Many psychology experts say it is essential to have a positive mental attitude when it comes to maintaining good physical and emotional health. Still, having such is quite challenging, but the good news is that it only takes a few seconds to switch gears.
So, how do we trick our brain into becoming more positive, and why does such an approach work? The first thing to do is to address our negative thoughts, which experts say are normal.
Humans actually gravitate towards negativity. According to Rick Hanson, PhD, a neurologist, the human brains are reacting more strongly to negative thoughts and feelings, and better brain lessons learned from unwanted experiences against the good ones.
Meaning, painful stuff marks itself more simply on the human brain. This negativity bias kept people alive during their hunger-gatherer times, which is great.
Revamping the Negative Bias
The human brain is quite an incredible organ. According to PureWow, definitely, the brain'' hard-wiring pushes us to "indulge in negative thoughts," although they respond well too, to revamping or rewiring.
Dr. Hanson, founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom says, our brain needs only 12 seconds to develop new connections between neurons.
Commenting on this 12-second trick, Hanson, who's also written six books, which include the bestseller "Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm and Confidence," adds that neurons are the brain's communicators.
They deliver messages from one part of the brain to another and form it to other areas of the nervous system.
Essentially, the 86 billion neurons in our noggin tell us how to respond to specific situations and interpret entering information. More so, neurons are connecting good experiences with positive feelings.
How Neurons Link an Experience to Positivity
For instance, Hanson explains, one conquers Mt. Everest, and he feels happy and proud. Neurons, then, will link such an experience of conquering the mountain to positivity or happiness and pride.
Say you climb to the mountain top regularly, and your brain then will keep on associating "climbing" with "being happy."
Now, as Hanson puts it in his talk on TexMarin, "Neurons that fire together, wire together." If you want to trick your brain into becoming more positive, all you need to do is develop new neural connections between an emotion and an experience through the 12-second scheme.
The 12-Second Scheme
When you're stressed, your cortisol levels increase. Cortisol activates the emergency, "fight-or-flight" reaction. Again, ideal for short periods of hunting and gathering.
Not ideal, though, for 21st-century citizens who experience life, work, and eight straight hours of "House Hunters." Excessive cortisol raises one's chances of falling victim to depression or anxiety.
Say you experience some delays, or you're feeling sad, jealous, trying to use the 12-second tactic to bring yourself back to a more positive position.
To do this, allot at least 12 seconds thinking back a positive event, image, or relationship in the past. Sit with the recollection and think about all the reasons your brain is classifying this past event, image, or relationship as something positive and happy.
Keep on doing this each time you're feeling stressed out or find yourself swerving into a negative area. Over time, your brain will be able to train itself to always look on the bright side instead of surrendering to the negativity of the particular moment.
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