Pay Attention!

In her book, RAPT, Winifred Gallagher writes about attention and the focused life. What we attend to creates our experience. The mind becomes shaped by what it imposes on itself. Rapt means: engrossed, absorbed, fascinated and "carried away."

When we concentrate, we affect the brain. This increases our chances of having an experience we want rather than enduring a negative one. Researchers have discovered that focus on positive emotions regulates our emotional states. When confronted with a negative situation, if we switch thoughts and dwell on compassion, joy and gratitude, this may strengthen neurons in the left prefrontal cortex.

As a result, we interrupt disturbing messages from the fear-oriented amygdala.Writers benefit from living a focused life. We can choose to avoid a fragmented, distracted state of mind.If we reach out and explore positivity in each moment, more ideas arise for prose and poetry.

Creative Write: For a day notice negative thoughts that travel in your mind. Choose two positive thoughts to replace each. Write them down. At the end of the day write about the experience.