What is Reticular Activating System (RAS)?

What is RAS? Is it something you can find in your car? No. It is the Reticular Activating System. Did I lose you? Hang with me, I know this sounds like it might be a boring topic but before you click away, here is a little something to think about that will make big changes. I promise that after hearing more, this will be a game changer on self-improvement, you will have a better understanding on the way you think the way you do. It’s also a foundation to help you in having a better relationship with self and how you can use it to your advantage.

By definition the RAS is a bundle of nerves at our brainstem that filters out unnecessary information so “the important” stuff gets through. The RAS finds information that validates your beliefs. Yes, this is a real thing. The last sentence in the definition is the sentence that I’m particularly interested in explaining, the RAS finds information that validates your beliefs.

I know you’ve experienced your RAS because just this fall it worked for me too. I bought a new car, I always wanted a Volvo. I remember driving around in my friend’s old car that his parent gave to him. Other than that I never really paid attention to the car. In fact, I honestly don’t think I ever really saw one the road. As soon as I purchased mine I see Volvos EVERYWHERE! I think that every 3rd car I pass on the road is a Volvo.

How I can best explain this: 1.) think a thought. 2.) give thought importance or dismiss it. 3.) if thought is important, one starts to look around in environment for proof behind thought for evidence. 4.) once evidence is found, one verifies the thought is true. 5.) now one sees proof everywhere and believes this thought. This process can happen over time or very quickly for anything. So choose wisely what you want to believe about yourself, others, situations or things for it will manifest.

When the RAS and your subconscious mind work together this truly can either be a detriment or a benefit to you. Remember here we talked about the difference between your conscious and subconscious mind? Here is where we learned the subconscious mind is agreeable to suggestions and can accepts thoughts as true and proceed with results. So what happens when you have been thinking a thought for so long, you have proof everywhere but you want to stop the belief in its tracks. For example; let’s just say you hate your job. Finding proof everywhere to back this statement up can be everywhere from the way you see your coworkers and upper management, to the daily tasks. What if you flipped the switch? I’m not saying to tell yourself you love your job if you don’t believe it. Denial doesn’t work out either. Your brain will reject that thought immediately. You can start saying to yourself, “things aren’t so bad. “I like that I have a place to go to and spend my time every day.” “I do like to talk to this person.” These general statements make it easier to find reasons to make situations tolerable and make something more believable.

How about your confidence? What kind of things do you believe about you? Let’s stop believing in your unworthiness or the blocks that are holding you back from your success and start looking for evidence of how amazing you are. You can be, do or have anything you want! This is how you can get affirmations or autosuggestions to work for you. Next time we will talk on finding the right affirmation that is tailored to you and you can easily use the RAS.

If you would like to talk more about this, write to me. There are books you can purchase that discuss the RAS in detail. I truly hope this helps you. Until next time!

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