Top Tip: Happiness is being Positive
What we think and say has an enormous effect on how we feel. We can influence our emotions and mood simply by how we think about things. When you look on the brighter side of things your sense of happiness grows. Click here to see how you can do this.
Positive thoughts create happiness
Positive thoughts and speech keep us in the rational part of our brain where we feel in control and able to cope well with life. In this area of the brain, we produce chemicals like uplifting serotonin and motivating dopamine that make us feel happy and spur us on to do more positive things.
Negative thoughts and speech create low moods by putting us in the primitive part of our brain that helps us deal with danger. Negativity arouses this area subconsciously to prepare the body for running away, fighting or lying low and creates feelings of worry, anger and depression. Notice how your body tenses the next time you engage in judgement or gossip.
We can choose: whether to think in a positive way and create happiness or whether to think negatively and create those unhelpful emotions that lead to feeling miserable.
A little experiment
Just for a few minutes, try thinking about a food you dislike. Imagine yourself seeing it in front of you, how it is presented, lifting it to your mouth, moving it with your tongue, chewing it and finally swallowing it. Make it real by getting into what it feels like, the taste, look, smell, texture and sound.
Now step away from the thought and recall how you felt. How real was the experience for you? It can be quite a surprise to see how the body responds to the idea. This is because the brain is unable to distinguish between imagination and reality and responds as though the situation is actually taking place.
Turn a Negative into a Positive
- Thoughts: whenever you notice yourself having a negative thought, distract yourself by recalling a pleasant memory or placing an uplifting picture in your mind. Singing a jolly song like "Happy Birthday" for 5 to 10 minutes can help too!
- Talk: when you find yourself saying something negative, stop and turn the negative statement around with a positive phrase.
These simple actions will move you swiftly from the primitive part of your brain and into the happy, rational part of your brain. Done regularly, it is a powerful way of changing habits and developing a more positive outlook on life.
Happiness is being positive