I spend a lot of years understanding what I can do to feel happier, almost instantly. I entered my mid 20s with a few embedded thinking patterns that haven’t always worked in my favour: perfectionism, overachieving tendencies and a bit of anxiety.
Changing your behavioural baggage, which is created by family, peers, background and education, requires some work, a lot of self-awareness, but it can be done!
The great thing about the brain is – it can be trained! The not so great thing about the brain is – it’s stubborn. But also easy to trick.
So when you feel you’re stuck in a moment of negative thinking, anxiety or other less-than-helpful mind patterns, here’s what you can do to trick your brain into releasing more positive thoughts:
Go for a walk
You’ve heard this a million times before, but getting out of a particular triggering situation is the best thing you can immediately do to avoid a domino effect. Break the cycle before it starts by taking a breather. If you can go somewhere close to a natural environment, park or scenery, it will have a bigger impact.
Talk to your trusted friends or family
There’s no greater pick-me up than unconditional love and understanding from those who know you well and are willing to listen and not judge when you have your low moments. Unloading and talking about feelings can help tremendously. Do it over some good food and wine, and you’re guaranteed to have forgotten about the bad day you’ve had.
Practice your hobby
Besides the fact you’re probably passionate about it, hobbies will help you relax, will reduce anxiety and distract the brain from negative though patterns.
Exercising falls under this category – and is indeed one of the best things you can do to feel happier and healthier.
Watch a favourite video
Sometimes, I find that when I listen to other people’s stories or I am made aware of issues beyond my small-minded bubble, my perspective shifts. The more I see the big picture or get inspired by life and business stories, the less I can afford to stay in a negative state of mind.
Write it down
There’s such a power in writing things down. It declutters your mind, it unloads your emotional burden and forces you to reflect. But most importantly – once on paper, a problem will most often shrink to just that – a problem. Something you can look at objectively and find a solution for. Because no matter what, there will ALWAYS be a solution.
While you’re at it – reflect on one good thing that happened to you that day. Being grateful is proven to reduce unhappiness and negativity.
Happy international happiness day! Don’t forget to be more and chase less.