As much as we love the idea of being completely happy all the time, humans are not naturally positive creatures. In fact, we usually tend to focus on the negative, even when there’s something amazing going on right in front of us. It’s a bad habit, but it’s one that we can find impossible to shake.
Thankfully, just because your brain tends to go negative, doesn’t mean that you can’t teach it to go positive instead. This is how you can train yourself to think positively instead of negatively.
Why We Think Negatively
Even if we don’t realize it, we’re constantly seeking out the next bad thing. Whether we’re watching horrible stories on the news or reading sad articles online, we’re always searching for the next thing. It’s as if our brains are just drawn to these things.
As it turns out, our brains are drawn to them. Our habit of thinking negatively is actually a survival instinct from the primitive part of our brains. They do this by releasing certain chemicals that make is either look for threats or feel rewarded.
Your brain will only release serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin, or the “happy chemicals” when you have all your needs and you are completely safe. The problem is that these chemicals are only released in short bursts.
Cortisol is the chemical that our brains release when we’re trying to survive and looking for the next threat that may be around us. It releases it when we’re in danger or when the happy chemicals have run out. Because of that, we’re constantly looking for new threats. Another way to put this is that we’re always looking for the next negative thing.
Methods of Thinking Positively
Of course, we all want to get out of the terrible habit of thinking negatively all the time. To do that, many experts recommend one simple technique, known as the positivity circuit. The idea behind it is to look for positives around you for 1 minute, 3 times every day, for 45 days.
Along with this, you can also use the Personal Agency, Realistic Expectations and Acting Personally method. To break that down, personal agency means being able to choose your next actions, even if you can’t choose the outcome. The realistic expectations part means challenging the part of your brain that looks for threats. Instead, think of what is more likely to happen.
Finally, realistic expectations will lead to acting personally. All that means is that you are taking the power of your own mind into your own hands. By following all of these steps, you create your own happy chemicals, instead of letting cortisol rule you.
Thinking positively is not as easy as it may sound. Since our natural reaction is to be inherently negative, it will take a lot of time to get there. However, by following these steps daily, you’ll be able to successfully train your brain to think positively.
Share this article with your friends and family so that they can train their brains to think positively too.