Why do you notice certain thing, where do opportunities come from and how can you direct your brain better using this knowledge.
Its to do with your brain’s natural filters
(The pic is because this article was originally titled Spam and referred to our brains ‘spam’ filters using the email analogy – but then someone pointed out the stupidity of using the word spam in an article I’ve written to bring people’s attention to it in the computer world).
This is about how the brain filters information and why it is so important that you set the parameters of those filters so you can direct your brain in a positive way and in the direction you want to go.
If you were to install a spam filter on your computer it would have standard settings to pick up and filter out unwanted emails and our brain does have default settings, but over time, without realising we change those settings and things can go very wrong causing anxiety and depression. It is vital to remember that we are in control of the filters and our brain, its just a matter of learning how to take control.
Think of it like this:-
As we go about our daily business, we are constantly bombarded with information from all our senses and we can’t possibly hope to take in all this information – why would we want to, much of it is irrelevant – but what or who decides what is relevant and we need to know or make a note of?
All this sensory information we are exposed to, through sight, sound, smell, touch and taste, comes in via our sorting office or the Thalamus and the thalamus decides what to do with it and which part of the brain to pass that information on to and does it need to be acted on?
The ‘who‘ is us, we decide and the ‘what‘ is a small part of our brain inside the Thalamus sorting office called Basal Ganglia or our personal spam filter.
As we grow up, learn and think, our spam filter is constantly adapting and refining, working with other parts of our brain to understand what is relevant and important to us at that time. You know how this works – have you been married, had a baby or bought a new car? Do you remember when you were getting married for example, everything around you seemed to be about weddings, everyone seemed to be getting married at the same time, there were marriage adverts on the TV and wedding magazines in waiting rooms. When you get pregnant, suddenly babies – babies everywhere, everyone’s pregnant and every other advert has a baby in it. Have you woken up in a parallel universe that morning – no, you have just changed the parameters of the spam filter to allow it to filter in that information. The filter has told the chaps in the sorting office that they need to send all baby relevant information to those intelligent boffins in the front office or the Frontal Lobe which does the conscious thinking or complex reasoning so they can decide if they want to store that away somewhere for later.
This is not just for your new car, weddings or babies, it’s hugely important – why?
Well, because it’s how we think that determines the parameters of the spam filter and we can either use it to constantly alter our brain to the dangers, problems and anxieties, so it can seek out more potential things which could be a problem and imagine all the possible negative scenarios and fill our brain with anxiety OR we could use it to focus our mind on what we want and our amazing brain will start to filter in relevant information and bring it to the attention of the boffins which can then decide what to do with it.
So if there is something we want to achieve, we must understand the importance of deciding, without any ambiguity, of what we want – we don’t need to know details of how we’re going to do it, just concept and our brain will work out the rest.
If you read my blog ‘Elephant’s Aren’t Pink’ you will also now be aware that it is equally important to focus on what you DO want and not on what you don’t want and you must be clear about your instructions, so your brain knows what it is you want.
Say, for example, you are frustrated and demotivated at work, you’ve got to the point where you’re not sleeping well, especially on a Sunday night because you know you’ve got to go to work on Monday morning and you really can’t face it.
At this point your brain has probably locked on to everything that is wrong at work and you’re worrying about your performance, what your boss things, you know you are not performing to your best ability and you think other people will notice, but you just can’t seem to get into the right frame of mind – that’s because you’re focusing on everything that is wrong.
thinking about all the wrongness of the company, the boss, your colleague who seems to be doing everything he/she can to undermine you. It might take a big effort of will and determination, but it is YOUR brain, not someone elses, you are in control of how you think.
thinking about what you would prefer instead. A new job perhaps, start your own business, a promotion, changing to a different department, move to a new city – I don’t know, those are just examples and it is quite possible the problem is actually nothing to do with your job at all, it could be something outside work with needs changing. The point is, start imaging your preferred future – dare to dream. Did you know Walt Dysney is quoted as saying “If you can Dream it, you can do it”. The hardest part and the place to start is dreaming it, imaging how you would like you life to be – let go of the reasons why you can’t.
At this stage, don’t try and figure out the detail of how you’re going to get there – think about it, if you knew that already, you would have done it wouldn’t you? First you have to give your brain the instruction of what you want, it will then go off and work it out.
By doing this YOU have CHANGED the PARAMETERS of your spam filter and from this moment on your brain will start to filter IN relevant information; you will start to consider possibilities and strategise how you can make it happen. The plan may well change many times along the way and the desired outcome can often change, but the important thing is you have started focusing on a positive outcome and set your brain in gear for making positive changes.
Our spam filters are amazing and how wonderfully powerful it is to be able to control and direct our brain in a way in that makes our best life possible happen for us.
The future is wonderful and exciting and it really is up to you.
Oh, I said I would tell you what SPAM meant – well, apparently it does come from the Monty Python sketch, but no one seems to be able to explain exactly why!
If you would like to understand more about how hypnotherapy can help you set positive spam filters, please contact us.