Direct Your Mind: What Good Have I Been Ignoring?

You can direct your mind by asking yourself a good question. This is one of my favorites: What good have I been ignoring? The answers go on and on, improving my mood the whole time. I keep thinking of more and more good things I've been ignoring. The question almost demands it.

The emotional fallout from this question is abundant good feelings of happiness, gratitude, and pleasant surprise. When you ask a question like this, you’ll find answers everywhere. The question makes you look. You’ll realize someone has done something nice for you and you hadn’t really noticed. You’ll remember a great time you had a couple weeks ago and realize you hadn’t thought of it since then.

The question sets your mind to be on the lookout for good you’ve overlooked. You’ll notice good news items you might not normally notice, like how this lake got cleaned up or that disease now has a cure. The question helps overcome a natural tendency of the mind to get used to good things and only notice bad things. Read more about the mind's negative bias here.

What has been improving? What’s been getting better?

Ask this question, think of some answers, and ask it again.

This is especially a good question to ask if you’ve had your attention on what has been getting worse, or if you've had a feeling things are going badly, or you’re worried they will go badly.

This question won’t solve all your problems, of course, but it can reduce the amount of distress you’re feeling by widening the tunnel vision stress causes. You’re not trying to fool yourself or pretend everything is rosy. You’re looking to acknowledge the reality of what is good or has been getting better.

When those are acknowledged, you are less distressed and more able to make things even better. And it is good for your mood. A good mood is healthy and productive.

What good have you been ignoring?

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

Fasting's Salutary Effects

Below is a quote from the book, The First Survivors of Alzheimer's: How Patients Recovered Life and Hope in Their Own Words by Dale Bredesen:

"Fasting has numerous salutary effects, from enhancing ketosis to improving glycemic control and supporting insulin sensitivity to improving lipid status to improving blood pressure to enhancing autophagy and mitophagy, among others. Thus fasting is the base of the brain food pyramid (at least twelve hours between the end of supper and the start of breakfast or lunch, and at least three hours between supper and bedtime). The earlier in life you begin fasting, the longer and more thoroughly you will reap the benefits."

Four Of Our Kindle Books Are On Sale Now

Four of our books, in their Kindle versions, will be on sale starting Friday, April 5th until Thursday, April 11th, 2024:

Slotralogy: How to Change Your Habits of Thought: On sale for 99 cents. Using one of the simplest self-help methods ever created, this small book shows you how to change the one thing that will change everything: Your habitual way of thinking.

Self-Help Stuff That Works: On sale for $1.99. This is a collection of short, easy-to-read, to-the-point chapters on how to have a better attitude, how to do better at work, and how to deal with people more successfully. The chapters were originally articles published in the newsletter, At Your Best, where Adam Khan's column was voted the reader's favorite.

How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English): On sale for 99 cents. You know from experience that when you change your perspective on something that troubles you, it can sometimes quickly change how you feel, and improve the way you deal with challenges. This small book explains how to change your perspective deliberately and reliably, which will make you feel good more often and get more of your goals accomplished. This is a short, practical, interesting, easy-to-read book on reframing the events in your life so you're more capable of dealing with them and better able to keep a good attitude.

Cultivating Fire: How to Keep Your Motivation White Hot: On sale for 99 cents. While it's true that sometimes you are naturally motivated, especially immediately after deciding on a goal, it is also true that you can cultivate motivation or let it do what it naturally does most of the time, which is fade away. Motivation is a tremendous power. A highly motivated person can accomplish seemingly impossible things. In this short book, you will learn how to stoke your inner fire to get (and keep) your motivation burning white hot. This not only makes you more capable of accomplishment, but it makes life more fun. Would you like to see what you are really capable of? Intense motivation can unleash it.

Confession and Repentance

The two oldest known self-help techniques in the world are confession and repentance. Before you can change, you must be able to admit (at least to yourself) what you're doing that isn't good. Before you can be honest with another, you have to at least admit the truth to yourself. Or to someone you trust. That's confession.

Repentance means a change of heart. Up until now you've been doing whatever you've been doing and justifying it or excusing it in some way. Repentance is no longer making excuses. It means admitting you no longer want to live that way. Repentance is a change in values. It means something else is now more important to you than the rewards you got from the old way.

After confession and repentance, you're in a position to honestly change your life.

This is not a superficial technique. If you're ready to change something that has not yielded before to more casual attempts, take the time and speak to yourself or someone you trust with complete candor. What are your flaws? What character defect is keeping your life stuck and causing problems? That's confession.

And what values do you have that keep that character defect in place? Are they really what you value most? Think about it. Answer truthfully. What do you value more? That's repentance. Ask these questions of yourself. Take the time and be honest.

This method can not only solve your difficult problem, it can simultaneously solve many others as a side effect. It can also lead to a wonderful feeling of aliveness.

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth
SlotralogyAntivirus For Your Mindand co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Subscribe to his blog here. You can email him here.



