How To Recaliberate Your Samskara
“A seemingly simple and taken-for-granted sight or thought is actually the result of an extremely complex and remarkable cascading of causes reaching back to the origins of the nervous system, life, and the universe itself (Hanson, 2013).”
Samskara can be defined as the concept of imprints or patterns left in the mind by your past experiences that guide your present actions.
Regardless of religious or personal beliefs, we can all attest to witnessing our own behavioral thought patterns.
These patterns of thought are imbedded into the memory power house of the brain from the very first signs of social cognition as an infant and continue to develop as we flower into adulthood and beyond.
Before you can fully mentally assess your environment, you mold your thought patterns to what is most familiar and that is generally how your family or parents react to the environment around them.
In other words, you learn from their reactions to experiences and thus you begin to mold your own patterns of thought that become imprinted in your brain.
“The mind uses the brain to make the mind. (Siegel, 2007).”
You might be thinking, what on earth does that mean?
When I am angry, something has set me off to be angry.
When I am happy, something positive has occurred that has made me happy.
I think, therefore I am…. right?
Well let’s say 15 notable events happen in your day.
Eight of them being positive- happy, 6 are neutral- no big deal, and one being negative or upsetting.
Fast forward a few weeks- which are you more likely to remember in detail?
More than likely, you recall the negative experience.
The brain encodes learning from pain at a much faster rate than learning from pleasure.
It’s natural- we have learned to survive as a species when we’ve learned from our negative experiences.
In turn, we encode quicker responses and thought patterns to the pain and suffering.
Reactive or Responsive?
As we go about our daily lives and become increasingly reactive to negative stimuli, we are shifting the baseline of our minds to become more reactive than responsive to our environment.
Let’s say you wake up just feeling a bit off; you have this gut feeling that something bad is going to happen.
A plausible question to ask is, will this gut feeling ruin the rest of my day?
A better question to ask is, how will this gut feeling effect the rest of my day?
But, perhaps the more important question to ask yourself is, will I allow this gut feeling to affect the entirety of my day?
Although we tend to over-learn from our negative thought patterns quicker than our positive ones, we can slowly begin to change our Samskara by becoming an observer of our thoughts before deciding to react to them.
Recalibrating Your Samskara
“The brain is like an old-fashioned tape recorder rather than an IPOD: you must get the song playing in order to record it; an activated mental state is the basis of an installed neural trait (Hanson, 2013).”
Ultimately, the idea is to activate your positive mental state of being as often as possible in order to re-baseline the brain and change your Samskara.
Even the smallest of positive thoughts linked together with intention can begin to make all the difference.
So, do what that means to you in order to cultivate happiness and rewire your brain.
Make it a daily practice without judgment.
Once you begin to realize that you are more than your emotional reactions, you begin to truly be.
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