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6 WAYS TO REWIRE YOUR MIND FOR HAPPINESS
10 July 2019
Ask most people what they want out of their lives and the answer is simple: to be happy. In some ways, even if we don’t say it aloud, we all wish that we could be happier. Making the effort, however, seems overwhelming and difficult. However, we can all make small changes to become happier, that start in our mind. Here are 6 ways to rewire your mind for happiness that you can practice, starting today.
DONT MISS OUT ON POSITIVE THINGS
It is easier for us to dwell on how we got stuck in traffic or how someone said something nasty rather than remember how someone offered help on that same day. Our brains seem to be wired to focus on the negative rather than the positive. It is quite important to remind oneself of the positive experiences of life. Try to look at your photo albums every now and then, it instantly takes you into the moments of your life that you really enjoyed. Many-a-time, we associate happiness with BIG achievements. Remember to NOT miss out on so many positive little things happening in your life and try to acknowledge them in your mind. This will go a long way in rewiring your mind.
Starting today: Each day try to recall at least one positive experience from your day, before you sleep.
TRY TO QUESTION AND CHALLENGE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
It is hard not to feel anxious before a big exam or presentation. Thoughts such as “I am not good enough”, “I will fail”, “I am incompetent”, “what if” often crop up. Negative thinking overtakes the best of us during testing times. One can never completely eliminate these negative thoughts, as a result of which, they drain one’s happiness. However, whenever facing negative thoughts in your mind, you can question or challenge them. Question whether the constant mind chatter is a statement of truth or just a thought. It is often easier to give logical advice to others in distress than to practice it yourself when emotionally stressed.
Starting today: Try to see yourself and your situation through a friend’s eyes and take the advice you would give to a friend in distress.
TRY NOT TO LET TRIVIAL THINGS AFFECT YOU NEGATIVELY. DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF!
Minimize the negative. Learn to forgive, forget, and move on. The next time someone honks or overtakes you in traffic, your boss calls a meeting at a meal time… let it go. Learn from your mistakes so as not to repeat them. It’ll only make you happier in the long run.
Starting today: Let go of small things that don’t really deserve your attention.
SAY THANK YOU MORE OFTEN
It is said that gratitude is the attitude of winners. Gratitude boosts levels of serotonin and dopamine - considered as the ‘happy chemicals’ of the brain. So whether it is going to your parents and telling them you are grateful, or thanking a friend for their help, expressing your gratitude both in words and in deeds will make you happier.
Starting today: Try to find ways and means of expressing your gratitude towards those who care, have been of help and matter.
TRY TO GIVE YOUR MIND SOME REST FROM THE CHAOS. TRY TO LIMIT YOUR TIME WITH THE VIRTUAL WORLD
We feel happier when we build strong, positive bonds and meaningful relationships with others face to face. Excessive use of technology can be detrimental to one’s health. It is also important to disconnect from the virtual world from time to time and spend some real time in the real world. It is important to practice healthy communication and pursue creative hobbies and interests that give you internal pleasure.
Starting today: Try to find time to bond with your family, friends and of course yourself!
TRY TO DEFINE THE MEANING AND PURPOSE OF YOUR LIFE. TRY TO MEANINGFULLY ENGAGE IN CONSTRUCTIVE THINGS WHILE FOCUSING ON ACHIEVING YOUR LIFE GOALS.
Try to reward the constructive efforts you put in to achieve smaller targets leading you towards a sense of self-worth and confidence. It is likely to help you stay motivated.
Please do remember: Happiness is all about giving. It is the best gift of health that you can give to yourself and your family and friends.
- Dr Sameer Malhotra, Director, Department Of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Max Healthcare
- Dr Shreya Singhal, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Department Of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Max Healthcare
- Ms Anupriya Sircar, Clinical Psychologist, Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Max Healthcare