We all know what it’s like to wear a path through a field of grass or through a forest. If we walk or run on this path over and over again, it finally loses its ability to go back to its original appearance and texture.
Grasses are bent down or broken, branches from shrubs and trees are pushed out of the way or broken, grass no longer grows in many spots, and the dirt becomes packed and smooth.
To a passing stranger, the path becomes visible even if they had never seen it before.
This is the same way our brain works. Activities done over and over again and thoughts thought over and over again create neuro-pathways in the brain, rewiring the brain so that we don’t have to recreate the wheel each time.
That’s how we learn music; that’s how we learn a dance routine; how we memorize poetry, or a list or learn a subject in school.
But let’s return to the neuro-pathways caused by thoughts. Negative and positive thoughts – all kinds of thoughts can create these pathways just like facts and figures and musical passages and lyrics.
These same thoughts will return to us over and over again until we create new pathways to eclipse that one.
But that’s not what’s important. We are susceptible to the dominating thoughts of other people’s brains, for our brains transmit feelings and thoughts to other brains and vice versa. So our surroundings have a lot to do with the way we feel and how we develop thinking patterns.
If you’re wondering how the brain can be so affected by another’s thoughts, the explanation is simple. When we witness another’s emotion, such as pain, anger, sadness, etc., our brain tries out that emotion as part of our empathizing with that person.
We actually feel the emotion with them. We can also get sucked down into their dark cloud outlook as well and new neuro-pathways are born.
We may want to clear a path around sources of negativity and depressing thoughts by avoiding:
- people who complain all the time;
- people who refuse to see the good in anything that happens;
- television shows that create negative images that you can’t forget;
- people who cut you down or discourage you
When there’s no escape from the company of negative people, you can always hum a happy tune in your head; look them in the eye and try to discern what’s really bothering them; or say to yourself “this too shall pass.” Or you can picture yourself knocking them into the lake.
Another idea is to send love to those people or experiences in the universe that are less than favorable, expressing gratitude for the experience and ability to observe a situation without fear or anger.
By including love in the equation, you can help your brain conjure different neuro-pathways. Love, the major force in our emotions, can conquer fear if we are consistent.
Love can create a foundation on which our positive outlook can dominate and take root.