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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Practice Happiness: Train Your Brain to Accent the Positive

Inspiring others towards happiness brings you happiness
Inspire Happiness

'Recalling days of sadness, memories haunt me. Recalling days of happiness, I haunt my memories.'
Robert Brault

Get out of Your Negative Rut
Do you find yourself focusing on things that aren't going well during your day, or perhaps the piles of things you failed to get to? Do you beat yourself up over striking out with that woman, messing up at work, or failing to get that job interview?

Take a lesson from Tommy Lasorda, former Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers:

"If you're worried about that last at bat, you're going to be miserable--you're only going to get depressed. But if you put a picture in your mind that you're going to get a base hit off him the next time, now how do you feel? I try to put positive pictures into the minds of my players."

Stop beating yourself up over what goes wrong in your day--Learn to pay more attention to what's going well instead and--as Tommy said--create a positive picture of how you're going to get a hit next time.

To 'practice happiness', the goal is to train your brain to shift the focus to your achievements by taking an inventory of your day with four questions and to create a positive picture of your future success.
You Can Train Your Brain to be More Positive in 3-5 Weeks
Take a daily inventory. Choose to focus on what's going well in your life and you'll retrain your brain to accent the positive. It may feel awkward or forced at first, but do it anyway. In just three to five weeks you'll learn to do what doesn't come naturally.
With consistent focus on the good stuff in your life you'll shift out of that 'naturally' negative groove into a positive channel. Set aside 15-minutes each day to focus your attention on the good stuff and to create a positive picture of your future success.
Re-focus by writing. Okay, so it doesn't feel natural to write it down either. But if you only do what comes naturally, you'll fail to get out of a negative mindset. 

The natural tendency is to focus on the negative in your head making it difficult to shift your thinking towards the positive. The negative track is just too deep. It's essential to redirect your thoughts by writing it down. Choose to be uncomfortable.
The physical act of writing down the questions and your answers centers your attention as it moves you into a different part of your brain. Get a notebook or journal to collect your positive actions and life experiences--and to create a positive picture of your future success.
Ask yourself these four questions to accent the positive:  

What is working well for me in my work and life?
What have I accomplished I've failed to acknowledge?
What is the most meaningful thing I did in the last 24 hours?
What is one meaningful step I could take today?

Picture This Daily

Think back to a time you had a positive, successful experience. Visualize it, then describe it in writing. Describe the experience. Describe how you felt. Now, picture a future success--what does it look like?

You Can Do This

You are the only one who can change your mindset from the negative to the positive. If you are unhappy with where your life is right now--do you care enough about yourself to be uncomfortable fifteen minutes a day to 'practice happiness'? You can do this. You're worth it.

'One day, in your search for happiness, you find a partner by your side, and you realize that your happiness has come to help you search.'
Robert Brault

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1 comment:

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Once again, Sue, you've dazzled me. I think sometimes you're reading my mind! (Or am I just that un-unique?) This is just the thing I needed to read this morning.