When there’s something you want or you’ve been thinking about why is it that you see related examples and opportunities everywhere you turn? Is there something magical going on is there a neurological explanation for it?
In this episode I share:
Pressing Pause Episode 108 Law of attraction – science or fiction?
Welcome to Pressing Pause, I’m your host, Gabrielle Treanor, a coach, writer, introvert and sensitive soul with an inclination to ponder over the stuff of life. Join me as I explore how we can create, find and feel more calm, ease and joy in our daily lives.
Before we get in to today’s episode I wanted to remind you that I have a ton of free guides and audios to help you live with more calm and joy that you can download completely for free on my website. There’s a guide on how you can start your day with more calm without needing to find a single extra minute in your morning. There’s an ebook on how to overcome your overwhelm as an introvert, a set of guided meditations and there’s a guide on making your own soothing self care kit.
You can choose one or all of these freebies and you can download them from my website at gabrielletreanor.com/free. You’ll also get my weeklyish emails where I share my own experiences along with tools and ideas for how you can catch your breath, re-centre and live with more calm and joy each day.
The emails are always the first place that I share new offerings I’ve made for you and give special offers. I’m spending less time on social media these days so if you want to connect with what I’m sharing outside of this podcast my emails are the best way to do that.
So, check out my free guides and download any or all of them at gabrielletreanor.com/free
Right, let’s crack on with the episode!
Welcome to episode 108. You know when you’re thinking about getting a new car and it seems that every other car you see is the make you’ve been considering. Or you’re thinking about how you need a holiday and it seems like everyone else in the world is on vacation. Or you’re thinking about starting a business and it seems career change is being talked about everywhere you look.
What’s actually happening is your Reticular Activating System is at work.
Sounds fancy, right?
It’s the scientific explanation for why when something is of particular interest or importance to you, consciously or unconsciously, you notice it much more than something that isn’t so relevant.
When you’re looking for a new sofa and every magazine or TV ad break features a sofa sale. When you’re barely aware of people talking nearby until the moment someone says (or you think you hear them say) your name.
It can seem like a weird, spooky coincidence but there’s actually something happening in our brains that makes us see the world in this way. The reticular activating system (RAS for short) is a system of nerves that filter out unimportant information so the vital stuff is what we pay attention to.
Without the RAS we’d be consciously trying to organise the billions of pieces of data we’re taking in every day and that’s more than our brains can possibly handle! So it’s really very useful. It does a great job of managing information by filtering out what we don’t want or need to focus on, without us realising it’s happening.
And in this way the RAS also validates our beliefs, which is great. And also not so great. Because it doesn’t discern helpful beliefs from limiting ones, it just focuses on what we think is important to us, what we give energy to.
So if you think that you can’t take good photographs your RAS will find information that affirms that belief. If you think you’ll never get a promotion your RAS filters the evidence available to back that up.
The good news is that the RAS also looks for information that validates our more supportive beliefs. So if you believe that it’s possible for you to write a book it will give you reasons why it’s doable.
And, even better news is that scientists think that you can train your RAS to focus on what you want and by doing so hep you to achieve it. This is known as ‘setting your intent’. By really focusing on the outcome your RAS will apply the filter to highlight the information, people and opportunities that will help you reach that outcome.
You could say it’s the scientific explanation for the Law of Attraction.
It doesn’t mean that you’ll magically get what you want but you’ll see more clearly what you need and how you could achieve it. For example, if you really want to change your career from being an accountant to an artist, you imagine your life as an artist – what that looks like, feels like, where you are, what you do – as detailed an image or movie as possible. And you keep coming back to those images and replaying them over and over again.
Then, your RAS learns that this is important to you and is on alert, as it’s filtering the billions of data coming at you, to highlight anything that could be relevant. So you notice courses about studying art, books on building an art business or people who made the same career change. It doesn’t invent anything new, it just makes it more noticeable to you.
So how can our reticular activating system help us as we go about our ordinary daily lives?
By being aware of your RAS you can consciously put it to work in your favour. If you want to feel more content instead of feeling you fall short compared to everyone else you can train your brain to focus on what’s good in your life.
If you decide to write a joy journal, or a gratitude journal, or simply talk with your family each evening about what was good in your day, you’re going to notice what was good in your day. Because it’s important to you to have something to write or talk about. So your RAS learns this and filters through information during your day that shows you the good stuff. With your RAS’s help you pay it more attention and remember the good stuff in your day more.
So you notice when someone lets you out in traffic. Or when a colleague brings you a cup of tea. Or the sun is shining on your walk home. Or your child laughs at your joke. Or your friend suggests meeting for a cuppa. Or the warmth and peace of a soak in the bath…
These moments haven’t been fabricated out of thin air. And you aren’t oblivious to the boring or difficult stuff in life. It’s simply that you’ve taught your brain that you want to be more aware of the good stuff in your day. What makes you smile, feel warm inside, lifts your spirits and gives you joy.
Our brains are pretty brilliant, aren’t they?!
So, now you know about your reticular activating system, how will you set your intent with your RAS to bring more calm and joy into your life?
Thank you for listening to Pressing Pause, you can find details of what I shared in this episode in the show notes at gabrielletreanor.com/podcast.
If you enjoyed this podcast it would mean so much to me if you could leave a rating or review on iTunes. Reviews make a big difference to how podcasts are found and I would love for more people to find this podcast.
And remember there are lots more resources to help you to create, find and feel more calm, ease and joy in your life, including free guides, blog posts, online courses and one to one coaching, at gabrielletreanor.com. Make sure you’re getting my regular emails too, they’re designed to soothe, inspire and delight.
I always love to hear from you, what you take from the episodes and what you’d like me to talk about, so feel free to drop me a line at [email protected]
Thanks again for listening, until next time.
Throughout this website and my work when I refer to women I include people identifying as women.
If you have, or think you may have, a mental health problem that requires professional diagnosis or treatment, please consult a mental health care professional and your GP.
You can also talk to the people at Mind on 0300 123 3393 or SANE on 0300 304 7000 or Samaritans on 116 123.
Copyright © Gabrielle Treanor
Site by cptcreative