I talk a lot about the power of your focus and the importance of directing your thoughts towards what you want to create, but it isn’t always easy. Frankly, if you’re outright depressed, it can be a real struggle. Ironically, when we are down, that’s when we need to be really positive. But even if we know we should try and be more optimistic we can find it hard to tear our thoughts away from all the negative stuff that runs riot through our minds.
A study talked about on ScienceDaily.com shows that depression interferes with working memory in part because people who were down did struggle to direct their attention away from what they saw as the negative things in their life.
That conclusion followed a study in which people were asked to take part in simple word recall experiments. Those who were depressed were a lot slower at putting scrambled lists of words they’d been asked to remember into order.
With research like this, it’s easy to see how depression can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. We feel down, can’t stop thinking about all the bad things and effectively continue to polish up a lens that gives us a very dark view of life.
I think it’s even more important at such times that we understand how our brain actually works. The whole arena of neuroplasticity is exciting scientists who are realising that it is possible for people to literally rewire their brain by directing their thoughts. Recent discoveries are even pointing towards alternative treatments for people who suffer from disabling conditions such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and even Schizophrenia. If you leap over to TV Knight, you can watch a fascinating documentary called The Changing Brain which is all about neuroplasticity and the new hope posed for disorders that were previously thought really difficult to treat.
It’s all still very early days, but one day, we may fully understand exactly how to help people use their own mind to mend their mind.
It’s always important to follow expert medical advice for any conditions and I would urge anyone undergoing treatment to follow the advice that they are given by their healthcare practitioners to the letter. Along with that, it’s worth making every effort to put our minds to use. Again, research shows that just six hours of meditation can start to change our brains, which of course helps us think in a totally different way. And Jeffrey M. Schwartz, has used findings from this area to help people with severe cases of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with really encouraging results – check out his book Brainlock.
So even though research like the study talked about on ScienceDaily.com gives us more insight into why it’s harder for us to direct our thoughts when we are down, I hope that we hang on to the hope born of the understanding that we really do have the power to change our minds.
Loads of love,