My daughter had a teacher once who told the kids that he was not going to teach them anything they didn’t need to know. There was a purpose behind what he was teaching and if they ever wanted to know why they were learning something he was teaching, they could ask. The students found it liberating to be able to ask, “Why should I learn this material?”

Go ahead, you can ask me, “Why should I think positively? Does it really matter?” Yes, and there is science to back up the claim.

When we think negatively, a chemical called cortisol, is released into our system. Cortisol shuts down the prefrontal cortex where we do our higher thinking, where we problem solve, and generate empathy, compassion and forgiveness. Just think about not being able to think logically about a problem, not even being able to try to see where another person is coming from. You are literally in fight or flight mode. Think about it, the times you have gotten into trouble are probably when this part of your brain has been inactivated.

Now, think positive thoughts. Another chemical is released into your system, called dopamine. Dopamine gives us feelings of contentment and calmness. Dopamine redirects blood flow to the prefrontal cortex or the higher thinking area of our brain. When this part of our brain is activated, we are able to resolve conflict, have compassion for others and ask for forgiveness. 

Learn how to get a shot of dopamine by going to my YouTube Video, “What Negative Thinking Does To Your Brain.”

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results.”

~Willie Nelson

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