic and be on hand immediately with the most soothing insights humanity has ever had. It will ween us away from unhelpful desires and compulsions towards more fruitful and enriching pursuits. It will know when we need an extra challenge. It will ensure that we can at all times be the best version of ourselves."

How Emotional #Technology Can Enhance Your #Life in the #Future

Alain concludes: 
"The promise of technology has always been that it will make life more convenient and less painful, but to date we haven't managed to focus on technological efforts on the biggest sources of discontent, which aren’t to do with the size of our phones or the speed of our planes, but with our emotional lives and the turmoil caused in them by our self-ignorance, cognitive frailty and in our blindness. That is the astonishing promise of the upcoming age of emotional technology."


The above post was lovingly crafted by Josiah Hultgren. Josiah Hultgren is Founder/CEO of MindFullyAlive, a Senior Lecturer at California Lutheran University, a NeuroCoach, and a practical neuroscience expert. He produces and curates mindfulness content designed to improve structure and functioning of the brain. His mission is to help create a more vibrant world and apply neuroscience in ways that help people reach their highest potential.