POSITIVE THINKING

Posted on May 11, 2020 · Posted in Blog, General, Memo Plus Gold, Personal

Start every day with positive thinking!

How you start the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. Have you ever woken up late, panicked, and then felt like nothing good happened the rest of the day? This is likely because you started out the day with a negative emotion and a pessimistic view that carried into every other event you experienced. Instead of letting this dominate you, start every day with positive affirmations.

 

Strengthen your memory for positive information.

Did you know that you may be able to increase your positiveness just by memorizing lists of positive words? It is because when you force your brain to use positive words frequently, you make these words more accessible, more connected, and more easily activated in your brain. So when you go to retrieve a word or ideas from your memory, positive ones will come to the top more easily.

 

Strengthen your brain’s ability to work with positive information.

Once your brain has built strong neural networks for positive words, try to extend these networks by asking your brain to use positive information in new ways. For example, you could memorize positive words and set an alarm that reminds you to recall these words, in reverse order, an hour later.

You could print out these words on cards, cut them into two pieces, shuffle them all together and then find each card’s match. For example, the word “laughter” would be cut into “laug” and “hter.” To match the word pieces, your brain has to search through lots of positive information to find what it’s looking for. This positive memory recall task may make it easier when you try to think positive.

 

Strengthen your brain’s ability to pay attention to the positive. 

Are you one of those people who notices the bad stuff – like when someone cuts you off in the traffic or your food does not taste quite as good as you wanted it to? In that event, you most likely have trained your brain to focus on the negative, and your brain has become really good at it. It can be really challenging to undo this training. So instead, train your brain to be even better at focusing on the positive.

 

Condition yourself to experience random moments of positiveness.

Did you know that you can condition yourself for positiveness? If you have ever taken an introduction to a psychology course, you would have probably heard about the study of Pavlov’s dog. Here is a quick refresher:

Pavlov had a dog. Pavlov would ring a bell to tell his dog that it was almost feeding time. Like most dogs, Pavlov’s dog would get really excited when he was about to get fed. So he’d drool all over the place. What happened? Well, suddenly Pavlov’s dog started getting excited just by the sound of that bell, even when food was not present. Eating food and the sound of the bell became linked in the dog’s brain. Something as meaningless as a bell was now making the dog excited.

This effect is called classical conditioning. It is the idea that when two stimuli are repeatedly paired, the response that was first elicited by the second stimulus (food) is now elicited by the first stimulus alone (the bell). This happens all the time without us even realizing it. For example, the favorite food for many of us is something that we ate as a child with our families. What likely happened was the positive feelings of being with family and the particular food got paired in our brains. As a result, we now get the warm-fuzzy feelings that we got from spending time with family just from eating the food alone, even if our family is not currently present when we eat it.

Although your environment is conditioning you to react in some particular ways all the time, if you know what you are doing, you can use classical conditioning to boost your positiveness. You do exactly what Pavlov did. You just repeatedly link boring things (like a bell ringing) with positive thoughts and feelings over and over again. Pretty soon, these boring things will generate positiveness automatically. That is classical conditioning at work. This can help you think positively because when you are going about your life, maybe even feeling annoyed about stresses or challenges, you will have these little positive moments that keep you energized and in a good mood.

 

Think positive, but not too much, and think negative when you need to.

Of course, thinking positive has its benefits. But thinking positive is not always the best response. Negative thoughts sometimes have benefits, too.

When we are sad or grieving, thinking negative thoughts and showing the emotions that these thoughts create helps us communicate to others that we need their support and kindness. When we are treated unfairly and get angry, our thoughts can help motivate us to take corrective action, make changes in our lives, and change the world. Casually pushing these negative emotions aside without seriously considering their origins can have negative consequences. So when you focus on the negative, ask yourself, is this negative emotion resulting in an action that improves your life? If so, then keep it. If not, then work on changing it.

 

Practice gratitude

We will be the first to admit that there are an infinite number of things to be angry, sad, or anxious about. But the truth is that there are also an infinite number of things to feel passionate, joyful, and excited about. It is up to us to decide which we want to focus on.

One way to train your brain to focus on the positive is to practice gratitude. Gratitude is when we feel or express thankfulness for the people, things, and experiences we have. When we express gratitude at work, we can more easily gain the respect and camaraderie of those we work with. When we are grateful for our partners or friends, they are more generous and kind to us. When we are grateful for the little things in our day-to-day lives, we find more meaning and satisfaction in our lives.

 

Savor the good moments

Too often we let the good moments pass, without truly celebrating them. Maybe your friend gives you a small gift or a colleague makes you laugh. Do you stop to notice and appreciate these small pleasures that life has to offer? If not, then you could benefit from savoring the good moments.

Savoring just means holding onto the good thoughts and emotions we have. You can savor by holding on to the emotions you are feeling in positive moments. Or you can savor by thinking about positive experiences from the past. Savoring is a great way to develop a long-lasting stream of positive thoughts and emotions.

 

Generate positive emotions by watching fun videos

The broaden-and-build theory suggests that experiencing positive emotions builds our psychological, intellectual, and social resources, allowing us to benefit more from our experiences. So how do we infuse our lives with small bursts of positive emotion?

One way is to watch positive or fun videos. Watching cat videos or inspirational videos can generate a quick boost of positive emotions that can help fuel an upward spiral of positive emotions. Just be sure to mentally hang onto the positive emotions that emerge, through strategies like savoring, so that you take your good mood with you when you leave the couch. And be careful not to get sucked in for too long or you may end up feeling guilty for not getting more done.

 

Stop minimizing your successes

We have a bad habit of downplaying our successes and not fully appreciating our wins. For example, we may say, “Anyone could memorize these positive words,” or “I didn’t increase my happiness as much as I wanted to.” But this fails to recognize the effort that you have put in—effort that not everyone would put in. These phrases minimize your small successes instead of celebrating them.

We struggle with this one a lot. People may praise you for building your own business—a business that helps people increase their happiness and well-being. But you would say, “Anyone could do it. I just got lucky.” This kind of thinking downplays all the small efforts you put in to make your business successful. Anyone could have done it, but they did not; I did.

The same is true for you. Even reading this post all the way to this point means you are putting effort to improve your ability to think positive. Give yourself some credit for that. As you pursue positive thinking, happiness, or well-being – whatever your goal is – take note of your wins. After every small win, celebrate a little bit.

 

Stop all-or-nothing thinking

All-or-nothing thinking is when we view a situation as all good or all bad. This is another tough negative thinking habit to overcome. For example, you might think you are a failure because you have not been particularly successful at helping kids cultivate the skills that help them think positive and increase happiness.

On the other hand, you may have had great success in working with businesses to help them develop their happiness applications, writing content for these products and courses, and selling workbooks to help people to learn happiness skills. What do you think? Does this make you a failure or success? If you was prone to all-or-nothing thinking, then you have to choose one or the other.

There is always room for improvement, but be careful not to start thinking you are a complete failure just because you are not a complete success in all the ways you had hoped to be. You win some, you lose some. That is life!!!

 

As usual, we remind you to take your Memo Plus Gold daily. It will help to keep you alert and mentally sharp.Natural memory enhancer