POSITIVE thinking

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dave brum
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POSITIVE thinking

Post by dave brum » 15 Mar 2014, 10:45

I am doing a self-awareness course entitled 'Overcoming Depression' by Paul Gilbert. It is basically an outline of the cognative behavioural therapy method widely used to treat depression and extreme mental states associated with it that I personally have battled against since 1997. CBT is basically an exploration of the theory that our thoughts, our feelings and our behaviours are linked. If we think we're crap, we behave like we're crap, which makes us think we're even crappier. If we think we'll never learn the piano then we will never learn the piano. CBT tells us that we can break these cycles. If we SAY something positive then we begin to FEEL positive and we BEHAVE in a more positive fashion.

One interesting point the course touches upon is the fact that humans have evolved to respond to kindness. At large, perhaps it is a cultural and social issue and even a holistic one that we don't get many fellow humans that are kind to us nowadays and this is a reason why depression is such a big problem in the West, but we have a brain system that is in charge of emotions linked to feeling happy, content, soothed and at peace (as we have two others, one associated with drive and motivation, and one that produces natural anxieties designed to keep us safe from harm and enables us to respond to natural threats)

Kindness from others stimulates both our drive system and our contentment system. We feel happy but also we get a 'buzz' of happiness that makes us feel like we want to take on something. If on the other hand someone is unkind to us, then we feel crap, but also belittled and threatened, so we retreat, but we also feel angry because we feel we're treated unfairly and we know it because of our own evolved reactions. So our 'threat' system is over-stimulated and our other two systems are toned down...which basically is the cause of depression. You could say in my case my threat system has been getting more and more out of control for the past 16 years and now I am applying the brakes.

So, in the context of learning to play a musical instrument (more specifically the piano) there are a number of measures a human can take to alleviate negative thought. Firstly, recognise that learning the piano is all about enjoyment, and although lots and lots of hard study is required it is not a torturous chore. It has become such a thing for me on more occasions than one, but before I realised that I was indeed aiming too high and trying to be 'too much' like my teacher in too short space of time. Aim low so that you do NOT arouse any unnecessary anxieties but also so that you can be happy with what you've done. Study in your own parameters, then you'll feel more pleased with the results (contentment system) and you will WANT to study more. Then, when your teacher gives you a piece of music that's a step up, do NOT think 'I'll never be able to play that!!!'. That's what I said earlier on about thinking you'll never play the piano. Just do the first two bars with the right hand that night. It's a start. You will feel a sense of achievement so much so that you will WANT to learn the next two bars and so and so....until.....lightbulb....'I CAN play it, Why did I even think about making such a fuss!"

Basically, if you think you can learn to play the piano, you will learn to play it, in a nutshell.
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Gill the Piano
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Re: POSITIVE thinking

Post by Gill the Piano » 15 Mar 2014, 16:52

See my lectures passim! Glad you're being so positive now. It sounds like an excellent book. See if you can get hold of the Silva Mind Control Method; similar principles, very useful book, despite rather woo-woo title!
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: POSITIVE thinking

Post by dave brum » 15 Mar 2014, 17:47

Gill the Piano wrote: See if you can get hold of the Silva Mind Control Method
That sounds very L.Ron Hubbard-ish to me!!

Another interesting point the course touches on is the fact that it is in our make-up to be irrational at times and this can feed notions that a simple setback rollercoasters into a catastrophic event, but fed by our natural threat-protection emotions. If something bad happens to us, we tend to look for other bad things and sometimes those bad things do not exist. But it is in our nature.

We cannot suppress our anger, anxiety, guilt etc. but the realisation they are natural emotions and can be balanced out with positive thought and kindness to ourselves once we understand what's going on, and so our mindstates become balanced again.

It is possible for other brain systems to become hyperactive, a bipolar 'high' is caused by an overactive 'drive, motivation and achievement' system and a reduced sense of danger. whereas it is my theory the 'happiness' system becomes overactive in the consumption of some recreational narcotics, as the other two systems are dumbed down, which again is not holistically sound.
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Re: POSITIVE thinking

Post by Gill the Piano » 16 Mar 2014, 14:33

It's not LRH, but it IS a merkin book and you know how they love to dress things up a bit. It sounds very like the principles you're working to already; I thought you might find it interesting to compare them.
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Re: POSITIVE thinking

Post by dave brum » 21 Jan 2015, 17:57

We can now say, as today's date is the 21st, that we are in late January, not mid January. Late January is closer to spring. Also the sun is setting after 1630 in Birmingham and from this Sunday, it will be rising before 0800.
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Re: POSITIVE thinking

Post by Gill the Piano » 21 Jan 2015, 18:02

Boo!
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Re: POSITIVE thinking

Post by dave brum » 03 Feb 2015, 10:39

And now we're into February, we begin to notice things. It's so nice to see daylight at 1700 now.
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Re: POSITIVE thinking

Post by Gill the Piano » 03 Feb 2015, 14:25

For those who like the summer, yes... :(
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Re: POSITIVE thinking

Post by dave brum » 03 Feb 2015, 16:10

Not so much summer. I like the LIGHT. Though a temperature over 20 would also help.
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Re: POSITIVE thinking

Post by dave brum » 09 Feb 2015, 14:13

dave brum wrote:Not so much summer. I like the LIGHT. Though a temperature over 20 would also help.
Pleasure to go into my conservatory this morning, and feel a pleasantly warm 20 degs. in there with the morning sunshine beaming onto it. And see bright sunshine at 0815 this morning, like it's been light for ages!

This Friday, the sun will rise in the Midlands before 0730. Told you, February is the month we begin to notice things!!! When I was living in Bristol it was lovely to see natures' wake-up call on the Downs on a Valentine's Day. Though it's still technically w****r, these little things make us all feel :)
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Re: POSITIVE thinking

Post by Gill the Piano » 09 Feb 2015, 18:30

...unless you LIKE the winter.
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Re: POSITIVE thinking

Post by dave brum » 29 Sep 2016, 10:26

It's so much fun being back on here. I've missed it, you know...
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Re: POSITIVE thinking

Post by Gill the Piano » 29 Sep 2016, 17:12

We missed you too, Greta Garbo. :wink:
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dave brum
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Re: POSITIVE thinking

Post by dave brum » 29 Sep 2016, 17:55

Gill the Piano wrote:We missed you too, Greta Garbo. :wink:
More like Kenneth Williams or Mrs. Slocombe?? 'Mister Humphries, leave my pussy alone!'
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