Did you know humans naturally tend to obsess about negative experiences? According to research, positive and negative emotions use different memory systems in the brain and positive emotions do not transfer as easily to long-term memory.
It’s no wonder that we usually don’t get on our own side; we don’t take a stand in which we are for ourselves, and that’s fundamental. This realization is where re-training ourselves begins.
It can be very difficult to pull our attention away from the negative, which can take the form of rumination, self-criticism, obsession and anxiety. But one way to change this, and to create more lasting positive memories in the brain, is to make a concerted effort to notice those little, everyday pleasant encounters: A smile from a stranger, a small gesture of caring from a friend or a tiny personal victory.
Criticizing ourselves unnecessarily is not the answer to lasting change. It has the exact opposite effect. To love ourselves, unconditionally, begins with a focus on what we do want, not on what we don’t want. This adjustment can make an enormous difference.
We can only recognize without what we recognize within. When we transform our own inner conversation, we can do more to elevate others. To alter our thoughts and beliefs takes genuine effort. A ‘re-wiring’ of the brain, if you will, is required to shift our experiences.