In life two negatives don’t make a positive.Why does it seem easier to critique than compliment? Why do we remember negative events or comments quicker than positive ones? Why is it easier to point out what’s wrong more than what’s right? Why are we drawn to defaming gossip than good news? Why does it impact us greater to lose $100 than to find $100? Why is there 62% more emotionally negative words compared to 32% positive in the English dictionary? (Are we hardwired to be positive or negative?)
“In life two negatives don’t make a positive. Double negatives turn positive only in math and formal logic.” – Robert McKee
Scientists say it is our natural NEGATIVITY bias. I was astounded to learn about these scientific studies. The “Negativity Bias” is explained by saying, “Things of a more negative nature (e.g. unpleasant thoughts, emotions, or social interactions; harmful/traumatic events) have a greater effect on one’s psychological state and processes than do neutral or positive things.” (Negativity bias)
In our brains, there are two different systems for negative and positive stimuli. The amygdala uses approximately two thirds of its neurons to detect negative experiences, and once the brain starts looking for bad news, it is stored into long-term memory quickly. Positive experiences have to be held in our awareness for more than 12 seconds in order for the transfer from short-term to long-term memory. Rick Hanson describes it in this way: “The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones.”
You may have experienced this yourself. For example, you spend a lovely day with a friend or spouse. You visit your favorite coffee shop and belly laugh sharing funny moments from the week. You then stroll down the sidewalk, and help an elderly lady cross the street. After viewing a much anticipated movie premiere, you enjoy your favorite dinner and dessert. While driving home you argue over a misunderstanding and end the evening with an argument. Though you agree to disagree, you feel defeated–even though you had many more positive experiences during the day than the one negative. The negative stands out as stronger to your emotions. This is the negativity bias. Continue reading…
One of my favorite responses has become, “I’m not going to waste brain cells on that.”
I grew up with the famous anti-drug “Just Say No” slogan championed by Nancy Reagan. Remember the commercial featuring a frying egg in a sizzling skillet with a voice saying, “This is your brain…this is your brain on drugs…any questions?” I remember vowing to protect my brain cells from impending frying pans! I was armed and ready to avoid sniffing paint and cocaine, but there’s another brain cell killer that threatens us everyday. Stress.
Stress creates free radicals that kill brain cells.Cortisol creates a surplus of the neurotransmitter glutamate. (11) Glutamate creates free radicals — unattached oxygen molecules — that attack brain cells much in the same way that oxygen attacks metal, causing it to rust. (12) – bebrainfit.comStress makes your brain rust!
How could someone made in the CREATOR’S image not be creative? Genesis 1:1 introduces us to the beginning of all creation. In the beginning–God created something BIG out of nothing! The Father dreamed of a family and created a universe to house them. He dreamed it, and then spoke it into being.
1 1-2 First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss. Genesis 1:1-2 Message
I think Autumn is the best time of year with falling leaves, football games, pumpkins, sweaters and cooler weather. The thing I cherish most about fall is the beloved pumpkin spice latte. Can I get a witness?
I recently heard a story of a lady who…wait for it…HATES pumpkin spice lattes. (I know it’s hard to image.) She shared the reason for her aversion and it painted a bigger picture for me. When she was a little girl her dad made pumpkin spice bread for the family. Instead of adding baking powder he used baking soda! The bread smelled heavenly, but it tasted too salty and rancid. Today whenever she thinks of trying anything with pumpkin spice her mind runs to that first bad experience.Her brain classifies and judges ALL pumpkin spice items as distasteful. She needs a memory redemption. I wish I could invite her to the coffee shop.
How many of us do the same thing? If we’ve experienced a painful incident we judge everything associated with that event as painful, and label it as dangerous. This is the precursor of prejudice–judging all by the actions of a few.
I got hurt in church, thus all churches are hurtful. I was abused by a man; all men are abusive. I was robbed by a teenager; all teens are criminals. My boss was unfair; all bosses are out to get me.
You get the idea. You’ve just discovered the devil’s major scheme to STEAL our future. He tries to trick us into judging one negative incident as life’s forgone conclusion. That negative memory does not have to be your fate! It can be REDEEMED and exchanged for God’s greater purpose.
We can’t change the FACTS of what happened to us, but we CAN change our response and embrace the TRUTH of God’s redeeming power!
Memories are powerful and real. They can be triggered by smell, sound or a feeling. How many painful memories occupy real estate of your head?Continue reading…
Remember the old fashion punishment of washing your mouth out with soap?
If only fixing our words was as easy as washing our tongue! We know our words flow out of what’s in our heart and minds, so wouldn’t it be great to wash our minds?
