have any difficulty in banishing unpleasantness
torturing thoughts, force yourself to read some good,
inspiring book—something that will smooth out your
wrinkles and put you in a happy mood; something that
make you see the real grandeur and beauty of life;
something that will make you feel ashamed of petty
meanness and narrow, uncharitable thoughts.
goes in must come out, no? The surprising thing
sometimes is that we have to "force ourselves"
to read something positive and uplifting--it's so much
easier to turn on the TV and watch some of the violence
and crime that's packaged as entertainment, or even to
read some crime novel in which some characters murder,
maim, or otherwise hurt each other.
brains respond very clearly to violence, and it doesn't
respond in a very positive way. It gives us stress
and tension, and it creates a corresponding physical
response with such symptoms as tightness of muscles,
higher blood pressure, or even headaches.
saying these words out loud a couple of times:
hate, murder, stab, kill, blood, death.
Do you feel
a change in your mood or feelings? If you were
hooked up to a machine that measured your physiological
responses, chances are that you'd see a change.
though most of us have desensitized ourselves to murder
and violence (a frightening thought, isn't it?) by
watching so much of it in films and on TV, our brains and
bodies still react, even if not on such a strong level as
they used to.
how do our brains and bodies react when we give them the
treat of uplifting words and images? Try saying the
following words aloud a few times:
love, peace, hope, compassion, friendship, giving.
Do you feel a difference? How do we feel overall
when we give ourselves a lot of positive, life-affirming
messages? There are plenty of books and movies out
there that can make us feel better about life, other
people, and ourselves--so why don't we lift ourselves up
with them more often?