colors our inner perspective.
Positive or negative thought patterns create moods.
Black pessimism or white optimism? Wise choices change the outcome of your game.
For Kira’s “Checkmate” Photo Prompt Mondays on Voices of Poetry and Prose
Odd poem you say? Let me reframe it a bit. I recently watched a thought-provoking documentary by BBC personality and journalist Michael Mosley called “Don’t Worry Be Happy”. In it Michael explores the basic makeup of his personality and learns how to modify his naturally negative perspective. Research into personalities has shown that persons with a natural bent toward optimism life on average 7 1/2 years longer than people who see ‘the glass half empty’. Michael has chronic insomnia and anxiety and his personality testing showed that his right frontal cortex, where negative emotions are generated, was three times more active than his left.
Michael started a program to modify his negative thinking using two proven therapies. Cognitive Bias Modification is a simple process where one looks at mixed facial images and picks out the pleasant and happy faces for 10-15 minutes a day. Mindfulness meditation is a process where one clears the mind and focus’ on deep abdominal breathing starting with a few minutes a day and working up to 20 minutes a day.
At the end of 8 weeks Michael was sleeping better than he had in years and felt much more relaxed. His re-testing showed that his right frontal cortex was only slightly more active than his left, a remarkable improvement.
Can depression and dark thinking lead to illness? It is known that persons with Bipolar II disorder live much shorter lives than the general population. I believe in the mind-body connection, and I wonder whether some of my medical illnesses will some day be traced to my negative perspective. I am the girl who, at age three, had two very interesting sentences to everything: “I can’t like it” and “I can’t want to.” While my family has laughed over that over the years, I wonder if I would have been healthier had I been given the skills to change my inner thinking. To change what is so ingrained is a daunting task indeed.