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5 Ways to rewire your brain to be happy

“The mind’s survival mode is to think negatively; changing your mindset is a daily quest for happiness” – The Mindspa Institute.

Everybody wants to be happy! We don’t know of one single person who prefers being ‘down-in-the-dumps’, except Grouchy Smurf, maybe. The Mindspa Institute advocates self-motivation and positive thinking in all our training, workshops and motivational talks whether it is presented to corporate clients or via public platforms. A mindset adjustment can alter your life.

Both good habits and a positive mindset can have an encouraging and motivating effect on your life. It can increase your state of happiness. You will start seeing the joy in things you would otherwise perceive as destructive. In a recent article by Debbie Hampton, ‘The Best Brain Possible’, she clarifies ways to work with your mind to stop your negative thoughts.

In this article, Ms. Hampton explains that your brain’s natural top priority is survival, hence the negativity. Happiness or to think positively is thus a life choice. She goes on to emphasize that “the problem isn’t that you have negative thoughts. The problem is that you believe them.” Have you ever thought that by responding to a negative thought or even interrupting a negative thought positively, you could be coaching your brain to think optimistically in future?

Here are 5 ways how to rewire your brain to transform negative thoughts into positive ones:

1.     Become aware and think about it rationally

The moment you take a conscious decision that you want to truly be happy with all aspects of your life, you should constantly be vigilant with your thoughts. Identifying negative thoughts and thinking about them carefully will help you determine your emotional state around your thinking. You are basically then debating the thought with your mind.

Abraham-Hicks has an emotional guidance scale that can help you react in such a way as to gain more positive thoughts and help you climb the scale. Ms. Hampton notes in her article that this concept is explained further in a book ‘Ask and it is Given’ by Ester and Jerry Hicks.

2.     Learn to accept and move on

A simple strategy of acceptance can go a long way. You don’t have to overthink or battle every single negative thought that crosses your mind. Sometimes the best thing to do, is to just say “you know what…it’s ok” and then accept that you cannot change it and move on, refocusing on something you can change. Ms. Hampton also says in her article that “accepting the thoughts is not the same thing as agreeing with or believing them. To accept them means to just let them exist without investing meaning or importance in them, or judging them or yourself for having the thoughts.”

3.       Detox your mind

You can’t rewire your thinking process if you don’t get rid of all the negative baggage. Everyone goes through experiences, have bad memories and think negative thoughts because of constant propaganda, social media and so forth. Every day we are bombarded with negative energy and messages. You will not believe how good you feel after detoxifying your mind. A few ways to do this, is through:

a) Meditation by calming down and focusing your mind. This will redirect your thoughts to focus on the good and positive.

b) By having a day or two where you do not listen or watch Social Media, The News etc. Doing this will prevent your mind from seeing negative images and messages.

c) Making a conscious decision to say goodbye to toxic people in your life and then sticking with it. Negative influences from negative people can drag you down into a dark hole.

d) Pairing negative thoughts or experiences with positive thoughts and memories. Thus seeing the silver lining.

e) Then lastly is by focusing on having ‘Me-Time’. Sometimes all you need to regroup and refocus is just some alone time away from everyone and everything to concentrate on yourself.

4.       Be realistic about it

You can be great to your abilities. A fish can’t climb a tree and a rhino can’t breathe underwater. Each has their own strong points. By focusing on what your strengths are will help you streamline your positivity and help you accept your short-comings by pairing them with your positive attributes.

5.     Expanding and building mind muscle

Positive thinking or changing negative thoughts into positive ones doesn’t happen overnight. This takes continuous effort and practice to train your mind in a way where you can decide what discourages you and what motivates you to rise above all else. Any new skill requires constant training. The more you train your brain, the more it will undergo physical neuroplasticity changes that will permanently influence your train of thoughts.

Also part of the article ‘The Best Brain Possible’, Ms. Debbie Hampton enlightens us with Jeffrey Schwartz’s 4 R’s Thought Reframing which is a 4-step therapy that works on reframing your thinking specifically aimed at individuals suffering from OCD to transform their thought processes. These 4 Rs basically stand for; Relabel, Reframe, Refocus and Revalue.

Essentially he says that by becoming aware of deceptive brain messages (Relabel), and by changing your perception of the importance of these messages (Reframe) you clear your cognitive fields. It’s when you focus all your attention on the direction you actually want to go in that you Refocus where you then deliberately do something constructive about it, Ms. Hampton elaborates. This was quite interesting to read.

There are so many studies and articles one could be reading that will influence, enhance and totally change negative thoughts into positive ones. The summary of it all is basic. Once you teach your brain how to think positive, and you practically implement it, you alter your brain’s physical pathways of thinking.

Without happiness as your priority, you won’t be able to wake up every morning in the daily quest for personal and professional contentment and joy. The choice remains yours. Do you want to be happy or not. Make that choice and actively stick with it.