Some old songs actually can bring a smile to your face and add a zip to your step. Take for example: â€œZippidy-doo-dah, Zippidy-day, My-oh-my what a wonderful day!â€ Doesnâ€™t this at least make you smile? Well, smiling puts you in a good mood, and a good mood is great for your memory!
A positive attitude has been proven to be important to a good memory. Negative thoughts lead to depression, and depression leads to memory loss. A positive attitude is also good for your health. Research has proven that people with a positive attitude live longer.
Our brains are wired to reject negativity past short-term memory. It â€œplugs its earsâ€ (so to speak) to hearing negative thoughts and doesnâ€™t let these enter into long-term memory. Of the 50,000 thoughts we process per day, most will never make their way to your long-term memory because they are negative. It is a proven fact that information and experiences we receive while in a good mood are easier to recall at a later time.
There are two things that tend to motivate people â€“ fear and inspiration. Fear can get you going, but it doesnâ€™t make you feel good and is not sustainable. On the other hand, inspiration gets you motivated to move forward, even if obstacles are placed in your way.
Does having someone constantly belittle you and telling you that you are worthless get you motivated to do better. Of course not! On the other hand, if you are encouraged and told you are a valuable person and can do anything you set your mind to, does that inspire you to do your best? Usually.
A positive attitude improves self-image, which opens up the channels for better reception of information. According to a study published in Nature Neuroscience, â€œThe brain is very good at processing good news about the future, even in the face of evidence to the contrary.â€
Researchers at University College, London report that their research found approximately 80% of people are actually positive thinkers, although they may not look at themselves that way. â€œThere is a very fundamental bias in the brain,â€ says Dr Tali Sharot, head researcher.
Fourteen people were tested in their study for their levels of optimism. Each was asked how they would respond to 80 different â€œbad eventsâ€ that could occur in their life – such as a divorce, job loss or death of a loved one.Â They were then shown statistics that indicated the likelihood these events could happen in their life.Â Depending on what was going on in their personal lives at the time, the before and after answers were significantly different.
Those having a rough time in their own relationship, and was asked how they would rate the possibility of getting a divorce the negative person might rate it at 63%, while the positive person would rate it at 30%. After viewing statistics as to the rate of divorce (say 56%) both would probably raise their figures, but the positive person would only raise theirs slightly (to perhaps 35%).
Dr Sharot said: â€œSmoking kills messages donâ€™t work as people think their chances of cancer are low. The divorce rate is 50%, but people donâ€™t think itâ€™s the same for them. There is a very fundamental bias in the brain.â€
According to the researchers, the frontal lobes of their brains lit up when the news was positive. This is the area of the brain that processes errors. Negative information given to the optimistic people showed the least amount of frontal lobe activity, while those who were more negative had the most activity. This suggests that the â€œbrain is picking and choosing which evidence to listen to.â€
Dr Chris Chambers, a neuroscientist from the University of Cardiff, said: â€œItâ€™s very cool, a very elegant piece of work and fascinating. For me, this work highlights something that is becoming increasingly apparent in neuroscience, that a major part of brain function in decision-making is the testing of predictions against reality â€“ in essence all people are â€˜scientistsâ€™, and despite how sophisticated these neural networks are, it is illuminating to see how the brain sometimes comes up with wrong and overly optimistic answers despite the evidence.â€ But as Dr Sharot points out: â€œThe negative aspect is that we underestimate risks.â€
As for the health benefits, another study that consisted of 100,000 women, heart disease and early death was lower in optimistic women than in their negative thinking counterparts. Because thoughts create emotions, some sort of hopeful outcome motivates everything.
When you change your thinking, you change your life.
About the author:
Ron White is a two-time USA Memory Champion and memory training expert. As a memoryÂ speaker he travels the world to speak before large groups or small company seminars, demonstrating his memory skills and teaching others how to improve their memory, and how important a good memory is in all phases of your life.
Memorise.org â€“ Memory Benefits from a Positive Attitude: http://www.memorise.org/brain-articles/memory-benefits-positive-outlook-001714.html