Rick Hanson’s work on how to take in the good is something which, having read much of his work, I know I must keep reminding myself of because of, what he calls, the brains negativity bias.
There are strong evolutionary reasons for this negativity bias. It is better to assume there is a tiger behind the bushes a thousand times and be wrong a thousand times than to assume there is no tiger and be wrong once.
Sadly, most of us don’t know that this is our default mode. With this knowledge comes opportunity. The opportunity to change our brain by deliberately helping good experiences make lasting impressions on our brain. We can change our brain (this is called neuroplasticity).
Keep focussing on the happy experience (the taste and smell of food, a feeling of gratitude, a hug, etc) and let it sink into us over 20 or 30 seconds.
Rick explains taking in the good as deliberately using the mind to change the brain for the better. He splits it into three parts:
If something good happens then let a good fact become a good experience.
As you sink into it, sense, and intend, that it is sinking into you.
We take a few moments to really focus on all the aspects of a positive experience, keep focussing on it, then imagine it sinking into our body and mind as, at the same time, we are sinking into it, whether this is a feeling of peace, love, calm, strength, etc, or pleasures of the senses, having a happy time, good news, and so on.
Thanks to Rick for this, as the knowledge has improved my life, though, as mentioned, it is nice to remind oneself as it is easy to slip into our default mode!
Find out more abour Rick here: