Why the Brain Replays our Fear-Filled Thoughts

wire sculpture of a brain

The brain replays everything or more accurately the mind does

The brain is neutral. It simply fires on all cylinders. Synapses connect with synapses, creating neural pathways. The brain doesn’t grade our thoughts or put them into positive or negative categories. The mind does that.

What’s the difference?

The mind is a collection of thoughts, both personal and collective

We collect thoughts from the moment we enter this world until we leave this mortal coil. Our thoughts are learned responses. They determine what we class as positive or negative.

Our parents, siblings, teachers, peers, and wider society, all influenced our thought patterns. What they taught us about responding to certain life situations is how our minds learned to operate. The mind then learned to categorize our experiences as negative or positive. Negative thinking patterns then formed over time based on our early experiences.

Our body responds to the mind with almost laser-like precision. Once the mind has a thought pattern, the brain produces the chemicals associated with that thought pattern. That chemical then floods the body and it responds through emotions. We feel happy or sad, or any other correlating emotion. Feeling doesn’t take place in the brain. We feel or perceive with our senses, and sensations are the domain of the body.

So why does the brain or the mind replay our fear thoughts?

It’s quite simple really. Humans learn through repetition. Everything we’ve learned we have learned through repeating it again and again. Thoughts repeated, become beliefs. And it is our beliefs that determine our experience of life.

We come into the world as a blank slate, what stays with us and gets embedded in the mind, are the things we’ve learned repeatedly. These thought-forms harden into beliefs. These beliefs are then reinforced if nothing in our outer experience comes along to challenge them. The beliefs then solidify as rigid neural pathways in the mind.

So, if we learned from a very early age that the world didn’t feel like a safe place that becomes a repeated pattern. If we learned that our needs, whatever they were, weren’t met, then that becomes a pattern. If we learned the opposite, then that becomes our pattern. A pattern is what forms our neural pathways.

Therefore, if your mind is repeating fearful thoughts, it’s because you learned to focus on fear from a very early age.

The mind also repeats thoughts that we deem neutral or positive. Because there’s no strong chemical response coming from the brain with those thoughts, they aren’t noticed in the same way. Our bodies aren’t being flooded with chemicals in the same way.

Even our neurological responses are learned and intensified over time. The chemical hit gets stronger through repeated use which is how neural pathways are formed. They are formed through repetition and strong body responses. What dictates which neurological and biological responses get repeated? The mind and the body. The body is addicted to the chemicals that flood its systems.

The brain. The mind. The body. We can call these three the Trinity. Combined, they dictate our responses to life.

So, how do we learn to focus on what we deem to be positive thoughts? Yes. You guessed it. Repetition. We have to retrain our minds. We have to teach the mind to focus on what we wish to experience.

Remember we have formed neural pathways in the brain and those pathways become entrenched as automatic responses to stimuli. Now we have to create new neural pathways. We do this through focus and repetition.

Here’s the important part!

We can only stay focused on something we’re not used to focusing on if we have a big enough why! If our why isn’t big enough then those neural pathways will continue to dominate our response to life.

How do we get strong why? By knowing why we want the things we say we want. If it’s more money, why do you want it? How is it going to improve your experience? How will it benefit those you love? What will it allow you to create, be, and do?

Can you feel the energy in those questions? Can you imagine if you were to spend time each day focusing in-depth on the answers to those questions? What would happen? Just think about it.

If you combine the answers to those questions with mental imagery and then add the corresponding chemical release from the brain associated with those thoughts or imaginings, you can feel the associated chemicals flooding your body.

Now, can you see why that might have the power to change your focus and create a new experience?

The question is, do you have a strong enough why, for what you wish to create or experience? If you do, you can create it, or at least some version of it. Life being the complex animal it is, it does not create linearly. How your blessings don\’t usually come directly. They tend to come when you’re looking the other way!

So, whether you want to create more money, greater health, or better relationships, the same applies. If you wish to get that promotion, start a business, or move to a different location, the same applies. Change your focus by actively retraining your mind. Your brain and your body will follow along soon enough.

And don’t worry if you slip up now and again. Those neural pathways are powerful things. Just own that you’ve started to slip back into identifying with your fearful thoughts and bless yourself for noticing. Otherwise, you’ll start to create an internal drama every time you have a thought you deem negative.

See all thoughts and feelings as the blessings that they are!

They are pointers to what you’re focusing on. The corresponding chemicals they release in your body and the emotions they generate are the clarification. If you see the brain, mind, and body system like this, then you’ll never classify any thoughts as negative or fearful, again!

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*Previously published on January 2, 2019

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