Camper van

Re-wiring Your Brain for Happiness

Have you ever wondered why is it easy to believe that other people find things easier than you or are more successful than you?

You can probably point to hundreds of examples that support your beliefs.

Our brain does that. It will notice as may things as it can that provide evidence for what you believe. It is busy in the background, continually scanning for evidence to support your views.

But the good news is that you can rewire it to notice different things and support your new beliefs about yourself.

In this blog post I tell you all about this cheeky bundle of neurons and how you can change their focus to notice things that support your confidence and self-belief.

You are always creating your future, and the life you live now is the one that you created. Millions of decisions, experiences and choices have gone into getting you to where you are today.

The Reticular Activating System, or RAS for short, is the part of your brain that acts as the filter between your conscious and your unconscious mind. If you had to pay attention to every single thing that was coming in through your senses all of the time, you’d hit overwhelm almost instantly, so this clever piece of your brain filters out all but the most important information.

How it decides what is important though, is up to you and your thoughts.

I’ll give you an example.

I’ve wanted a camper van for as long as I can remember. This year though, I decided that I was going to get one. I put it on my vision board and set my intent to get one before the Summer.

I noticed campervans a lot. I didn’t really notice that much about them though, other than their overall shape and size. I scrolled through websites full of camper vans that were for sale until I was so bored of them and my head was spinning.

Then I got serious. I decided exactly what make and model of campervan I wanted. I knew what age, colour, mileage and type of interior I wanted. Some people might call this sort of thing manifesting. But really it’s retraining your RAS to identify something specific as being of importance to you.

It’s like a wordsearch puzzle. The words are already there, in the jumble of letters in the grid. But when you start looking for a particular word, you find it. It was there all along, you just hadn’t seen it before because you weren’t specifically looking for it.

As if by magic, two days later, the campervan that I wanted appeared for sale in a garage just round the corner from my house. I went straight there and bought it. Was it a coincidence? No. I had set alerts for what I wanted on several vehicle selling sites, and I was ready to buy when the right one came along. If I wasn’t looking, I wouldn’t have seen it.

And guess what? Having never seen any of the particular make and model of campervan before, I now spot them everywhere! (It’s a Nissan Elgrand btw!)

Whatever you believe, your RAS will busy itself spotting evidence to support your beliefs. If you think that you will never be successful, your RAS will identify every barrier to your success, because that is what it thinks you want to see.

If, on the other hand, you decide that you want to see all the ways in which you make a difference in the world, you’ll start to see those instead. If you decide that you want to see the opportunities for you to progress your ideas, your dreams or your goals, you’ll start to see them. They’re there already, you’re just not noticing them.

Identify things that make you happy, and challenge your RAS to spot as many as you can today. Or challenge it to spot objects that look like love hearts or raindrops. You’ll be surprised just how many you see.

Your RAS listens in to your thoughts and feelings to identify what it thinks is important to you and what you believe. Focus on what you want to see, and you’ll see more. If you focus on what you want to avoid, you’ll confuse you RAS as it doesn’t understand the negations. It’s like asking someone NOT to imagine a pink elephant (you just imagined one didn’t you?!)

Get smart about what you instruct it and opportunities and happiness will seem to come your way with ease.

Let me know how you get on by emailing me at [email protected] so I can share your brain-training success with you!!

About the Author

Zoe Carroll

Zoe Carroll is a wellbeing and performance specialist with expertise in neurodiversity and inclusion. She creates training and delivers coaching to develop team cohesion and improve communication within teams. She shares insights into how people can understand each other better in order to both communicate internally and externally to increase productivity and other performance variables while also improving the wellbeing of team members.

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