Your brain is telling you stories
Scientists are interested in how the sense of self is created in your brain. You know that you’re alive, but how? Researchers discovered that your brain is constantly telling you stories. Stories about who you are, what your relationship is to people you’re with, where are you going, what are going to do this week, and so on. Let’s call this your story-telling self. But what if you’re telling yourself negative stories? Stories about how you’re not enough and that you’re undeserving of happiness and success. It can become a real energy drain.
We have good news for you, the story- telling self isn’t always in operation. There’s also the present moment self. When this part of your brain is activate, you’re living in the here and now, connected with your senses. People who practise mindfulness meditation can increase the amount of time they operate with this present-moment self, and can help themselves to become happier.
So watch out when your mind is telling you stories about you, especially discouraging stories and then smile and turn your attention to one of your senses.The muscles in your face link with your feelings of happiness. By smiling you’re helping yourself see the positive side of your situation rather than setting up a battle in your mind. A connecting with your senses helps to disengage the ruminative, story-telling brain from taking over your mind.
Daily meditation practice can be pretty challenging. Meditation provides the space for a whole range of trapped thoughts and emotions to rise to the surface, often the ones you want to avoid most. The tendency of the mind is to judge experiences as good or bad. Meditation practice helps to be aware of these judgements and let them go.