We have a natural tendency to focus on what goes wrong. Over thousands of years we have developed a built-in survival mechanism wired to detect danger. Our minds know that learning from negative experiences is a matter life or death. Our brains are like velcro for anything negative that crosses our path. This skill is important for our survival but also impacts our feelings. As our mind narrows to focus on negatives, we become more angry, anxious, or depressed.
On the other hand, positive or neutral experiences happen all the time each day, but have no bearing on whether we will live or die. Our brains are like teflon for the positive experiences. Something pleasant happens, it slides right off, and we continue through our day. What does this have to do with how we think, act, and feel?
A gratitude practice has the power to build inner strength and resilience by focusing on positive experiences in such a way that our brains are reshaped to respond to life with more positive feelings, sense of calm, and confidence.
Self-Care Houston, Episode 11: In this solo podcast, Jennifer Christian continues her discussion about anxiety from Episode 10, Anxiety Cycle.
by Jennifer Christian, LPC and Dr. Jeff M. Christian
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