As some of you know, I come from the southern hemisphere. Can you make a quick journey through your imagination and think how upside-down it all can seem to be when one suddenly arrives after a 12-hour plane flight and finds it is winter, not summer. Even the water in the toilet and tub drains in the opposite direction. A foreign culture both shocks and pleasantly surprises your previous way of seeing things? Well, would you agree that we all have some major changes to make in our thinking (our mental hemisphere), akin to relocating in the opposite hemisphere?
Two Poles of Our Mental Hemisphere
With that picture in mind, let’s begin by motivating ourselves to accept change where needed. How? By becoming positive thinkers rather than negative battering rams. Both motivate — revenge motivates and love motivates — but they are poles apart in what they offer us.
A dad came to me with the request, “Help me stop feeling so angry at my son. My anger starts like the primer that sets off the gun powder in my gun. I get so annoyed that I blow up and can’t see things straight. And I hate the way I am reacting.”
Positive Thinking Begins with “Thinking”
He should start with our previous exercise: knowing your thoughts more intimately. He must ask more in-depth questions like these:
- “What is it that makes me mad?”
- “Why does that make me mad?”
- “What did I feel before I approached my son (and also when I walked away)?”
We will never understand ourselves adequately if we don’t put our thoughts, feelings, and actions on the stand and interrogate them.
If you keep a journal, make it help you. Write down the what, why, how, when, where, and under what circumstances that angry moment occurred. Don’t just settle for feeling you were justified and fueling that feeling (even if you were justified). Wouldn’t you agree that feelings do not always contain the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? We need an honest recall of all the facts and feelings to see the whole picture of what is happening to us.
Start with Changing Hemispheres
Start with changing hemispheres. Fly from negative thinking and feeling. Land in the hemisphere of positive thinking and feeling. A lack of the whole truth is an open door to distortion. Become your own best constructional critic.
End your thoughts always with the feeling that you are made wonderfully and are wonderful. You are just in need of more honest self-knowledge and a change of mental hemispheres — as are all of us.
This Week’s Exercise
This week, try taking another big leap forward. Add some depth to your self evaluations. Probe your thoughts and feelings with the what-why-how-when-where-and-under-what-circumstances routine. What was positive and what was negative? You can’t do that with every thought or feeling you have, so commit to a deep dive into just a few of your actions — some good and some not so good — and see them with the depth that a deep search can reveal.
The Way to Have a Healthy Mental System
Weekly Help for Your Mind/Brain
This weekly addition to my articles provides practical guidance for the application of commonly known facts about brain health.
“What and where is the mind? Never mind.” So goes the quip.
Many people don’t differentiate between the brain and the mind. Why? Because we have no scientific evidence as to where the mind is or what form it takes. The fact is, we know we have a mind and also a brain. We need both and use both — whatever the connection.
Evidence is not confined to scientific research. It also comes from our experience and in this case, our senses speak to us, too. Despite the arguments, we can safely assume we have a thought-life and a mind that must be kept healthy because it affects everything physical and nonphysical about our entire system. Our thinking and choices (functions we commonly think of as belonging to the mind) impact our entire human system and our lives.
What will this mean for these article segments? We will talk first about how to keep a physical organ (the brain) healthy. Then, we’ll discuss how to also add the needed healthy actions that will keep our thoughts and our feelings and the most complex system of all, our mind, in good health, too.
Here is an initial fact about the brain. The brain is disproportionately loaded with cells compared to the rest of the body. Therefore, we are certainly on track when we give the most attention for our total health to the mind/brain and its related mental systems.
Each week, we’ll add more help for a healthy mind/brain and the total health of our God-given bodies and spirits.
Meanwhile, you can learn how to benefit from intelligent emotions. That’s right! You read it correctly! Check out this helpful resource for yourself! And if you are a subscriber to my weekly updates, you can get a 15% discount by using the coupon code we send out to our subscribers.