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RETRAIN YOUR BRAIN
Adapted from the works of Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.

Not only is it the best time in history, it is also the safest. So why does it seem that the world is falling apart? Why does it feel like we are falling apart? Wars, violence, terrorists, school shootings, cancer, poverty, you name it. It's everywhere.

But hasn't it always been? Hasn't the world always been a place of strife for those living in it? People often refer to times gone by as the ''Good Ol' Times,'' as if they were times of considerably more innocence. Why? Why were those times - the 1950s or 1920s or 1880s - so much better than now?

As a matter of fact, they weren't. War is on the decline and has been since World War II. Since the 1990s, violent crimes and murder have been steadily declining in developed countries. People live longer now with fewer health issues in old age. Even people living in poverty in the developed countries have access to clean water, electricity and waste disposal. These are things that would have been unimaginable for those people less than 100 years ago. So why are we all so consumed with the awfulness of the world around us? As Susan would say, “Why are we feeding ourselves so many negative thoughts?”

Instead of appreciating all that we have, we sit in front of our TVs or computers and absorb the negativity being live-streamed to us, instead of looking past it to see the good in the world. We let fear take our power away from us. How can we change that? As Susan wrote:

So here you are, a blob of negativity. How do you even begin to turn around those miserable thoughts that take away your power? You begin by doing the same thing you would do if your body were out of shape. You create an exercise program - in this case, to retrain your mind. To do so, you must take action.

Action towards positivity is hard when the 24-hour news cycle offers us a constant barrage of horror. All of this negative information overwhelms our thinking. That's why we must retrain our brains to deal with the deluge of fear. That's not to say that the suffering of anyone should go unnoticed, but we shouldn't allow it to feed our fears and control us. We have to learn to sort out the bad and put it into perspective. Everyone knows that a person is twenty times more likely to die in a car accident than in a plane crash, but that doesn't stop most of us from getting in a car. We are far more likely to die from a mishap in our own homes than be killed by terrorists, yet so many of us focus on the latter event. Stepping back, adjusting our viewpoint to see the entire landscape of our lives instead of a single aspect that we fear, can help us begin focusing on all the beauty this world holds.

Negative thoughts take away your power . . .
and thus make you more paralyzed from your fear.

To combat the negativity, we need to retrain our minds to think differently - one of the main points of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. One technique that can really help calm our minds after being bombarded by fear is to try guided visualizations.

With guided visualizations you can learn to push aside the Chatterbox, that little voice inside your head that drives you crazy for a moment, and experience feelings and see mental pictures the likes of which you have never felt or seen before... Many reported that for the first time they were able to see what the world looks like without fear. They reported that when they took away the fear, they were left with an abundance of love. They were startled by how beautiful the world appeared and how much they wanted to give to the people around them. If you have no concept of how the world can look without fear, it is hard to know what you are striving for.

Susan created many books and audios with guided visualizations. They can help us retrain our brains to limit fear by putting things in context, creating balance and proportion in our lives. Take action! Practice positive thinking! Once fear is properly put in its place, we can truly see the panorama of our lives and appreciate the true wonder of this world we live in.

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