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Is The Glass Half Empty? How Affirmations Change Your Brain

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You know the old saying, is the glass half full or half empty? It is used to drive home the point that when life feels like it’s going sour, sometimes it can actually just be your perception that is sabotaging your happiness

However, the trick is that it’s not always as easy to see the state of your perception in the simple way that it is presented as with the half filled glass. We have personal bias and attach our own personal connotations language. 

How The Brain Will Prove Itself Right

The human mind wants to be right and when we get into a downward spiral of negative thinking, the brain keeps on doing it’s thing and finding reasons why it is right to think that way. Our brain also has a group of nerves on our brainstem called the Reticular Activating System. 

This part of our brain runs quite a few things, but what I am going to focus on here is the fact it personalizes our perception of life. For example, it filters the information you don’t want into background noise and highlights the information you deem important. 

You can try this out now by scanning the room you are in and looking for the color green. Do it now. Did you notice more green than you noticed before you specifically looked for that color? Now here’s the fun part, scan the room for the color red now. 

You may have noticed how your eyes dart around the color red as if it’s highlighted by a computer program in your mind. Well, it is and this would be known as the Reticular Activating System. So how does this tie into positive thinking shifting our view on life?

That would be due to the fact that our brain is neuroplastic, meaning it will restructure itself and is completely influenced by the way you use it every day. So when you find yourself in a rut of consistent negative thoughts, the brain will begin to strengthen the neurons that fire together. This means your brain will begin to get comfortable and naturally follow the perspectives laid out by these negative neural pathways. 

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.” – Muhammad Ali

What this then does to your Reticular Activating System will bring it to naturally focus on and highlight the negative perspective within your daily life. Just like the colors in the room, the negative perspectives will present themselves more prevalently compared to the weaker neural pathways of positive thoughts. This makes the glass half full perspective “background noise” and the glass half full the path most traveled. 

However, the downside to the neuroplastic nature of the brain is also its upside. When you practice positive affirmations no matter how foreign they may feel, your brain begins to wire the neural pathways of positive thinking and compassion towards oneself. The more you practice positive affirmations the more comfortable you will feel with it and the more that optimism will naturally begin to present itself in your perception. 

Bring Your Affirmations Straight Into Your Subconscious

This is a practice I personally follow which focuses on listening to or repeating positive affirmations when your subconscious mind is driving. When you are performing mindless or repetitive tasks, this is where the subconscious mind takes over such as when you are falling asleep. 

Using affirmations at this time can bring them to sink into your subconscious even while your conscious mind is focused on something else. Then you can get creative with how you listen to the affirmations. You can take a recording of yourself speaking them and listen to it while you are cleaning, falling asleep, or even working out. You can repeat them to yourself or sing them out loud while you are performing a repetitive task. Then there is also the option of listening to someone else repeat the affirmations such as a video found on youtube.

You can even bring the affirmations into your meditation practice and use them like a mantra to focus on the mind in. To produce the deepest effect with affirmations, allow yourself to be filled with the appreciation, pride, or bliss that comes if you choose to lean into believing them no matter how foreign it feels. 

“Affirmations are not bound up in rules. An affirmation can be long or short, poetic or plain. If you love a phrase and find that it helps you, that is a valid affirmation.” – Eric Maisel

Self Love Dialogue 

For those of you who like writing, grab your pen and paper because this practice involves your writing skills. Take time to write yourself a love letter and start a compassionate self dialogue. This less formal way of affirming my perception of myself has felt to both stimulate more emotions due to its more casual nature as well as very quickly shift the way I continue to talk to myself. 

What I have found to be the most fulfilling is to write about the places I feel a lack of self love or weakness in my life. I affirm my present self as the version of myself I want to embody and even write out my thankfulness for how these skills have affected my life. 

You can practice a love letter complimenting yourself, acknowledge an aspect of yours that you appreciate, or write yourself a letter of forgiveness if that feels like something you’ve been holding back from giving yourself. If you’re not sure where to start, try paying attention to where you specifically feel uncomfortability, because that can present a place where you can create a powerful shift. 

Remember no matter how foreign it feels to start this practice, you are creating new neural pathways and should give yourself credit for initiating the way you want to see life. By using the power of your brain you can choose to see the glass half full. 

Jordyn Roe is a writer for TheJoyWithin.org which guides people to uncover their natural sense of joy through meditation and personal empowerment. She is passionate about exploring the evolution of human consciousness. As a Reiki and meditation teacher, she truly enjoys watching others flourish and access their fullest potential.

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Life

Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.

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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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Life

5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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Life

3 Simple Steps to Cultivate Courage and Create a Life of Meaning

we cultivate meaning in our lives when we pursue our calling

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Our deepest human desire is to cultivate meaning in our lives. Our deepest human need is to survive. (more…)

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Life

Grit: The Key to Your Ultimate Greatness

Grit is an overlooked aspect of success, but it plays a critical role.

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A grit mindset is an essential key to your greatness. It’s what separates those who achieve their goals from those who give up and never reach their potential. It’s also the difference between success and failure, happiness and misery. If you want to be great and achieve your dreams, then you need grit. Luckily, it’s something that can be learned. Please keep reading to learn more about grit and discover four ways to develop it. (more…)

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