The article I have linked to below raises what I think to be an important point for all of us living our lives as best we can in this modern world.
One thing that we all to a greater or lesser degree suffer from is the almost ceaseless internal chatter going on in our minds all the time.
That constant stream of consciousness that never seems to switch off.
Now in itself that’s not such a bad thing.
It is after all one of the things that makes us human.
Unfortunately for most people those constant thoughts can very often turn negative and before you know it you are criticizing yourself or making less of your own abilities.
It is important to understand where that negativity comes from and how to reduce the effect it can have on you.
First of all where does it come from?
Generally speaking and as crazy as it sounds, the negativity comes from a part of your mind that is devoted to keeping you safe.
It’s the fight or flight mechanism part of your mind.
It is easy to see it in a full blown sense when something shocks or startles you and you react physically without thought.
You react that way because that part of your mind is attempting to intercept dangers in the environment before your are analytically aware of them.
The reasoning behind it is that if you are in immediate danger and you stop to analyse the situation it may be too late.
So that part of your mind kicks in, shuts down analytical thought and demands a reaction.
Now in the days of avoiding becoming some predator’s food this was an awesome tool!
These days your chances of being eaten alive are not that big but this part of the mind does not differentiate between such things.
It has a preset number of triggers and if one goes off, it goes off!
So if you wanted to express what that part of your mind is actually trying to do it would be, that it is trying to keep you safe at all times and that all situations are dangerous!
In other words to satisfy it you should not engage in life in any form and that way you will be safe.
Sound crazy? It is!
On a regular daily level that part of your mind is the source of those negative thoughts.
It just feeds them through when you are faced with certain situations regardless of how much real danger exists.
When a young guy decides to ask a girl out on a date for the first time he is a bundle of nerves. Why?
He has never been refused before, no broken heart stories to show.
In fact he has absolutely nothing in his history of life that indicates that asking that girl out should be a problem.
Yet his heart is racing, he is nervous, can’t talk properly and for some, nearly passing out!
This is that part of the mind in action.
It senses that there is some kind of unknown danger here and is just reacting to the situation by trying to get him to stop whatever it is that he is doing.
In fact if he does stop, all those symptoms will immediately cease and he will feel completely normal… until of course he then hates himself for failing.
That negativity can occur at any time and under almost any situation but the good news is that there are ways to reduce the effect dramatically.
The first way is to practice meditation.
For it to be effective it has to be on a regular basis but simply meditating on the breath (Google it) will reduce this negativity enormously.
It is however vital that you “practice” it, meaning that you are not looking for overnight results, it takes time to get everything re-wired.
The second method you can use (or use both really) is to write down some affirmations and practice them daily.
You can learn to do this by also doing a search but in a nutshell affirmations are positive statement about who you are and how you live.
You have to repeat them often and it will take months for them to begin to kick in but they do work if you work at it.
Basically when you have a positive thought that part of your mind I described above, tends to feed you a negative though to stop you and maintain the status quo.
By repeating the affirmations often enough you will think a positive thought, get a negative counter-thought then the affirmation thought feeds in automatically as a final confirmation of the original positive though and you stay on track.
The order of the day currently is an almost incessant tendency towards introspection.
Internally chewing over the smallest little setback or problem in life and this behaviour invariable leads to negativity. It is no easy task to turn all that around but with a little effort and by sticking to it you can achieve it and lift yourself to a higher and happier level of existence.
The War on Science
In keeping with the other part of this week blog on the subject of being educated to make good food choices based on facts I wanted to include this video.
As you watch it (and you should) you will notice it is a little Canadian in it”s approach but the reality is that what they are saying about themselves holds true for the rest of the world.
The world is becoming awash with so called scientific studies that seem to endlessly contradict each other on a huge number of subjects.
In fact you can still see climate change deniers all over the place repeating the mantra that “all the science is not in” and that ” there is still no consensus” on the subject.
This is all in the face of all the science actually being in and a consensus having been achieved quite some time ago!
Learning to Think Your Way Through the Data
I had an interesting discussion break out in the office this week regarding the subject of sugar.
One of my staff was talking about how we are all going to die from the sugar in our diets which was quite a relief because somehow the gluten from last month did manage to achieve that!
Anyway I kind of chipped in about how all this needed to be put into perspective and went on a bit of a rant about added sugar as opposed to various types of sugar products and fruit and on and on until I noticed everyone’s eyes glazing over.
At that point I decided to back up a little and just asked everyone in the room what sugar was.
Some of the information (of lack of it) that came out was quite shock to me.
The majority of them thought of sugar as just white crystal sugar or at least brown crystal sugar and that was the entirety of it.
They had no idea that there were different types of sugar, that there is a specific sugar that the body uses to for energy, how the body produces that sugar… well I guess to make a long story short that had no clue whatsoever about the entire subject.
So from that it was pretty easy to understand how a couple of articles in a magazine or online saying that sugar would give them cancer just slides straight past that vacuum of information and into their conscious beliefs systems.
I suppose my advantage is that at my age I was probably in one of the last classes at high school where all of this was explained in the subject of biology.
I fear the curriculum was drastically changed just after I skidded through because my younger sister by two years learned none of this.
Anyway, I dealt with the situation by delivering a short lecture on the subject of sugar, the different types, different forms and different sources and how the body deals with all of these.
I also got them to understand how the body reacts differently to the introduction of sugar from different sources.
For example the difference between eating a spoon of white sugar and a banana.
Of course from their understanding the banana represented an equal opportunity to meet the grim reaper as the white sugar!
What I think struck me the most from all of this was just how ignorant people have been made of the basic processes that are occurring within their own bodies.
To be honest I don’t think this is all part of some conspiracy, I think it is all part of a general disconnection between us and the food we eat that has been going on for years so it is natural that schools would reflect this disconnect and before long having an entire years of biology dedicated to the subject of the human body and nutrition would begin to seem irrelevant.
My own son has pretty well completed high school and he learned nothing of any of this and even when it is explained to him the same disconnect can be seen in him and amongst his friends.
Ignore that disconnect and persist in showing kids the connect.
The key is persistence and repetition and just when you are about to say to yourself, “Why do I have to keep repeating the same things over and over again?”
Stop right there and tell yourself,” Because that’s the job!”
As an example of this I have included a link to an article on bananas below… stick with me cos’ I am going somewhere with this!
If you look at the whole sugar thing at the moment then bananas must be bad because they have a whole bunch of sugar and carbs, but they are fruit so they must be good, but sugar is bad!
Take the time to read through it and see the process of evaluating things correctly and coming to a reasonable position rather than an extreme one.