We can either be positive or negative and while we initially thought how we see life has something to do with our point of view, it actually has also something to do with the chemical processes that take place in your brain.
If you feel like you’re always dwelling on the negative even though you don’t want to, it’s definitely good to know that optimism is something you can train your brain to do. You don’t need to wallow in misery all the time and accept the notion that there’s nothing you can do about how you feel because there is.
Essentially, just like any other inclination that your brain learns through repetition, when you often think positive thoughts, your brain will be geared up to continue the positive cycle of thoughts, courtesy of the neural pathway configuration.
According to studies, people who often think positive are happier, more creative, quicker at solving problems, and experience heightened mental vigilance than those who are often negative. Those who practice optimism also have reduced cortisol or stress hormones and more serotonin or the neurotransmitter that makes you feel good flowing in their bodies.
Surely, it’s better to stay positive than be miserable. It’s not like problems can be solved and bad situations are improved with pessimism anyway. So, here are 5 ways you can train your brain to remain optimistic no matter what:
1. There’s always something to be thankful for
Being grateful for certain things in your life boost your serotonin levels and reduce stress hormones while also enhancing your feelings of motivation and general happiness. To not miss being grateful, you can write down at least three things you’re thankful for every day.
This habit can develop a more constant awareness of things you feel thankful for, something you can always write about in your journal. The more frequent you concentrate on gratitude, the greater optimism your brain gets.
2. You can never go wrong with compassion
Acts of compassion increase dopamine levels, which is the feel-good neurotransmitter that you need in order to improve your mood. Even giving someone a heartfelt compliment can make you both experience a sense of warmth and lightness that contributes to feeling great in general.
To feel good consistently by simply being kind, challenge yourself to perform at least one act of kindness to someone each day, like buying a co-worker a cup of coffee or donating to a charity. Being kind goes beyond good karma as you also load your system with the right brain chemicals.
3. Laughter is always the best medicine
When you burst into laughter, you trigger the production of serotonin levels, which soothes the amygdala or the brain’s stress center. Even if you’re not in the mood, you should strive to make the atmosphere light by a dose of laughter. Hang out with your funny friends or watch a funny show or videos online, anything that can make you laugh.
It doesn’t matter how you get your dose of laughter, as long as you’re getting them frequently. Just make sure you don’t get your laughs by making fun of others that can be generally perceived as degrading or insulting. Just have a laugh without offending other people. Surely, that’s easily possible.
4. Think first before whining incessantly
Every time you catch yourself starting to grumble, hold it right there. Stop yourself. This is tough especially if you’ve made throwing out complaints a daily habit but whining about every little thing you see can create a cycle of negativity in your life. It can be hard to appreciate the littlest things when all you see are flaws and imperfections.
Hence, it’s essential to be mindful of your words. You may find it amazing how eliminating your inclination to whine can be good for your physical, mental health, and even social health. You begin to appreciate more, practice gratitude, as well as teach yourself to be a generally nice person that other people can find approachable because you’re just so optimistic.
5. Get out there and work it
By now you’ve heard how exercise can release endorphins, serotonin, and other pleasant brain chemicals; so, just essentially the good guys to improve your mind and your overall well-being. As you exercise, the stress hormone cortisol is also decreased. For optimal results, make it a point to boost your heart rate for at least 20 minutes per day.
If your crazy schedule stops you from going to the gym, there are several workout videos you can follow online. There are even moves you can perform while you stand next to your office desk. In the end, it doesn’t matter how you do it as long as you break a sweat and keep your heart rate up every day.
In short, there’s no excuse, really. Exercising is just as simple as walking, dancing or even window shopping or carrying the groceries. You just have to allot at least 20 minutes each day for your body to physically exert efforts into certain activities. It can also be chores or errands.