Growing up I can remember my mom had a collection of rose bushes on the side of the house. In full bloom they were beautiful and fragrant adding vibrant reds and whites to the landscape. But I also remember when she decided they needed to be pulled up. That meant my brother and I had to deal with the "other" side of the roses....the thorns.
It's a common saying that "every rose has its thorns." My question for you is whether you focus more on the thorns in life than the roses. Do you give attention to all the things that hurt you? Do you see the world working against you, bask in loneliness, and feel constant stress? Or do you see the beauty and majesty of life, even through the tough times, finding possibility and plenty to be grateful for?
As always, it is a choice. It may seem that we are hard-wired within our daily lives to focus on everything that's going wrong. But it doesn't have to be that way.Shifting our mindset from a negative bias to a positive outlook impacts everything in your life including relationships, business, and health. Here's how to make the switch.
Start by becoming aware of your negative thoughts. Check in numerous times during the day to see if you're anxious, angry, sad, or fearful. See if you're frustrated and angry on the drive to work or feeling depressed sitting in your home. Just this one singular act can begin to change everything.
Ask yourself what the outcome of that feeling will be. Vernon Howard calls it "counting the cost." Does anxiety and fear stop you from being open with people? Does anger make you rude and bitter?
Lastly, make the conscious decision to see the positive outcome. Focus on the rose and not the thorns. Find one thing to be grateful for.... and then another. Repeat this day after day and experience the awesome change a simple shift in focus can provide.
That summer pulling up roses was filled with scraped hands and bloody arms. I realize today during that time I only focused on the thorns. But I learned how to work with them and not them distract me from my goal. Look at the rosebushes in your life and see where your attention is drawn. Do you see a thicket of harmful thorns or the beauty of colorful roses?
If you go almost straight back from the spot right between your eyes you run into a small but enormously powerful brain center called the Hypothalamus. As a connector between the nervous system and the endocrine (hormone) system, it's already got a lot to do. But when you consider how this region works to transfer our thoughts and feelings into physical structures, it can reshape your entire understanding of our world.
Here's how the hypothalamus does this. It is a constant monitor of what's happening in the body. Taking in data related to hormone levels in the blood and neural circuitry it identifies and balances the physical environment by stimulating the release and development of hormones. Its most closely related structure in doing this is the pituitary gland.
As the hypothalamus picks up data, say the need for more thyroid hormone, it sends a hormone to the pituitary gland which instructs it to wake up the thyroid and make more thyroid hormone. When the hypothalamus gets information saying that the thyroid has indeed balanced itself back out, the hypothalamus tells everyone to chill out.
With our thoughts, we get a very similar scenario. Under fear, anger, or stress we send information to the hypothalamus that will then create a physical (in the sense of hormones) based on that condition. Those hormones then literally build the body based on that bit of data....fear, anger, or stress. Your thoughts have now become "things" in physical form.
Why is this important? Well, do you want a body built of fear, anger, or stress? Or would you rather build a physical form out of love, peace, and joy? I bet the choice is easy. And that's the best part of all, it's a choice!!!