Our brain is a storehouse of astonishing marvels. Though one of it is no longer a secret- our brains can’t tell the difference between real and imaginary.
Real or imaginary – it is just the same for our brain.
Real or imaginary?
In a scientific study, two groups were given a set of keys to be played on the piano. Group A was asked to play it on the piano while Group B was asked to imagine playing it on the piano. Brain scans were performed on both the groups. The scans reflected a similar brain activity in the regions corresponding to motor movement of hand in both the groups. Their brains could not differentiate between reality and their thoughts.
This example is replicated in our lives very often. Whether you are actually on a holiday or lost in deep thoughts about your dream vacation, you derive a similar pleasure from it. This is because, in both circumstances, the same regions of your brain gets activated and releases dopamine- the feel good hormone. Similarly, your brain fails to identify whether you are in a stressful situation or imagining it, resulting in the release of stress hormones in both the cases.
What does this mean?
It means that whether the pain/pleasure is real or just a thought, it has an overwhelming impact on our brain and body. Being aware of these thoughts, especially the negative patterns that we create in our mind, is therefore very important. Unless we train our brain to identify these patterns and eliminate them, they will keep influencing our present lives and the experiences that we create. Stopping these negative thoughts and staying planted in reality is a must for us to function normally and fulfil our dreams.
How does it impact us?
What happens when we start thinking negatively? When we ruminate about something that did not go well in the past and start worrying about our future? When we begin to doubt our capabilities, our self-worth and our luck? We start going down a never-ending negative spiral.
But do you know why?
This is because when we think negatively, our brain can’t tell our thoughts from reality. We start believing it to be real and subsequently start manifesting the same reality in our lives. Our motivation level drops, we enter into depression and our body feels low on energy.
Does that mean that we should always imagine positive things?
Interestingly, imagining positive things all day can also impact us negatively. Maladaptive daydreaming is a habit that makes people daydream about things that they really want to achieve. For example, we may dream about travelling to exotic places, reaching the top of our careers or being in wonderful relationships. This may be quite contrary to the reality. However, as we know, our brain can’t tell if these are dreams or reality. So, it instructs our body to release dopamine. The feel good hormone makes us feel good wanting us to daydream even more. It is like a vicious cycle where you are just stuck in your head, unable to do anything to fulfil your dreams. These thoughts can get you nowhere in real life.
What can we do?
The good news is that, with some self-awareness, mindfulness and easy tools we can stop our thoughts from influencing our reality. These tools range from meditation, deep breathing exercises, thought reframing, therapy, healing and consulting a life coach.
If your thoughts are controlling your life and you need someone to pull you out, we would be happy to help. Connect with us at 9205658544