Can you become happier simply by doing mental exercises? The answer is “yes!” Scientists have conducted a great deal of research into so-called positive psychology over the past two decades. This has shown that you can teach your brain a new way of thinking.
This is possible because mental exercises promote the neuroplasticity of your brain, thicken your gray cortex and strengthen your neural networks.
Just as there are different exercises to train different muscle groups and physical skills, there are also different exercises for your brain. You can also learn various kinds of mental skills. That way, you can increase your overall happiness and well-being.
How do mental exercises work?
You may be wondering why you need to train your brain to be happy. The answer to that question is quite simple. Brain scans show that there is more electrical activity in certain brain regions in response to negative stimuli. This includes the right prefrontal cortex.
Scientists think it’s because of the brain’s tendency to focus on the negative. This in turn is a result of the so-called fight, flight or stiffening reaction.
You can teach your mind to ignore the negative reactions when they are not really necessary. One of the best ways to achieve this is positive thinking exercises. If you make these mental exercises part of your routine, the positive changes will affect other areas of your life as well.
That is why we are going to teach you 3 different mental exercises in this article. This way you can teach your brain to be happy and successful.
It is part of human nature to think about what is to come and what goal is being pursued. This kind of optimism encourages you and gives you the energy to keep going. However, it loses much of its ability to make you happy if you forget to be thankful for it.
Practicing gratitude is extremely powerful because it reminds you of everything you have. It can also emphasize a specific message: you don’t need as much as you think.
Gratitude is associated with many physical and psychological benefits, including happiness. So it doesn’t matter whether you express your gratitude by saying it every day or by writing it down somewhere. The important thing is that you remember every day what you are grateful for.
This allows your brain to focus on the positive elements of life. This allows the net to more often ignore the more difficult, unfavorable parts. This is probably the simplest and most effective way to improve your well-being through gratitude.
Just paying close attention to your breathing can have a great effect. Many people are not aware of the ability of breathing as a body’s own sedative. Anger, nervousness, anxiety, stress, and other types of tension can all lead to shallow, unhealthy breathing.
All you need to do is pay close attention to your breathing for 5 minutes. It doesn’t matter if you’re sad, anxious or just content. Just take 5 minutes a day to focus on your breathing. This is the beginning of a kind of meditation.
Several studies show that smiling and smiling, whether it’s genuine or not, encourages your body and mind to feel ‘happy’. By laughing you send a positive signal to your brain, which, for example, releases endorphins. It doesn’t matter why you smile or smile.
In fact, a 30-year study has been conducted on this by the University of California – Berkeley. The researchers examined people’s smiles in an old yearbook and then measured their wealth and well-being.
They looked at things like how satisfied they were with their marriages and how long they lasted. They devised a standardized measurement system to measure people’s well-being and to see how well it predicted their life course. The people who smiled more in their photo in the yearbook scored higher in each category than those who smiled less.
The truth is that smiling and smiling is an easy mental exercise. Give yourself the chance to smile or smile every day by seeing things you enjoy, hanging out with people that make you happy, reading a good book and so on.
Don’t forget to “wear” your smile and take it outside. Smile when you greet people, when you thank someone or when you meet a new person. It’s easy, fun and satisfying. It will bring joy to both you and the person who sees your smile!