All of us are born naturally curious about life, and inherently joyful. Yet, many of us lose our joy due to various circumstances: personal experiences, social or financial predicaments or subconscious negative programming.
Regardless of what is our biggest issue in life, we need to remember that our perception is often deeply rooted in the way we have been programmed or in how we have programmed ourselves based on our experiences and beliefs.
Here is how it works: Our brain is built from neurons, among other things, and these neurons communicate with one another. Each of our thoughts invokes an emotion, which causes the production of a chemical substance, to which neurons in turn react. When we perpetuate our negative thinking, we consequently add to our stress and worry level, ultimately damaging our health and chance for happiness and success in life. When we think new positive thoughts, we begin to produce different chemical substances and new neural pathways in our brains are created, just as we start creating a new shortcut through a field or a lawn, using a new and more comfortable path. The more we use this new path, the deeper and more visible it becomes.
All fears, doubts and negativity reside outside of our heart, and can easily occupy our mind. The good news is that our thought patterns and emotions related to them can be changed.
Here is how we can do it:
• When a stressful or negative thought comes to mind — shout at it in your mind: STOP! Or put elastic on your wrist and snap it instead. Your brain will quickly learn to associate unwanted thoughts with pain and will avoid them at all cost. It really works like magic.
• Build your self-esteem. You can do it by repeating useful affirmations and reprogramming your subconscious for positive beliefs about yourself. Remember that all success in life starts with accepting our own worth.
• Nourish your body and brain with regular physical activity, therapeutic massage, vitamins and supplements.
• Every day find three things for which you can be grateful. You don’t have to look for anything big, but for the smallest, simple things: somebody’s pleasant smile, a good breakfast, your soft blanket, or the shiny stars. Start a notebook in which you will record on a daily basis the three things you appreciate. Begin with: “I am rejoicing today….” And then specify what and why you are grateful for.
• Every day take a 5- to 10-minute break from your work or routine to joyfully dance, run, jump – or anything that will make you out of breath. Such brief, joyful physical exercise raises the levels of serotonin in the brain, a chemical responsible for our good feeling. It helps us to deal with worries and depression. However, do not exceed the required 5 to 10 minutes. Any strenuous, longer exercise will make you exhausted and lower your hormone levels, making you feel down. For the purpose of elevating your mood, 5 to 10 minutes of joyous movement is enough.
• Each day find 10-20 minutes in a quiet space where you can relax. The best way is to sit quietly in a garden, or a park, to be in nature. If that’s not possible, any other peaceful place will serve the purpose. It could be your bedroom, where you feel safe. Close your eyes and stay still. You can put your headphones on and listen to the sounds of nature, ocean waves or some other soothing sounds that help you relax.
• While you are listening to the sounds of nature with your eyes closed, your brain switches to alpha waves. In such a state, your brain can be easily programmed for a positive way of thinking: joyous and appreciative of life.
• Refrain yourself from watching or reading news about tragedies, natural disasters, wars, crime scenes, etc. for six weeks. After that time, your brain switches to a joyful approach to life.
If you persist with this method for six months, your new habit becomes your lifestyle, and you become a person who is full of the joy of life. Good luck!