Friday, October 8, 2010


You look at your thoughts, and you see dark clouds. What do you do? You look for the silver lining.    
That’s old wisdom. Life gives you lemons you start thinking lemonade.
Now researchers, Swiss, no less, have confirmed that this is the way to go.  They studied what is technically called ‘cognitive reappraisal’, where a subject is asked to consider a situation and view it in a positive light. In this study, subjects were told they were going to see some images, some disturbing, some not. They were asked to reassure themselves that they were perfectly safe no matter what they saw in the images.
In the second part of the experiment, different subjects were told the same images were coming but were not instructed to reassure themselves in any way.
In both cases, the subjects’ brains were observed with an MRI scanner while they were shown the photographs.
The people in the first group were able to calm their amygdala.  Their emotional brain was less active, and their prefrontal cortex, or decision-making brain, was more active.
They had effectively modulated their emotional responses to the disturbing photographs.  Meditation or mindfulness was shown to have the same effect. It increased the subjects’ ability to regulate their emotional state.
So, remember that the next time you’re being whacked around emotionally. Take a full breath or two. Become aware of your body. Notice your thoughts. Go positive. Then remember what I shared in an earlier article about questions being a more powerful way to get your brain and mind to do what you want. Don’t tell it what to do, ask it for what you want.            
“May I be safe from inner and outer harm.”
“May my mind and body be calm and peaceful.”
            “May I be happy just as I am.”          
            “May I have an amazing weekend!”

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