WE all want to be happy. One of the fastest ways to do so is to be able to look at the world in a positive light. It seems simple enough, but why are there so many negative people around us? Are we more inclined to be negative and unhappy? What can we do to change our outlook from negative to positive?
According to Loretta Breuning, Ph.D, a Professor of Management at California State University and the author of The Science Of Positivity and Habits Of A Happy Brain, our brain is not designed to create happiness but rather, has evolved to promote survival. In an online article published by Forbes, she shared that our brains are designed to look out for dangers and obstacles. It will then push us to act accordingly to avoid those challenges. Once done, it will scan for another one. This will go on and on until we feel exhausted. This is when we see the world as a very negative and unhappy place.
Fortunately, we can rewire the same circuit to break the negative perspective. Breuning asked us to do this: “Negativity will engulf you unless you build yourself a positivity circuit. To do that, spend one minute looking for positives, three times a day, for 45 days. This trains your brain to look for positives the way it is already trained to look for negatives.”
I couldn’t agree more. In a way, this is to replace a bad habit with a good one. And yes, it takes that long to break one’s habit.
In my book, I have also written a similar thing. I talked about being grateful with what we already have instead of worrying about what we haven’t got. Always generate positive auras by complaining less and giving thanks more. We must give five “Thank You’s” for every complaint.
We also need to instil the grateful culture in the house by training our children and ourselves to say “please” and “thank you” more often. In my household, we always remind the children to ensure that they are grateful for even the daily meals being put on the table. They never fail to say “Thank you very much, Mummy and Daddy” whenever we have our meals. It has become a habit, so much so that they do not need reminding anymore.
There are many things that we should be thankful for in our daily lives. Once in a while, it would be good to just list them down, no matter how big or small and see for ourselves how lucky we are. I recall seeing a quote that says, “Happiness is not in getting what you want, but in enjoying and appreciating what you already have.”
I truly agree because this route is so much easier to take. It’s not every day that we get good things happening or receive good fortune. But the things we already have will be with us. These “things” include our beautiful family, a happy home, good health and yes, an awesome sunrise every morning.