The Neuroscience of Self Acceptance…My Mind Blowing Learning…
I learnt something recently that just blew my mind and I really want to share it with you since I think it is quite incredible!
As you may know, I’m really passionate about teaching & guiding others in self love and self acceptance. Since I also believe there is always more to learn and the best investment you can make is in your own personal growth and self awareness, I have been studying The Neuroscience of Compassion with Kelly McGonigal via Udemy online courses.
And wow….here is one key learning I have made which is truly mind blowing!!…
Our brain has a default position when we are not thinking about a specific task or concentrating on something in the present moment. We all have mind wandering…this we probably all know…BUT did you know that our brain’s default, whilst mind wandering, is to critique ourselves (or others) to pick & focus on what is WRONG with us. We default to think about the negative aspects of either;
What we could have done better in the past,
The things we don’t like about ourselves in the present
Or what could go wrong in a situation in the future.
Now Kelly goes on to explain that the reasons for this could be due to the fact that we are a social species where our survival is dependent on being loved and belonging amongst other people. She goes on to describe that with rats, their default brain position is to notice what they are smelling. This makes sense as their survival depends on eating and knowing what they can eat next. If we need to belong and be loved, we need to make sure that our behaviours and qualities will support this.
This puts a whole new level to negative self talk!
So what does this mean for our self love?!
We need to put conscious practice into setting our INTENTIONS to then direct our ATTENTION to self love and self acceptance.
Firstly…we need to understand the suffering that our negativity causes us in our life to really understand why we would want to have more self love in the first place. For example, does being negative about yourself truly have you contribute to the people that you love? Probably not, so wouldn’t it be better to be kinder to yourself in order to then make others around you happier? With this realisation we want to SET OUR INTENTION TO BE KINDER TO SELF (as an example. Yours could be totally different!)
Secondly, now put your attention on your inner thoughts while you have mind wandering and notice if it is matching your INTENTION. So MATCH YOUR ATTENTION TO YOUR INTENTION.
All my love & faith in your potential!