Posts Tagged ‘Mindfulness’
We Rise By Lifting Others Up and the Science of Happiness
Did you know giving is good for you?
A 2006 study by J. Moll at the National Institute for Health found that when people give to charities it lights up the brain in regions associated with pleasure, creating a “warm glow” effect.
We have known for quite a while that exercising is good for you and creates positive chemical changes in the brain. It’s encouraging to have hard data that altruistic behavior also has a similar effect. The old adage of helping others and you help yourself is scientific truth!
People can find happiness and STAY happy if they create the right mental playing field. It has become a goal of mine in my practice of helping others to achieve this state. Helping others can be one way to get there. We all have our gifts. If you use your talents to help others you would be surprised at all the benefits you get back.
Conversely being in a state of negativity begets more negativity
Neural pathways are created and then strengthened by repetition; emotionally the result is an inclination of our resting mental state.
Author of Psych Pedia, Steven Parton explains how these closer synapses result in a generally more pessimistic outlook: “Through repetition of thought, you’ve brought the pair of synapses that represent your [negative] proclivities closer and closer together, and when the moment arises for you to form a thought…the thought that wins is the one that has less distance to travel, the one that will create a bridge between synapses fastest.” Gloom soon outraces positivity.
Anger, in a way can become a sickness, a brooding, a drug of the mind. I encourage my clients to work at reducing their anger and negativity. The more you work at it, the more happy thoughts you have, naturally.
“Life is Painful, Suffering is Optional”
We all have our devastating challenges, death, divorce, separations, diseases, and addictions; being human we are all subjected to such events. However the mind is a powerful tool that we can use for own good.
There is joy in lifting others up. I encourage you to think deeply on this. When you are open to helping others I have seen time and time again, providently provided, the right tool for the right job suddenly at your disposal.
Currently I am on trips to serve in Africa and Virginia. Traveling is naturally tiring in some respects, but it fuels me up as I am encouraged seeing others experience growth.
So for today, I encourage you think about what you could do to help others. And then go ahead and do it.
Steve Brand, LCSW, ACSW, MSW/MPH, PC
Steven D. Brand – Psychotherapy Atlanta / Roswell GA
981 Canton Street
Building 12, Suite 215
Roswell, GA 30075
You’ve heard the adage you are what you eat.
I say you are what you think.
Dr. Caroline Leaf, a communication pathologist, and audiologist who has worked in the area of cognitive neuroscience since 1985 suggests that a positive mindset creates happiness. Your thoughts of today can change your future.
- Laughter is a Necessity Not a Luxury
When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried? Did you know laughing floods the body of chemicals, boosts the immune system and almost instantly, reduces levels of stress hormones?
“A magnificent belly laugh can make cortisol drop by 39%, adrenalin by 70% and the “feel-good hormone,” endorphin, increase by 29%.
2. Recall Positive Memories Daily
Recalling experiences that were positive is a good way to condition the brain. Did you know the body actually releases the same endorphins as when the experience actually occurred? That is how powerful our brain is and shows what a strong link there is to our nervous system. Creating a positive mindset is good for you and it’s biblical.
‘A cheerful heart is good medicine.’ Proverbs 17:22
On the flipside of this, you can deduce what recalling negative memories over and over can do. Dr. Leaf research shows that today’s illnesses directly correlate to the flow our “thought life”.
3. Create New Positive Memories
Go outside! Go for a walk with your spouse. Meet a friend during lunch. Simply get out there. Don’t let the “negative nellies” run your show. You have choices in every situation.
Your brain is like a bank or ATM. What you deposit into your brain bank is all that you will be able to withdraw. Makes you re-think what you are watching or listening to!
Dr. Leaf believes, and I agree with her, that by changing your thought process to a more positive internal dialogue can create huge changes in your day to day life and future. She believes with careful mind detoxing, you can get your healthy brain cells back.
“We can not control outside circumstances, but we can control our reaction to it. Toxic thoughts like doubt, unbelief, fear, anger- changes our brain and it causes us to become something that will require an act of God for healing. That is where detoxing comes in.”
For today, I encourage you to choose joy and if you want to make some significant strides in this area, choose a friend or counselor to get on the path. It’s about daily choices. It’s about recognizing the old worn negative tracks and finding new ones.
Thanks for reading.
Steven D Brand, LSW is a therapist serving Roswell. He works with couples, individuals and also executives in coaching environments.