Monday, April 21, 2014

Savour the Smile!

Have you noticed how much more time and attention we give negative experiences than positive ones? How long we spend thinking and talking about troubles and stress, compared to how much time we give the good stuff? You may not be surprised to learn that, as humans, we have a bias towards negativity – generally. Our brain is actually wired that way. It is likely that this negativity bias relates to our ability for survival: if you feel threatened, for example by a speeding bus hurtling towards you or a vicious looking animal growling at you, the last thing you’d want to do is take your focus away from it! Whereas, if you’re enjoying a beautiful sunset or a striking flower, your attention will be much more easily distracted. All rather logical really, except we default to this negativity bias much more than we need to! AND we would be better served to give at least equal attention to those feel-good moments. Why? Well, recently neuro-science (research into the workings of the brain) has shown that our ability to access and sustain good feelings builds the pathways in the brain that we need for resilience - to bounce back from any difficulties or hardships; it is our ability to access and sustain the good feelings (the longer the better) that helps us stay self-managed and behave in the ways we want to, ways that are in accordance with our values; it is this ability for deepening and savouring the good feelings that helps us access and draw on our most wise and insightful capacity.

SO I invite you to embrace your own ability to generate good feelings, and to give some attention to consciously holding onto them as long as possible today - and tomorrow!

  • Relish that feeling of appreciation you have for your loved ones,
  • Savour the blue sky on your way to work, 
  • Delight in your tasty dinner, while you eat and long after, 
  • Remind yourself to delight in all the good things in your life each time you catch your own reflection. 
  • Smile. Hold it! It’s good for your brain!
 Images courtesy of Stuart Miles and Jesadaphorn/"

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