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word… Ephesians 5:26 KJV
Get Your Mind Out of the Gutter
The Apostle Paul teaches in Ephesians how God’s word does just that; it washes our minds! Ephesians 5:26 shows how it sanctifies (sets it apart to God) and cleanses (purify, free from defilement and fault) our minds by the “washing of water by the word.” But just how does this happen? It’s a lot more than rubbing a bible on our head like a paper loofa. How can our brain be washed? How can you really get your mind out of the gutter? Continue reading…
Today, let’s inventory our THOUGHTS and the WORDS we produce from those thoughts. I challenge you to take an inventory of your words for the next 24 hours, including the words that float around in your mind like a song stuck on repeat.
Thoughts and words are inseparable. Words come to our brain as thoughts and then out of our mouth as a message. Complementary and reciprocal, it’s hard to tell which came first.
Words are CONTAINERS; they hold power to create or destroy life. Proverbs 18:21 (AMP) says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue …”
For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart** brings forth good things…Matthew 12:34-35 (NKJ)
**kardia = the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors
You Are A Hoarder
Whether you know it or not, you are a word hoarder! Every day you store words in the thesaurus of your soul. How is your word wealth?
The Greek word for treasure is thesaurus, which means “a place in which good and precious things are collected and laid up; a storehouse.”
We collect many negative words in our hearts throughout life. Many were whispered about us behind our backs, written about us, spoken over us or yelled at us. We collect those words and STORE them up to recycle. The words you store up will write the story of your life! Continue reading…
Picture Peter accepting Jesus’ invitation to step out of the boat and walk to him…
Faith arose in Peter as he heard Jesus’ word to him, for faith comes by hearing. He stepped out, defied the impossible, and operated in a huper anointing beyond what he had ever experienced before—until the wind began to blow.When the storm surged, his focus shifted from Jesus to the squall. He wavered as the waves rose…(excerpt from Huperwoman by Kris White)
Fear loves to start stampedes. Animals can easily “spook” and set off a stampede. Their anxious frenzy sends all the others into total hysteria over a small, often unfounded, incident that’s thrown out of proportion by PANIC!
Have you ever had a thought stampede? One small thought spooks you into running swiftly down a track of despair? We also call this the snowball effect. One runaway thought collects others in its breakneck downhill demise.
Your boss simply asks to meet with you and your mind runs to the unemployment line. You hear a faint noise and your mind races to a terrorist invasion. A hang nail becomes open heart surgery in a matter of 30 seconds. These are all examples of runaway thoughts.
Panic paralyzes or causes frenzy. Our English word “panic,” originates with tales of the mythical Greek creature, Pan. Normally, a pleasant and peaceful fellow, Pan played his pipe and frolicked through the woods. But if accidentally awakened from his noon nap, his temper would rage and cause the woodland animals to stampede with frenzy. Greek authors derived the word panikon, “sudden fear,” from Pan’s unanticipated anxious indignation, and this is the ultimate source of the English word panic.
We know it’s not logical to be scared or uneasy in our mind, but our emotions don’t agree. Has panic ever seized you and caused mass terror? This fear is not a gift from God! The book of James tells us how every good and perfect gift comes from the Father. (James 1:7)Panic is not perfect. It’s author is not your Father or friend. Continue reading…
The theme of a scarcity thinker is, “There’s never enough!”
Is the glass 1/2 empty or is the glass 1/2 full?
Are your thoughts focused on what you HAVE or what you’re MISSING?
God is able to make all grace abound toward me, that I, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8).
SCARCITY THINKING is the new buzz word for what we formerly called a POVERTY MENTALITY. This line of thinking focuses on what you don’t have instead of being thankful for what you DO have. It’s an underlying panic that you will run out and you better “get all you can and can all you get!”
Scarcity thinking is much broader than finances. This theme of thinking discolors every thought. Brene Brown says in her book, Daring Greatly, “we live in a culture of ‘perceived scarcity’ that says, there’s never enough.
“We start off the morning thinking we didn’t get enough sleep, go through the day thinking we don’t have enough time, and fall asleep thinking we failed to accomplish enough tasks. Whatever we have, do, or get, it’s never enough.” (Brene Brown)
We know how to SET the thermostat to cool the house in the Texas heat.
We know how to SET the GPS for our road trip destination.
We know how to SET the oven temperature to cook the brownies.
We recently watched the Rio olympic volleyball teams SET the ball for the killer spike.
We can SET a date for the big event.
We SET the alarm clock for the next day.
Why is it so hard to SET our minds?
As a society we are busier with more potential distractions than ever before. We’re dinged with notifications, we’re buzzed with texts, we’re targeted by marketers, we’re lobbied for votes, and hustled by unsolicited emails.
Just as we focus our thoughts to God’s calling and commit to follow through with serving our neighbor, loving our spouse and staying positive–SQUIRREL! (You know this inside joke if you’ve seen the adorable movie, Up! Dug, the yellow dog is wholeheartedly committed to the adventure, until…you guessed it, he sees a squirrel and then all attention is diverted and the mission is abandoned.) Continue reading…