Let’s start by explaining that when I talk about positivity that I don’t mean telling someone to ‘cheer up’ or ‘pull themselves together’. I’ve been in the situation where I was literally told that I was too young to have anxiety by a former manager so I know that these types of ignorance whilst possibly meant from a good place don’t help.
Positivity for me is a learned skill. One that, as a result of my study of hypnotherapy and encounters with various professionals I have come to realise that it effects every aspect of my life. From my physical health to my levels on confidence and general feeling of belonging. It’s not a quick fix but it can have amazing results and is something I pass onto my clients at every opportunity.
We are pre-wired to look for dangers and reward ourselves for spotting them. This is how our brain keeps us alive and could be seen as a negative way of looking at the world. If we are using our pre-frontal cortex to filter those decisions though we generally come up with a positive assessment of the situation, using all the information to hand. I regularly have clients telling me that in the past they would have frozen or done their best to get out of a difficult situation but that they are now able to assess and cope better. They can see the positive effects of dealing appropriately with a difficult event and it’s impact on their work and relationships.
Of course we’re not just pre-wired to look for dangers! Early man and woman were given quite definite rewards for hunting and gathering. We work better and survive longer in groups so we were given rewards for positively interacting with those around us and achieving social status. We were also given rewards for attracting new mates and looking after our offspring (increasing the chance of our DNA surviving). These rewards helped us cope better, be braver in the face of the dangers of the time and helped us deal better with physical pain.
The rewards? Neurotransmitters. We often talk about the importance of serotonin and its effects as (in simple terms) a mood stabiliser and on our perception of social status. Others worthy of mention of course are dopamine, oxytocin and endorphins. Oxytocin in particular, as well as being important in the bonding of mother and child, is known to be cardio-protective and is the reason that heart attack patients who adopt a dog after their first heart attack are 400% more likely to survive the first year.
So… If we live within the positive parameters of early man and woman, ensuring that we engage in positive actions or activity such as sport or regular exercise, ensure positive interactions such as spending time with loved ones and practice positive thinking we are able to boost these happy chemicals. Helping to us to be more physically and emotionally resilient and giving us a fantastic perspective of the world.
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Article originally published on greater-manchester-hypnotherapy.com
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