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Neuroassociations are tiny programs continually running in your mind.  They are automatic processes usually operating below the level of consciousness, and they contain powerful links connecting thoughts, images, sounds, sensations, and emotions with one another and with themselves.  Neuroassociations eventually manifest themselves in the thoughts and emotions that echo in your mind.

Every day you experience many neuroassociations, and you probably donít notice they are there even though they affect every area of your life.  Some neuroassociations link specific sounds to specific emotions.  One person links the sound of the national anthem with the feeling of pride in his country, and another links the sound of the national anthem with sadness because a family member was killed in a war defending his country.

Some neuroassociations link old memories to specific emotions.  The thought of meeting an old friend evokes joyful memories, and the thought of meeting a former adversary revives unhappy memories.  Some neuroassociations link specific sensations with specific emotions.  The sensation of cold is linked with pleasant memories of a ski vacation or uncomfortable memories of frostbite.  When a cold wind blows on your face, the automatic emotions you feel are created by long forgotten neuroassociations buried deep within your mind.

Some neuroassociations link images with emotions.  The picture of a sailboat may be linked to a feeling of terror because you once sailed through a hurricane, or the same picture might evoke a feeling of deep satisfaction as you recall a beautiful tropical anchorage.

You have hundreds of neuroassociations operating in your mind.  Each of them is like a button that links sounds, thoughts, sensations, images, and emotions.  When someone pushes one of those buttons, an emotion automatically pops into your mind.

Neuroassociations can be positive, negative, or neutral in how they affect you.  They are unique to you and once installed, they occur automatically even if they make you uncomfortable, and even if you donít want them there.

Neuroassociations are part of your automatic thoughts.  You are continually bombarded with neuroassociations in your stream of consciousness.  If your neuroassociations are negative, they are extremely destructive because they have free reign and complete access to your conscious mind; they fill your mind with bad feelings. 

Negative neuroassociations are a form of instant negative thinking.  Automatic thoughts and neuroassociations poke up their heads at the most inopportune moments.  Just when life seems great, an unwanted automatic thought pops into your mind, and you suddenly end up in mental turmoil. 

The fewer negative neuroassociations you have, the better off you are; life is easier and more enjoyable.  A single destructive neuroassociation can instantly send a stampede of negative thoughts through your mind, and you get trampled in the process.

If your stream of consciousness is full of negative thoughts, itís likely you have a collection of toxic neuroassociations at work.  Harmful neuroassociations commonly trigger the following types of thoughts:

I am stupid.

I am unworthy, evil, or bad.

God is angry with me.  God doesnít accept me as I am.

I will never be good enough.  I will never get my life together.

My future is out of my hands.  My life is out of control.

I must please my parents even after I have been living on my own for fifty years.

I am being punished for all of the things I have done wrong.  I am getting what I deserve.

The triggers that elicit these noxious neuroassociations are unpredictable.  A picture of your parents can trigger the feeling you will never be good enough to please them.  A religious symbol may make you feel like you are evil and unworthy.  You may instantly feel God is angry with you because of your inconsistencies and weaknesses.  You instantly know God doesnít accept you as you are.  When some people see a successful person, it immediately triggers feelings of inadequacy, and their mind recalls every mistake they ever made.  Sometimes a negative trigger fills your mind with the thought you are getting what you deserve.  You are being punished for everything you ever did wrong. 

The triggers eliciting these neuroassociations are highly variable and sometimes surprising.  Itís worth discovering the triggers that set them off.  After you identify the triggers, you can avoid them.  This eliminates thousands of repetitive destructive thoughts. 

If you are losing the battle for a positive mind, you probably have a large inventory of destructive neuroassociations that maintains your negative state of mind.  You need to identify, neutralize, and eliminate them.

Just as negative neuroassociations instantly create a negative state, positive neuroassociations instantly create a positive one.  They are a form of instant positive thinking.  If your stream of consciousness is full of positive thoughts, you can be sure there are lots of positive neuroassociations at work. 

Choose your neuroassociations well.  These seemingly small programs exert a disproportionate influence on the content of your thoughts.  Create positive neuroassociations so your stream of consciousness is an asset rather than a liability, and avoid negative neuroassociations like the plague so they die from neglect.

Excerpt from :

Zero Tolerance To Negative Thinking : Good-by Depression - Hello Positive Mind

David J Abbott M.D.

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