I work with students regularly on the concept of cognitive restructuring. My students repeat the mantra, I can train my brain. We talk about how powerful the brain is and how important intentional thoughts are in the process of strengthening behavior. Funny, as much as the brain can help, it can also be the source of our problems.
Human brains worry, overthink, and obsess. They also have difficulty letting things go. Dr. Robert Sapolsky, neuroscientist at Stanford, discussed this phenomenon in his book, Why Zebras Dont Get Ulcers. He outlines how human brains create their own stressors. Animals dont have this problem. Animal brains are only concerned with survival, and at least in this way, animals have it easy because they dont sweat the small stuff like humans do.
Yes, with our advanced brain, sometimes its hard being a human. I believe this to be especially true for parent-humans, who exponentially worry, overthink, and obsess. Most often, we fixate on events that never come to pass. So I will challenge you to train your brain, as I work to train mine. Just as our negative thoughts and perceptions can debilitate us, so too, can our positive thoughts propel us forward. My parent goal for this week is to choose the latter.