The Happiness Connection  

Your brain is a spin doctor

One of the biggest adjustments I had to make when I moved into my current home was getting used to the road noise.

The sounds were distracting, and my dog was exhausted by all the extra barking he felt compelled to do.

In a very short time, we adjusted. Now, we barely notice the cars, unless there’s a siren or loud screeching of brakes. This is true even when we’re outside.

Has the traffic become quieter, or less frequent?

Not at all. If anything, at certain times of the day, it’s busier than ever.

If the noise is still there, why don’t we notice it?

Your brain is bombarded 24-7 with signals from your senses.

  • Your eyes take in everything they see.
  • Your skin feels anything it meets and continues to feel it until the connection is removed.
  • Your nose registers the strong and subtle scents that surround you.
  • Your ears detect every sound that comes within range.
  • If you’re eating or drinking, your tongue is assaulted by a myriad of tastes and textures.

Your brain receives all these sensations. It knows that your clothes are touching specific parts of your skin, and that your eyes see the spider scuttling across the floor.

Why does your conscious mind miss so many things that your brain is aware of?

If your brain shared every message it received, you’d be overwhelmed. Being overwhelmed isn’t much fun. It’s like drowning or being buried under more than you believe you can handle. You wouldn’t be able to sleep, or focus.

To prevent this from happening, your brain uses selective filtering. This is also known as selective attention.

If you read The Happiness Connection last week, you may have watched this process in action. If not, it isn’t too late. Click here to experience the Selective Attention Test video.

Your brain processes only a small portion of the stimuli it receives. Your attention is drawn to the things your mind believes will help you survive, or that support your conscious or subconscious beliefs.

Your brain likes consistency. It wants to support you in whatever you believe. It has no interest in confusing you, or sending you mixed signals.

If you think money is hard to come by and only a lucky few get to acquire it, your brain will work hard to find evidence that strengthens that idea. It’s the ultimate spin doctor.

It will scan through the stimuli it has received to see what’s appropriate to send you. It will add an extra layer of support by interpreting these messages in whatever way helps strengthen your existing beliefs.

In Dr. Richard Wiseman’s research on luck, he put his unwitting subjects into a situation where they walked past a five-pound note that was lying on the ground.

The people who self-identified as lucky, noticed it. Those who believed they were unlucky, didn’t.

Each brain received a message alerting it to the existence of the money. The difference wasn’t in the stimulus, but in the selective filtering processes. A desire to provide evidence to prove a belief in luck or lack of it, determined who received conscious awareness of the money.

It brings a whole new meaning to creating your own reality.

This isn’t the first time I’ve written on the topic of selective information processing, but this time I want to throw a twist into the mix.

Let’s get proactive with this knowledge.

If you want to change your outer life, you have to start by changing your inner one.

Regardless of what happens in their environment and circumstances, pessimists are going to see negativity. Optimists will see positivity. Possibility-ists will see possibility.

Do you want to be richer or in a loving relationship? Maybe you want to work less but maintain your current lifestyle.

Taking on a second job, joining more dating apps, or transitioning to a part-time position isn’t going to help until you adjust your inner beliefs.

If you don’t think you’re beautiful, because you aren’t thin, ripped, or pretty enough, then going to the gym every day, or having plastic surgery isn’t going to change that. Until you believe, in your soul, that you are gorgeous, you will never see it.

How much money do you need to feel rich? The answer will vary from person to person. It isn’t about a specific amount, it’s about whether you believe you have abundance or not.

I’ve spoken with many people who set a specific amount of savings that they thought would make them feel safe. When they reached their goal, they moved the goalpost. Each time they saved their target amount, they realized it still wasn’t enough.

It was never going to be enough, until they developed an inner belief that they were safe.

Changing the internal habits and beliefs of a lifetime isn’t easy, but the payoff is limitless.

Decide what you want to change in your life.

Money, satisfaction, or relationships are all common choices.

What do you believe about your chosen topic?

You need to be brutally honest with yourself. Think about your parents’ beliefs. It’s likely they passed these on to you without you realizing it. That’s how so many subconscious beliefs get their beginnings.

  • Do these beliefs support the life you want?
  • Tweak your existing beliefs or create new ones, so they align with the life you want to manifest.
  • Consciously look for evidence that supports your new beliefs.

This often involves changing your initial perspective about your environment and circumstances.

Paying a bill doesn’t have to make you feel poor. Focus on the fact that you have the resources to pay it and that your money will help other people live their best lives.

Celebrate every step forward.

Gratitude is one of the best ways to do this. Be grateful that you recognized your date wasn’t a good fit before you got too far into a relationship.

You can’t fake it till you make it in this work. Your brain is driven to support your true intentions, not the pretend ones.

If you believe you will always have enough money, it doesn’t matter if you have $10 in you bank or $10,000.

When it comes to psychology, it’s all about what you believe, not what other people believe about you. How you perceive yourself, is your reality.

Choose the experience you want to have in life, and then start creating it.

  • If you want more money, believe you are already rich and deserve to be richer.
  • If you want to be happier, see happiness in your current life and know that more is available.
  • If you want more love, start by loving yourself and believing you deserve to be loved.

It’s your life. Choose your own adventure.

More The Happiness Connection articles

About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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