Updated: May 25
How does one make a conscious decision to choose a positive outlook even though it is sometimes quite difficult to do so? "Find the silver lining" races through brain waves and an image of a bright shining light reflecting off of a polished silver tray comes to view; reminiscent of a friend, who has since passed on, with a special and insightful message in her Facebook group called Settings of Silver. If, by chance, the only need is to focus on a visual of something so beautiful, is it possible to bring about positive change in any negative circumstance? Once an image of a bright and beautiful shining reflection from a silver plate is in sight, then suddenly there is instant relief! Is it truly that easy?! A positive answer through visualization is revealed without the wrestling match to fight through the negativity!
Visualization is used in a myriad of therapy techniques to overcome adverse thought patterns. Baumgartner (2011) found that "Visualization is a cognitive tool accessing imagination to realize all aspects of an object, action, or outcome. This may include recreating a mental sensory experience of sound, sight, smell, taste, and touch." Research proves how powerful our thoughts and words are. "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." (Proverbs 18:21). It seems, humans are capable of much more than often thought. Even still, our human race seems to focus on the negative, no matter how plentiful positive events exist. Why is this? Pure and simple: SURVIVAL. (Policy Pursuit, 2022). Our brains protect us by noticing the negative situations to help us avoid future negativity. However, there is an influx of negative information constantly being downloaded into us through an array of media; TV, radio, social media, and the news; these are just some examples, which may or may not be true information. False negativity causes the same results as actual negativity when one is not discerning or double checking the information. Constant negative information can cause fear, anxiety, social disorders, sickness, mental illness, nervous breakdowns, suicidal tendencies, and complete mania. (Hoffman, 2015). Does any of this sound familiar?
How does our brain recognize truth versus lies? Personally, I intuitively know when something is true or false, most of the time; however, years of visual and non-verbal cues that occurred have triggered that intuition. "Now researchers have identified a [built-in] mechanism our brain uses to detect when someone is telling us a lie: their voice. Not only did the researchers find that our voices betray a particular sound signature when we tell the truth, but that our brains also pick this up in other people automatically." Although the real clincher is when there are no audio cues! The silver lining can shine even in confusion. It is comforting to know that there is a way to find the truth and therefore peace.
Since positive words (written and spoken) truly can help to quell negativity, there is definitely a bright and shining future that one can grab hold of. "In 1987, when Jim Carey was only a struggling comic, he visualized a successful and lucrative career. To make his vision concrete, he wrote himself a check for $10 million for "acting services rendered" dated for Thanksgiving of 1995, which he placed in his wallet. By 1995, Carey was already an established comedic actor commanding far more than $10 million per picture." (Baumgartner, 2011). This all may seem a bit far-fetched for some, but what is there to lose? Forego a struggle and take a chance on visualization; and the glint of light on the horizon, day or night, may reveal a hidden gem of value that allows a full paradigm shift. (Kuhn, 1962). Here's to a wealth of silver lining images to untangle the knots of everyday burdens!
Baumgartner, Jennifer, Psy. D.Visualize It. (2011). Psychology Today, Visualize It | Psychology Today
Escalante, Alison. Research Finds A New Trick To Telling If Someone Is Lying: Their Voice (forbes.com) (2021).
Hoffman, Adam. Can Negative Thinking Make You Sick? (health.com) (2015).
Kuhn, Thomas S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. (1962). Paradigm shift Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster
Policy Pursuit. Make use of negative natural tendency. (2022). Policy Pursuit. Make use of negative natural tendency - Policy Pursuit