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The power of positive thinking

In Time magazine dated Jan 29, there’s a large article called “The Brain: A user’s guide.” And a section inside this article called “the power of positive thinking.” Law of attraction principles, explained in the movie The Secret, continue to go mainstream. I love it.

A few excerpts from this article I found most interesting:

  • In an experiment where one group physically played the piano and a second group only imagined playing the piano, both groups exhibited the same phenomenon in their brain. The region of the motor cortex that controls the piano playing fingers also expanded in the brains of volunteers who only imagined playing the music-just as it had in those who actually played it.
  • Mental training has the power to change the physical structure of the brain. Now I don’t think this replaces the physical practice of something by any means, but it means that training can be supplemented by thought to move towards mastery. And what impact does this discovery have for the others kinds of thoughts you think about your life and what you can achieve?
  • Could thinking about thoughts in a new way affect your brain state? A neuroscientist studied a group of Buddist monks. Brain scans showed dramatic changes in the parts of the brain associated with happiness. Their conclusion was that their practice of meditation actually moved their happiness set point. Their hypothesis is that “we can think of emotions, moods and states such as compassion as trainable mental skills.”

I find this fascinating. At first when I heard these ideas, I thought it was about being Polyanna and saying everything’s ok when it isn’t. That didn’t feel right. What I’ve learned is that it’s your attitude and your perception of something that makes a difference. It’s about choosing your perspective on a situation that enables you to work through it, see the silver lining or move around it if it’s an obstacle. I’m really working on this myself lately because like anyone, I get angry, frustrated or down.

Play around with your perceptions today. If you need help shifting your negative beliefs that get in your way, contact me for one coaching session. They don’t have to be an obstacle for you anymore. Be well, Hallie

Career Development Coach Hallie Crawford