Here’s how to release negativity and find your happiness.
Are you a bit of a pessimist? Do you tend to have a cynical view of life? Are you often caught up in negative feelings, thoughts, and sensations that ruin your day? It doesn’t have to be that way! Indeed, it is time to rewire your brain and reclaim your happiness.
You can change how you experience the world around you and experience an incredible mental transformation. How? It all starts with changing your brain’s subconscious action. Here are four ways to rewire your brain for positive thinking.
1. Rewire Your Brain By Changing Your Interactions With Negativity
To rewire your brain for positivity, you must first deal with existing and recurring negativity. Before you can implant better ways of thinking, you must remove what is taking up your capacity. As such, how you interact with various negative inputs is the first thing you need to change. Here are some ways to do that!
· Flip The Negative To The Positive
You’ve spent years naturally consuming and believing in negative thoughts. It’s time to flip that switch and rewire your brain! When you start thinking negatively, pause and twist them around to the positive. You can do this by picking out small silver linings in negative moments or totally distracting yourself with happier thoughts. You can also respond to your negative reviews with a positive counterpoint. For example, if you think you’ll never succeed due to a lack of skill, remind yourself of the many times you’ve showcased your capabilities. Or you can respond by asking yourself how to build your skills, and creative, productive thought instead.
· Release Negativity
It’s one thing to validate and process negativity, which is fine. But it’s an entirely different to hoard and relive negative thoughts again and again! Dwelling on these thoughts and emotions causes them to build up, and that rumination can become a self-fulling prophecy. It can even start to change your personality, making you excessively cynical or anxious. That’s why knowing that it’s okay to let go of negativity and take back control of your mind is crucial. You don’t need to hold on to every wrong thought or experience you have! Don’t let them drag you down. When you have a negative idea, take a breather to consider whether it is productive or helpful. If it isn’t, visualize throwing it away and moving on!
· Challenge Negativity With Reality
Not everyone can manage to be optimistic all the time. Realism is much more feasible for tackling negativity! To rewire your brain, gunning for rationality and logic helps to correct yourself. Ground yourself in reality by reminding yourself of how unlikely your catastrophizing thoughts are. Think about all the times that things turned out okay despite your fears. Or consider how you have survived various adverse circumstances and learned from them. Remember your capabilities and ask yourself if your thoughts are productive, realistic, or helpful. If they’re not, they need a good dose of reality immediately!
2. Rewire Your Brain Building More Gratitude
Did you know that gratitude is one of the most powerful traits you can develop? It has a unique research-backed way of predicting a happier and healthier life. The more grateful you are, the more comfortable you’ll be in the long run!
This outcome is why gratitude can be a great tool to use as you rewire your brain. It’s also a self-perpetuating cycle. The more grateful you are, the more you find happiness in the world around you. The happier you feel, the more grateful you become! This cultivates a long-term good attitude towards the world and life. You can rewire your brain toward happiness by proxy! You can practice gratitude to do in the following ways:
· Count Every Single Blessing
There are many things you can be appreciative of in life, but they often go overlooked. Instead of taking your blessings for granted, count every single one of them with a smile. Think about the roof over your head, the people you care about, and the things you enjoy about life. Consider how much you love your favorite music, food, and movies. Express your thanks for how pleasant the sun’s warmth feels early in the morning and how your coffee mug fits right in your hands. Don’t be picky about appreciation! Romanticize your life and all its little details.
· Volunteer and Perform Acts Of Service
Acts of compassion and service grant you insight into the worlds and lives of others. These moments teach you valuable lessons in perspective and can help you step outside yourself. You’ll rewire your brain as you learn to be grateful for what you have and your ability to help others! It’s pretty foolproof: studies have found that those who volunteer regularly enjoy better life satisfaction and happiness!
· Rewire Your Brain By Saying “Thank You” More Often
It’s basic manners to thank those who help you or do something for you. But how often do you say it with true, genuine meaning? Give those around you more thankful acknowledgment. Everyone from your spouse to the barista who makes your drinks deserves appreciation. This builds your gratitude bit by bit, as you get to practice the skill and habit of being grateful in everyday life.
