How to Achieve Greater Mental Balance

Molly was described by her friends as a well~developed negative personality. “She’s very good at seeing the dark side of things, but she does not often detect the positive aspects of ber experiences,” they observed. One of her friends actually called her “mentally lopsided, ” and wondered if there was some way for Molly to attain a more balanced outlook.

While it is somewhat of an oversimplification, the brain can be thought of as being similar to a muscle. In the same way that muscles grow and become stronger through use and exercise, the brain also develops and changes through use and mental exertion.

Imagine what would happen if a weight lifter worked out much harder and longer with his or her right arm and pretty much neglected the left arm. Over time, the well~exercised right arm would be considerably firmer, larger, and stronger than the less exercised left arm.

Once this muscular imbalance or asymmetry develops, to balance his or her physique, the weight lifter will have to workout much more with the left arm than the right arm or the lopsidedness will never even out. So, for every one repetition of exercise the right arm does, the left will have to do two, three or more repetitions to eventually catch up.

In the brain, exercise is essentially thinking, visualizing, or any number of mental activities that stimulate parts of the brain and gets them working. Some recent evidence suggests that certain thoughts are governed by very specific brain structures and these structures develop and strengthen through use.

If someone frequently thinks negative, anxiety provoking, depressing or other psychologically stressful thoughts, it is probable that the areas governing these mental actions will strengthen through use thus increasing the likelihood of these undesirable thoughts occurring with greater force and frequency. Alternatively, different regions of the brain mediate more positive and neutral patterns of thinking and these areas, too, can be strengthened through use.

If you think you’ve been exercising your negative “mental muscles” too much

• you can work to achieve greater mental balance by strengthening the positive mental regions, just like you can strengthen a muscle through use and repetition.

• For every negative thought, picture or idea that you have, try to entertain several positive or neutral alternatives.

You want to catch yourself each time you make a negative statement or dwell on a pessimistic thought and immediately focus on several upbeat and cheerful perceptions.

Over time, this mental exercise will help to level the playing field and you’ll enjoy the benefits of more balanced thinking.

This particular health suggestive essay, Copyright by Clifford N. Lazarus, Ph.D.


  1. nothin_nyce1 says:

    I’ve noticed that lately I’ve been getting weight while being in college.

    How can I keep a steady diet with the food they give us in the dining halls?

    Any tips would be great!

  2. My sister has a balance problem when walking. She’s OK when driving. The doctors naively asked whether she ‘got dizzy’ when walking and when driving, not appreciating that you don’t necessarily feel dizzy full stop.

    Fearing walking of course leads to stress which makes the problem worse. And the problem gets worse when she has stress from other sources.

    We are convinced that ‘it’s all in the mind’ but the NHS is dragging its feet. What self-help can she try?

  3. I’m 15 and I’ve been stressed a lot lately, I’ve been in the phase of depression for a while too. I’ve comfort ate because I thought I had nobody to talk too, when it turns out I have everybody to talk too. So, I’ve started to calm myself down and realise that I have an okay life. (Was close to attempting suicide.) but now I just need to lose weight, I’m home educated and don’t have enough money for a personal trainer or anything great like that.

    I’m lacking in self confidence a lot, I won’t exercise if there is anybody in the same room or anybody in the house really. I’m scared they’ll laugh at me for trying and I’ll just get even more depressed. I want to exercise because I want to feel good about myself and be able to go outside and not worry about people thinking I’m fat.

    I know you can’t motivate yourself easily, but I really don’t have much time to spend trying to motivate myself because frankly, I’ve been trying to motivate myself since after Christmas and it hasn’t worked. Help?

  4. Gundown64 says:

    I have been on leauges since I was 10 and have recently picked up a 170 average. I bowled for my school for the years of 95-97 and I had a 160 average, but now I will be starting a new leauge and I want to maintain a 160-175 average. What do you think?

  5. I’ve noticed that lately I’ve been getting weight while being in college.

    How can I keep a steady diet with the food they give us in the dining halls?

    Any tips would be great!

  6. alberto s says:

    Hey everyone, I guess this can be sort of a forum. I just want everyone to explain their way with horses and comment on others’ ways and my way. I would also like to see opinions on natural horse remedies (e.g. chaste berry oil). You can comment on other people’s answers by editing yours, but please write EDIT: exactly like that. This is also to help people with horse training questions and for people with training problems. Please don’t talk about health problems except if you are talking about natural remedies.

    Here’s my way:
    “Do not conquer a horse’s soul, work with it”. I do something called dancing with horses. Me and the horses think and move as one and really show “oneness”. I train completely naturally but I also work with bits. I also use whips- I never hurt the horse with it, I only use it as an extension of my arm to help convey body language. You must reveal yourself to the horse if you want the horse to reveal itself to you. Once both horse and rider have revealed together they have stepped onto the same path of trust and understanding each other as equals. You must live in the moment, think with the horse, be completely open, have no lies, trust, be calm, be balanced, and be be strong. Horses are creatures of dignity and once you have taken it away you have killed the soul of that horse.

