If you want to remain happy and positive, you need to be careful what you feed your brain.
There’s a phrase in computer technology that says: ‘Garbage in. Garbage out,’ meaning that if you feed a computer incorrect information, the resulting output will be incorrect also. The brain does a similar thing. Your thoughts and emotions are a result of the information and experiences you have inputted into your brain over time. So make sure you put some positive experiences in and reduce the negative ones where you can.
If you want to remain happy and positive, you need to be careful what you feed your brain. Most of the information received from the media and other people isn’t the whole ‘truth’, it isn’t ‘realistic’ and it certainly doesn’t represent a ‘balanced’ opinion of the world.
Here are seven ways to increase positive emotions and reduce the negativity you feed your brain.
1. Reduce your exposure to negative media
The overwhelming negative bias of TV and print news gives your mind the impression that the world is a bad, sad and dangerous place. It is hardly surprising that too much of it causes the brain to spout negative thoughts and emotions. Avoid TV news and print newspapers or at least balance them by also looking for sources of more optimistic information. There’s plenty out there: see the links below. Be careful with magazines, too. Beautiful images of people, homes, and travel, can lead to feelings of insufficiency. Stick to magazines about hobbies and interests rather than ‘lifestyle’ magazines,
2. Don’t watch too much horror
Be careful what films and TV you watch. It’s okay to watch dark detective stories sometimes, but if your TV and film diet is filled with too many horrible images, it’s again telling your brain that the world is a place to be feared. And yes, I know it’s not real, but I’m not sure our brains always do, otherwise, why do we get a pounding heart and a jolt of adrenaline at the scary bits?
3. Avoid negative people
Don’t spend too much time with moaners, complainers, and comparers. Balance yourself with more positive, uplifting people who love you just the way you are, who believe in your ideas and dreams and encourage you in your endeavors. Find people with more positive mindsets by joining clubs, groups or courses involving creative hobbies, mindfulness or meditation techniques or other positive philosophies. If you can’t find enough positive people in your social circle, social media can be a great place to find like-minded folk.
4. Don’t live in the past
Pay attention to today. While it’s fine to occasionally visit the past, by reminiscing about a happy occasion, you don’t want to live there permanently. Dwelling in the past often makes us feel guilty for mistakes or nostalgic for better times. Focus on the moment right now and on creating new happy memories.
5. Don’t live in the future
Don’t spend too much time worrying or dreaming about the future. Not only is this a waste of time, it can lead to feelings of overwhelm and make you take less effective action today. Of course, it is important to have goals for the future and make plans, but the only possibility to improve the future exists in this moment, right now.
Take care of yourself. The mind is not a machine, it’s a biological organ. It needs good food and rest to stay healthy. It also needs positive experiences. You wouldn’t expect a child to work all day every day and never have time for fun, play socializing and relaxation. Alone, quiet time is good for a healthy mind, too. It allows the assimilation of new information and an opportunity to get in touch with your feelings. This can provide much-needed clarity about what you want from life and the changes you can make to help you thrive.
7. Spend time in nature.
Being in nature gives you a break from the busy productive world, it increases feelings of calm, reduces blood pressure and just makes you feel good. Moving in nature is a great form of exercise, too and the extra daylight keeps the body clock in order and helps in the production of vitamin D.
Positive News Sources
Optimist World http://optimistworld.com
1000 Awesome Things http://1000awesomethings.com
Purpose Fairy http://www.purposefairy.com
Good News Network http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org