Positivity – Retraining Your Brain

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If you are a regular visitor to my blog, then you know I’m all about sharing positive messages either about ways to improve health or virtually anything on spirituality. Recently, I was listening to The Aware Show – a radio show hosted by Lisa Garr – specifically an interview with Mark Waldman. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the show, you should check it out at KPFK – The Aware Show. It’s really uplifting when you need a break from all the chaos in the world, especially currently. In this particular segment, Lisa interveiwed Mark Waldman. Waldman is an expert “on spirituality, communication, stress-reduction and the brain. He is also on the faculty at Loyola Marymount University’s renowned Executive MBA program and a founding member and Associate Fellow at the Center for Spirituality and the Mind at the University of Pennsylvania,” according to his biography on the website. He has appeared on PBS Oprah and Friends and he is the author of several national bestsellers, notably, How God Changes Your Brain, and his new book, Words Can Change Your Brain.

On the show, Waldman spoke about how you can raise your consciousness and change your life just by doing 30, 60, to 90 seconds of positive affirmations exercises every hour during the day. He explains how positive affirmations are connections to a higher source and connect, based on research, to the inner wisdom of your brain. As a neuroscientist, he asserts that it is scientifically proven, that techniques like the ones he teaches, reduce stress and attract greater happiness. Says Waldman, we associate negative memories with past experiences but this can be quickly changed. Train the brain to focus on the pleasurable reward and the deeper parts of your brain will anticipate that reward. The brain has no attachment to past or present – it’s simply a recollection to which we are attaching past, present and even future imaginative experiences. Essentially he says you can retrain your brain to attach to positive neurons just as they attach to negative ones. An example would be the issue of weight loss. If you have tried to lose weight before, the next time you go on a weight loss plan, you may associate failure or “pain” to that experience. In order to retrain that negative memory, you attach instead a “pleasure” memory to that same thing. So think about trying to lose weight and imagine every time you go to eat a a piece of chocolate, you are laughing so hard that it falls to the floor or something else funny happens, You have now disassociated the memory of weight “struggle” with humor and silliness. You can use your imagination in any way you choose. You can create any pleasurable imaginative experience to the idea of weight loss so you brain associates reward with weight loss. This exercise, he says, can work with any negative memory that you would like to erase to retrain your brain. He also says, that inside every human being there is a set of inner values already, so it must be consistent with your own set of values.

Is there a God Neuron in Your Brain?

What is the God neuron? Mark Waldman suggests that the God neuron is actually “compassionate communication”. That every time you say “no” or react negatively, you disassociate with the God neurons which are what you should want to attach to because these neurons, will attract wellness and lower anxiety and depression. In other words if instead you repeat the words, love, peace, trust, instead of negative ones, you will attract the God neurons. Clearly it is not God in a religious sense, it is a positive force that we all have available to us.

Obviously, I have watered the techniques down a bit to describe what is a very intricate way of retraining your brain. However, I urge you to listen to the segment. It was fascinating and I think quite beneficial for anyone who would like to see improvement in life. All of us, right?

If you are all about mindfulness and conscious control of all that you manifest in your life, you should listen to this radio segment.

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