    That is what I base my training off of. Horse training is communication through mental and physical openness, understanding, and equality.

    I have just starting researching into natural remedies that I will use when training horses or working with them. I will also have some on hand like clove oil which numbs a horse. I know how to make them but I plan on buying essential oils. Believe it or not you can get pretty much any essential oils or seeds from! I also have a local drug store that sells many. Here are some, they aren’t very accurate but say the main use:
    Chasteberry oil: Balances hormones-helps with mares in heat

    Clove oil: applied outside the body(only small amounts in mouth) and numb the horse

    Basil Leaf : helps with digestion and killing internal worms as well as being a mild sedative and insect repellent.

    Lavender: calming

    Those are just a few, I can add more if people are interested. You can ask me any questions at: I’d be happy to help anyone with questions about training horses or developing a relationship with a horse.
    as an equal, i didn’t mean I wasn’t the dominant one but that I treated the horse with respect. I am not against training aids but they should not be used to hurt a horse.

  7. I developed this agonizing back pain from traveling for 2 months now
    I spend at least 4 hours daily sitting fixed in the bus
    I always thought I was sitting correctly and that I shouldn’t have any problems
    But it seems not 🙁
    Any advice on how to take that pain off?

  8. Hiya there, I discovered your blog page via The search engines while looking for a related subject, your website came up, it looks good. I have book marked it in my search engines book marks.

  9. You made some decent points there. I looked on the internet for the issue and found most individuals will go along with with your website.


    Very very Useful Indeed,I hav come across so many articles related to this topic but NOT LIKE THIS ONE!! THIS IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING AND INSPIRING AND PRACTICAL N CONVINCING TOO….

    one question:
    Can this negativity be passed through genes? I mean I am very very negative about my own life??


    b coz i have seen my mother suffer throughout her life and I believe my mother’s and father’s life was not very rosy inspite of having 11 kids around..there ws utter chaos in the house and no sense of attachment wid my mother lived this way and my dad too ws not behind..both of them didnot see their parents since they were young so both didnt feel the love and security that parents normally give to their children..and now am also a product of the same,am too negative about life although i married a very sober n successful person out of my choice but some how after 12 years i see that this relationship is not working inspite of loads of love in it…its there i can see…my husband loves me a lot but still we both are unhappy wid each other for every other reason…we both have legitimate complains and grievances..but in this whole story I FIND MYSELF VERY LESS MENTALLY STABLE,I STUMBLE AND WOBBLE VERY OFTEN AND AM NOT FIRM husband is a sober and controlled person and is of a gud upbringing but am very sluggish and negative about my self and my life…but honestly I have to blamed for everything as i started this relationship wid him and married him..


    b coz am mentally imabalanced am unable to maintain relationships ,i think hastily,i act hastily and i cant keep gud relationships evn wid my kids! I do realise all this [also am doing MA early years degree] but i donot understand “early years” at all….shame on myself inspite of my one side showing so literate of myself my other side is very poor disorganised ,indisciplined and thoughts chaotic my life chaotic..

    pls suggest some ways in light of the above mentioned case as to how do i achieve mental balance when i had such rough past myself present is not smooth either [inspite of enjoying all comforts] and am very very hopeless of my future..but at the same time I do belv someday i wud be a gud educator and live on my own as i dream to live on my own and own my own flat far far away in the most beautiful countries but not india as my family wud discover my truth…dat i married a man of my choice it ws a love marriage but i cudnt carry it any further…
    WAT DO I DO PLS HELP….MY ATTITUDE IS NOT ONLY IMPACTING ME ,MY HUSBAND BUT ALSO MY 3 LOVELY BOYS WHO WIDOUT ANY FAULT OF THEIRS GETTING THIS PUNISHMENT ..MY GENERAL HEALTH IS GUD AM NOT INTO ANY DISEASES NOT EVN BI POLAR DISEASE BUT AM DWELLING MORE INTO PAST ABOUT MY UN SUCCESSFUL FAMILY[MY MOTHERS FAMILY] AND Y THIS CUDNT FLOURISH LIKE ANY OTHER NORMAL FAMILY..Y WE HAD TO BEAR THE BLUNT inspite of being a middle class family Y did we not turn into healthy minds and souls and y each one of mother’s family is still suffering from some sort of depression etc…nobody in my family out of 11 is successful except partly me as i hav agud life gud education nice family ,beautiful kids etc..yet am ungrateful and still in chaos…

    pls help..
    my id is:husnagul@gmail/hotmail/
    waiting for your response…

    am in the mid of starting my dissertation,thesis…pple who knw my family tell me “y dont u research your so very “remarkable” family[referring to my mothers family] U will find mysterious cases there and case studies too…i grow soo sad ,indeed my family is to be researched…box of utter chaos…but i knw i will hav to work on an early years topic 🙂

  11. One thing I’d like to say is always that before buying more laptop or computer memory, check out the machine in which it would be installed. If the machine can be running Windows XP, for instance, a memory threshold is 3.25GB. Setting up in excess of this would merely constitute a new waste. whm reseller one’s mother board can handle the upgrade amount, as well. Great blog post.

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