We have all heard happiness is a choice and you can choose to stay happy and what not! But often something just pulls you down and doesn’t let up. What do you do then? Neuroscience has the answer!
Alex Korb, a neuroscientist at the University of California and the author of The Upward Spiral outlined 5 simple things that can make your brain happy. These are straightforward methods you can apply to your everyday life and rewire your brain into happiness.
#1. Listen to music from the happiest time of your life
What was the happiest part of your life? School? College? What kind of music did you listen to during those days? Go back and play the same music when you feel you are spiralling downwards. Music has very strong effects on your brain one of which is reminding us of the previous environment in which we heard it. So, when you listen to music from your happy days, your brain tends to reconnect with the old time and make it more present.
#2. Smile and wear sunglasses
Sometimes our brain relies on ‘biofeedback’ which means it senses what is happening in your body when it can’t sense the outside information. This helps the brain decide how you feel about the world. So, if you are smiling, your brain will automatically perceive you are happy and voila, you will be happy!
What about sunglasses? They aren’t just for looking cooler, they have a special function too. Sunglasses prevent your eyes from squinting and squinted eyes send a signal to brain that you are worried about something. So, smile and put on those sunglasses. And by the way, they do make you look cooler and cool people are happy people!
#3. Your goals can change the way you see the world
Having a goal changes how you see and interpret the world. It releases dopamine and provides your brain a sense of control. You know how they say that you don’t have to change the whole world, jut yourself. This is absolutely true when it comes to your brain. So, if you are feeling bad about skipping a party, just think about your long-term goals. This will make your brain feel like it worked towards something productive and you will get a sense of accomplishment and motivation.
Pulling up all-nighters is fun until you are moody and sulky in the morning with a dehydrated skin and look like you haven’t slept for days. Getting a good night sleep is very important to stay happy. Not only a lack of sleep messes with your productivity, it also makes you moody. So, get a good night’s sleep if you want to say happy.
#5. Beat procrastination
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Nothing will make you happy if your work keeps piling up. In fact, your brain will be far from happy- worried and anxious. So how do you deal with procrastination? When one part of your brain wants to work while the others just want to chill and have fun? The culprit here is stress which doesn’t let you form good habits. So, in order to beat procrastination, you have to beat stress first.