Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Train Your Brain to Be More Positive

Optimism doesn't come easily to everyone, especially those surrounded with daily difficulties. We all go through ups and downs, some with more shallow curves than others. But it's also possible, according to a blog post on the subject, to train your brain to be more positive. In return, you'll be more productive, creative and a better decision maker. Really.

Here are some actions you can take to deepen your positivity using the same strategics and tactics that create concert pianists, pro athletes and elite gamers.

1. Celebrate the small wins. We're talking really small wins on what are otherwise downer days. This is also the silver linings approach. Rather than stew about a loved one's declining attention span, give you both a high five for still being able to enjoy another beautiful day together.

2. Give thanks. Whether it's an unexpected email, telephone call, comment or text message, nothing makes someone's day more than a compliment or note of gratitude for something they did, or for just being themselves in a way you appreciate. The good vibes will come back to you if you make this a daily habit.

3. In addition to daily thanks, do something kind for someone else. It could be spending an afternoon with an isolated senior. Or you might surprise the young mother with a full cart and screaming child by letting her go ahead of you in the supermarket checkout. (That one has extra benefits if you have a low threshold for wails.)

4. Be aware. Yes, it's a cliche. But sometimes we really do need to be more mindful of our surroundings and the impact of our actions on others to fully appreciate everything we have instead of dwelling on all we have not.

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