People have an estimated 70,000 thoughts every day. If you use those thoughts to tear yourself down, doubt your potential, or second-guess your choices, you’ll harm yourself and put your psychological health at risk. But the good news is you can change that with these four tricks to train your brain for happiness:
1. Know the difference between problem-solving and ruminating.
Thinking about ways to overcome an obstacle is very helpful, but imagining yourself as unable to deal with pain is not productive. Whenever you see yourself thinking about something over and over, try to think about whether you’re problem-solving or not.
If you’re solving a problem, keep going. But if you’re simply going over what has already occurred or making predictions of disaster or thinking about things you can not control, stop yourself and do something else. Do something to get your brain focused on more immediate actions like chores or other tasks that need to be done.
2. Treat yourself like a close friend.
Most people are very critical of themselves. By beating yourself up and enlarging your mistakes you will only hurt yourself. Studies have connected self-compassion to increased psychological well-being and enhanced self-worth and more motivation. So make a commitment to speak to yourself like you would speak to a close friend.
3. Balance logic and emotions.
Whether you’re confronted with a hard money decision, or experiencing a personal problem, you will make your best choice when you balance emotions and logic. When you notice your emotions are high, take steps to boost your rational thinking. The best way to do this is to write out the pros and cons of your decisions. Reading over that can help remove some of the feeling out of your thinking and let you make better choices.
4. Practice being grateful.
Gratitude has been connected to many physical and mental benefits, including relief of depression. One study discovered that grateful people are 25% happier. One good way to do this is to write in a gratitude journal every night before bed. This will train your brain to look for the good everyday. And it could be the easiest way to boost your psychological well-being and stop depression in its mental tracks.
The Healthy Mindset
Your self-talk has an overwhelming effect on your life. If you want to attain your greatest happiness and potential, it’s vital that you build this brain muscle and skill. Exercise your brain in this way every day, and after some time, you will have the mind of a positive and happy person.