Amarantine Volume 4: Expectations! - Page 48

“Ask someone to think about a red car, and not to think about white bears for the next 5 minutes, and all they will think about is white bears”. Both Wiseman and Wegner belief that this has to with our evolution as practical human beings. We are programmed to take action to achieve our goals, and to evaluate constantly – and if necessary adjust our plans – along the way to keep moving towards achieving our goal. Wiseman therefore suggest that we should not think about “end goals” but instead about the process, which then inspires action to achieve our goal. If we just believe that we will have a lovely dinner this evening, nothing will happen. If we belief that we will have a lovely dinner this evening, and we think about what we need to do to make that happen (stop at the pizza place), we are more likely to end up with dinner. Wegner explains that if we are instructed not to think about white bears, we will check constantly if we aren’t thinking about white bears, and the effect is: we think about the white bears constantly! So, if that’s the case, then why should you even bother with trying to stay positive, making positive affirmations, and setting up your mind to expect that good will happen? Well, because other research shows that all these actions can actually benefit us as well! Barbara Fredrickson, a positive psychology researcher at the University of Carolina, proved through research that positive thinking opens up our brains. When we feel angry, anxious or sad, our minds will narrow and start focusing on these threats to help overcome them. But when we think positive thoughts and feel happy and content, our minds will open up, and we will see more opportunity and possibility. We may all recognise this from spending time on vacation, where all of a sudden great new ideas or solutions to long standing problems may come to us. And have you ever experienced that your senses focus on whatever is on your mind as 48 AMARANTINE Volume4