Bilingual news and shares about the brain, languages and coaching
Newsletter 11 - Positivity
the N in NeuroLanguage Coaching®
“When things go wrong, don't go with them.”
“Quand les choses vont mal, ne va pas avec elles”
― Elvis Presley
Do you know about positivity psychology ?
I've been researching it and I find it so interesting that it was difficult for me to get this newsletter done : I kept being sidetracked.
Let me use the following real life - and very recent- example to illustrate it:
I recently flew back to France from Spain. I was on the Mediterranean coast, the weather was phenomenal this year - This is me, remote working from my favorite park in Valencia. This is what I had to say goodbye to.
So you see how coming back to grey, wet, garbaged-filled (strikes) Paris initially didn't make me happy at all, to say the least. This could be experienced in 2 very different ways:
Option 1 - It's so depressing to get back to working from home instead of remote working from a gorgeous place, not being able to eat out under the sun anymore, not seeing the sea whenever I feel like it.
Option 2 - I'm so lucky and grateful to have a job that allows me to work remotely. I just had an amazing 3-week break from winter and feel so energized.
→ reframing in a positive light!
Positive psychology focuses on identifying and developing positive emotions, strengths, and virtues such as optimism, resilience, gratitude, kindness, and creativity. It focuses on the “what's right in my life?” instead of “what's wrong with my life?”.
And while the latter should not be ignored in some phases of our lives, the former can really help us balance all aspects of our lives so as to be stronger if and when things go wrong.
What's positivity when it comes to the brain?
Reframing an event in a more positive light enhances the impact of serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins in our brains. Studies have shown that :
positive emotions can increase activity in the left prefrontal cortex (PFC) associated with positive mood, approach behavior, and cognitive flexibility. This increased activity may help us to think more clearly and make better decisions when we are in a positive state of mind as the PFC is also responsible for cognitive functions such as decision-making, planning, and problem-solving. Negative thinking on the other hand triggers cortisol which deactivates the PFC to redirect our ressources to the part of our brain that will protect us from danger (stress). In other words we litterally stop thinking and reasoning.
positive emotions have been linked to increased activity in the amygdala - emotional responses, memory formation, response to threats (fight or flight). This may help us to be more resilient and better able to cope with stress when it comes our way.
positive emotions also increase the activity of the reward center, which reinforces positive behaviors and encourages us to repeat them in the future. When we experience something pleasurable or rewarding, such as achieving a goal or receiving praise, our brain releases dopamine, which reinforces that behavior and makes us more likely to seek out similar experiences in the future.
Another advantage of cultivating a positive mindset is that with consistent practice, it can evolve into a habitual behavior and eventually become your default response to adverse or challenging circumstances.
By reframing negative (or anticipated negative) events, we can improve quality of life now and over time.
So now you know:
by shifting your perspective on a given event, you trigger a series of chemical reactions in your brain. It's not black magic or woowoo, it's biology.
When we anticipate a negative event, we change our brain's chemistry, and our brain will function to imitate its appearance during the actual occurrence of the event. Our brain thinks that something negative is actually happening just because we were afraid it might happen. In other words, we imagined it and our brain believed it.
Conversely, thinking of something positive - like indulging in your favorite food for example- can prompt the circuits of the brain to activate as though you are really consuming that food. So much so that you can actually start salivating just by thinking of it.
Unfortunately, our brain has a negative bias, meaning it has a tendency to think negatively about the future. This bias was useful when it helped humans be more cautious and avoid danger. While still helpful in today's world, it's a little less indispensable so THINK POSITIVE, it won't hurt you.
And if you want to go back on my other newsletters that cover all kinds of brain related, language related, coaching related fascinating subjects, I suggest you go to my newsletter webpage
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Good to know
The Neurolanguage Coaching® certification is accredited by the ICF
La certification est accreditée par la Fédération Internationale de Coaching