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Innercise

Innercise: Learn to Turn off Negative Thoughts

Author: NeuroGym Team | January 14, 2017

Have you ever wondered where that little negative voice inside your head comes from?

What If we told you that we're all biologically wired to be negative first?

In this video, John Assaraf shares why we often feel negative about life. Then, you'll learn how to prevent negativity from holding you back from your life’s goals and dreams.

 

Why So Negative?

Do you know someone who tends to see the potential problems in every situation?

Sometimes this way of thinking comes off as negative, or bad. Maybe you think of this person as a "downer"—always bringing the mood down. It may not be as cheery and uplifting as a positive attitude, but negativity can still be useful.

Back in the cave days, the world was a dangerous place. Humans had to be very cautious about threats from predators and poisonous plants. In other words, a healthy dose of skepticism made the difference between life and death.

Is Skepticism Still Useful? 

There's a region in your brain, called the amygdala, that's situated right near your memory centers. This region is like the "first responder" in your brain. When you encounter a situation, it does a quick safety check. It scans your immediate surroundings to look for potential threats, and then it goes into your memories . . . looking for any related dangers. 

This circuit is not all bad, it just needs balance. Too much fear, and you won't take action. Not enough fear, and you'll act recklessly.  

(So, yes, skepticism has its benefits!)

There's another circuit in your brain, that's sort of like the opposite of your fear circuit; it's your motivation circuit—located primarily in the left prefrontal cortex. When this circuit is active, you feel motivated and confident that your goals are attainable. 

John Assaraf likes to refer to your fear circuit as the "Frankenstein brain," and your motivation circuit as your "Einstein brain." These two circuits can't be active at the same time, so when you move from one to another, it's like flipping a switch. 

Try This Innercise® . . . and Learn to Control Your Switch. 

  1. Think of a goal you want to achieve. Anything from earning more income, to losing weight, to growing your business. 
  2. Now, get out a piece of paper and write down all of the reasons why you cannot achieve your goal—including anything you've tried in the past, that didn't work.
  3. Next, on a different page, write down all of the things you can think of and do, to help you achieve the goal. Even if you don't know how to get there, write down "I will ask ____ for help," or I will research ____ on Google. 

When you do these steps, you're practicing flipping the switch between your fear and motivation circuits (or your Frankenstein and Einstein brains). Step 2 activates your fear circuit and step 3 activates your motivation circuit. The point of the exercise is to get comfortable moving from healthy skepticism . . . to optimism and motivation. 

When you feel yourself getting caught in the negative self-talk loop . . . or other negative thought patterns, just stop, drop to a seated position, and Innercise®! Get out all of the negative thoughts, then switch . . . and let the positivity flow. If you start out by doing this on paper, you'll soon find that you don't even need it anymore. After time, you'll notice that you do this in your head automatically. 

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About The Author

NeuroGym Team

NeuroGym Team: NeuroGym’s Team of experts consists of neuroscientists, researchers, and staff who are enthusiasts in their fields. The team is committed to making a difference in the lives of others by sharing the latest scientific findings to help you change your life by understanding and using the mindset, skill set and action set to change your brain.

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