· Actively Seek Out The Good In The World
There are tens upon tens of good things for every bad thing in the world. All you have to do is open your eyes and seek them out! Look around you and be determined to find things that make you smile. This rule also applies to complex or negative experiences. You can take the time to process them while also finding silver linings to be grateful for. Once you know how to see the light, your brain will be rewired even in the darkest of times. All other forms of positive thinking will come much more quickly!
It’s hard for anyone to rewire your brain if you have nothing to drive you forward. If you already struggle with positive thinking, your internal motivation may require some supplementation! You can find positive and healthy forms of external motivation in various sources as you train your mind for positivity. Here are some forms to seek out:
· Create Goals to Help Rewire Your Brain Toward Happiness
Goals are a great form of motivation, especially when they’re easily measured and tracked. Find things that drive you forward in a direction you want to go and make goals in line with them. Break huge goals down into smaller milestones and celebrate whenever you achieve one. Opt for realistic expectations that still make you feel challenged!
· Look To Inspirational Things
Tons of sources of inspiration could fill you with passion and drive. So find those things to be inspired by! The world lacks inspiring things, whether from prominent figures, art, fiction, media, or loved ones. Use these things as motivation to spur you forward to find the happiness that lies dormant within your soul.
· Surround Yourself With Good People
Your social circle can be a huge source of motivation. Supportive and encouraging friends and loved ones can hold you accountable and uplift you as you rewire your brain. Don’t have a big social circle? Join clubs, support groups, and non-profit organizations of like-minded individuals!
4. Practice Meditation to Rewire Your Brain
Meditation is a powerful way to control your mind and emotions. It’s a highly effective method to rewire an anxious brain, according to research, and can teach you to release negativity. It helps you regulate your feelings and allows you to sit with your thoughts and interpret them well.
There are numerous ways to meditate, most of which involve acts of mindfulness. In other words, most meditative formats require some degree of groundedness. They work their magic by teaching you to remain present as an audience rather than a slave of your thoughts. Some standard meditation methods and tools that can rewire your brain for happiness and positive thinking are:
· Witness Consciousness
Witness consciousness has its roots in mindfulness but is often used in meditation. It involves “witnessing” your feelings, thoughts, and sensory input as they pass through your consciousness. The point is to treat them like clouds floating over your head, so you don’t interact with them in any way other than as their witness.
This allows you to reach a point where negative events and thoughts don’t overwhelmingly affect you. You separate yourself from your feelings, sensations, and beliefs, recognizing them as yours but not as a definition of you. This can rewire your brain to a state of healthy and reasonable detachment.
· Body Scan
A body scan is an engaged meditative practice. You begin in a neutral and comfortable position. This could be lying down with your palms up or sitting with your feet flat against the floor. You stay as still as possible and focus on awareness of your natural breath. Then, you slowly move your attention from one part of your body to the next, using each element to receive and process sensory input. Typically, you go from your toes and work your way up slowly to your head. As you go, you note the sensations each part experiences and any unusual states of them. This keeps you grounded and relieves stress, bringing you closer awareness of your body’s reactions to your environment.
· Visualization Can Help Rewire Your Brain
Did you know that the human subconscious often struggles to distinguish fantasy from reality? While you may see what you imagine isn’t true, the brain processes it as if it were fact and stores it as accurate. This is why numerous studies have touted the benefits of meditation for improving emotional resilience and training more optimistic thought patterns.
When you imagine positive things, your brain begins to internalize those thoughts, considering them real. Immerse yourself in an imagined situation that you’d like to be in and utilize creative, vivid details to make it feel more natural. For example, you might imagine yourself succeeding at something you’re anxious about or impressively showcasing your capabilities. Your subconscious will begin to believe those things about you!
Anyone can rewire their brain for positive thinking. All it takes is some work to change your interactions with negativity and some healthy meditative, mindful practices. Plus, with extra gratitude, motivation, and inspiration, you’ll be spurred toward positivity and happiness at an even more productive rate!