Dancing is Medicine for Dementia

Dancing is complex. It engages different parts of the brain at the same time, says the cognitive scientist, Helena Blumen. And because of this, it beefs up the neural connections between diverse brain regions. Dancing is really challenging to the brain. And it’s also fun.

In a study by German researchers using MRI scanners, they compared elderly people who had done one of two exercise programs – one was the standard kind of thing with strength training and cycling. The other group danced.

Both groups improved their physical fitness, of course, but the dancers had measurably and significantly increased the size of the parts of their brains related to attention, high-level thinking, and working memory – the areas of the brain that usually shrink as we get older. 

In blood tests, the people who danced also had an elevated level of BDNF. This stimulates brain growth, especially in areas responsible for memories. BDNF causes the creation of new brain cells, and energizes the processes that maintain the good health of already-existing brain cells. BDNF also helps your brain preserve and maintain its hundreds of billions of dendrites and synapses (the connections between brain cells). In other words, increasing your blood level of BDNF is a big deal.

That makes dancing a big deal.

Learn more about reversing dementia here.

Learn more about a kind of dancing you can do on your own: WalkDancer.com.

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal GrowthSlotralogyAntivirus For Your Mindand co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Subscribe to his blog here. You can email him here.



What to Think When Someone is Rude to You

"If we could read the secret history of our enemies,” wrote Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.” I just finished reading the book, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln and I found a good example of what Longfellow was talking about.

Before Lincoln ran for president, he was a small-time attorney. But one day he was invited to participate in an important trial. He was to be co-counsel for the prosecution with a distinguished attorney named George Harding. Harding wanted Lincoln because the judge deciding the case was familiar with Lincoln and liked him.

After Harding hired Lincoln, the case was moved to another city (with a different judge) so Harding hired a different co-counsel, Edwin Stanton. Lincoln didn’t know this and kept working on the case because this was a big opportunity, or so he thought. But Harding and Stanton ignored and shunned Lincoln, at one point referring to Lincoln as a long-armed ape.

Stanton did not want Lincoln involved in the case, and Stanton made this painfully clear. Stanton avoided him at mealtimes, letting Lincoln eat alone even though the two attorneys ate and stayed at the same hotel. Stanton never asked Lincoln to even show him the considerable amount of work Lincoln had already done on the case.

As I was reading this, I thought Stanton was clearly a rude, mean person. Stanton insulted and humiliated Lincoln. A little later in the book, I learned more about Stanton, and he had enough sorrow and suffering in his life to disarm all my hostility.

Stanton had been married and was deeply in love. He was happier than he'd ever been in his life. He and his wife had two children together. Everything was wonderful, but then one tragedy after another tore his world apart. First their daughter died of scarlet fever. While he was still reeling from that heartbreak, Stanton’s wife died of bilious fever.

Stanton almost went insane with grief. Stanton’s sister came to live with him, and she said he often wandered through the house at night sobbing, and screaming, “Where is Mary!?”

A little while later, Stanton’s younger brother got a fever that damaged his brain. He was “unhinged” and purposefully cut his own neck with a sharp instrument and bled to death, spraying blood all over the room, even up to the ceiling. Stanton lived nearby and had to come take care of things. His brother had a wife and three kids that Stanton was now responsible for.

His brother’s gruesome suicide was the last straw. Before these tragedies, Stanton was a cheerful man, full of goodwill toward others. From that point on, and for the rest of his life, Stanton was glum and grumpy. And sometimes rude.

I imagined myself losing my son, losing my wife, losing my brother, and in so doing, I didn’t resent Stanton for his rudeness to Lincoln. I felt sorry for him. Nobody should have to endure that kind of anguish. I believe that's what Longfellow was talking about.

There is only one problem with Longfellow's very sensible outlook — we don't very often find out the secret history of our enemies. Maybe the point is to give people the benefit of the doubt. If someone treats you poorly, you can reasonably assume they have sorrow and suffering enough to disarm your hostility, and you'll probably be right. And even if you're not, you have saved yourself a little suffering. It is less painful to feel sympathy than to feel anger. Here's one way to do it.

I would like to add one caveat to this practical advice: Some people may be more than rude. Some people may actually harm you or deplete your resources or take advantage of your good nature. They are a special case we cover in another article (read it here).

But for the normal, relatively harmless (but grumpy) people you come across in the course of your travels, it will probably save you unnecessary suffering if you make Longfellow's assumption.

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth
SlotralogyAntivirus For Your Mindand co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Subscribe to his blog here. You can email him here.


An Easy Way to Share With People About Alzheimer's

We've created a couple of domain names to direct you to the main page for reversing Alzheimer's. This should make it easier to share that page with people you know who have Alzheimer's, or are worried about getting Alzheimer's, or who know someone with Alzheimer's.

reversealzheimers.info

bringthemback.info

They both go to the same page, which has a brief explanation of Dale Bredesen's discovery, plus lots of links to articles and videos for more information. Let's get the word out.