Three steps to re-train your brain ...
Here is a very powerful tool that I have developed over the years to make me feel better when my state of happiness begins to erode. In fact, I have read very recently, that some serious studies have shown that this method has proven to be a very effective remedy when your state of happiness, for whatever reason, starts to take a turn for the worse. For a long time I knew that this works for me – but it’s nice to discover that it is in fact, a very accessible tool that anyone can take ownership of and use with ease. It works like this …
Something is making you feel bad – and your mind starts to do it’s thing and becomes over-focussed on the things that are making you feel that way; pretty soon, the thing seems to take on a life of it’s own and grows in your mind until you begin to feel even worse. You need to re-train your mind and create a new habit under such conditions … here’s how …
Feeling bad about a certain situation? As soon as you find yourself dwelling on it -
DO THESE 3 THINGS
First: Almost every situation offers some positive benefits for you; no matter how grim things may seem to be. Lose your legs – hey, you save money on shoes … that sort of thing. Look hard, find the positives for yourself that are buried beneath the situation – write them down – or at least commit them to memory and smile when you do it.
Second: find the positives for others that will arise out of the situation. There could be ripple effects of the situation that could be of benefit to other people; perhaps even the people that have hurt you, if that is the sort of situation you are in; there are always positives; think about them, and smile.
Third: Think abou the larger picture of your life. You can still eat food, you can still go for a walk, you can still breathe without assistance, you have a roof over your head, maybe you have a car to drive, a friend, a pet, a book to read – put things in perspective; there are millions of people who do not have such privileges. When we are feeling unhappy, our minds have a tendency to shrink and over-focus on the bad thing that has happened to us; by forcing our minds to consider the larger picture we move away from those negative feelings. Smile as you do this.
This mental exercise takes only a minute or two – and will leave you feeling much better about your situation. Repeat in many times throughout the day. In a day or so – you will have re-trained your brain.
I worked this out for myself a long time ago, by realising, in difficult times, which thoughts made me feel slightly better, and simply focussing on those, rather than the problem I was wallowing in. Please try this for me – as a favour. You will be glad you did.