Your regular weekly workouts can be good for your mind, but the right ‘brain workout’ can prove to be essential to improving your happiness. And we’re going to show you how.
By a show of unhappy brains, how many of you think that your happiness is dependent on the circumstances in your life? These are the men who like to say, ‘if ______ happens, then I’ll be happy,’ if I get a _____ , I’ll die a happy man.’ This is the kind of thinking that can lead a man to search for his happiness in events and accomplishments, rather than his own perception. And while there is no doubt that circumstance plays a part in your happiness, your perception plays a bigger role than you give it credit.
The Mind-Happiness Connection
The more positive and happy thoughts a man allows to dominate his thinking, the happier he will become. The more negative and downing thoughts, the more depressing life will seem. So, considering our lives are a mix of good and bad, your happiness is based on whether you choose to remember more of the good – or the bad.
This sounds easy enough, but not every man has that kind of control over his brain. But you can attain it with the right ‘brain’ workout. But first, you need to understand the importance of pumping up your attention.
Attention Vs. Happiness
In order to pay more attention to the happy moments over the unhappy ones, you are going to need to strengthen your ability to pay attention to what you want. Most of the time we are victims of our own bad habits, and well… most of us tend to tally up the bad events in a day in order to decide if it’s been good or bad. The traffic was slow to work, you were late to the meeting, and your presentation did not feel like it hit the mark. Your tuna sandwich was soggy, so-and-so did not talk to you at the water cooler, and your drive home was slow too. So you conclude it was a bad day.
But you probably forgot that your client praised you for your attention to detail, you increased your reps for hanging leg raises, the girl at the front desk gave you one heck of a smile, and you witnessed a kick-ass sunset on your drive home. Many of your worst days could become a lot better if you became better at focusing your attention towards the ‘good’ rather than the bad.
The Happy Man’s Brain Workout
Your brain may not be a muscle, but it works under the same fundamental rules. The more you work your happy muscles, the bigger and more dominating that part of your brain will become. So, for every negative thought that passes over your brain, you are only strengthening your ability to think negatively. Negative thinking is an energy drain, a dream breaker, and confidence zapper. And according to most women we’ve interviewed, a bulging happy muscle is just as sexy as a set of six pack abs.
And with all these thoughts fresh in your mind, let’s get to the happy workout:
Smile (at least 10 sets of 15 reps per day)
You’re brain functions from cues in your daily life. The more you smile, the more your brain will release the happiness chemicals that are normally associated with that action. So smile often, and do it even if you don’t want to.
Hang Out with Other Happy Brains
A man’s happiness is dependent on the company he keeps by as much as 20 percent. This means that the more positive company you surround yourself with – the better your overall outlook will become.
Do Attention Presses Religiously (1 set of 10 reps)
One session of meditation for 10 minutes each day has been shown to improve the parts of your brain that allows you to focus your attention. And the more control you have over your attention, the better you will be able to focus (be mindful) on all events in your life – particularly the positive ones.
Upgrade Your Highlights Box
The time you passed gas in 7th-grade math class, were relieved of your underwear in 9th-grade gym class and slept through three senior year final exams in college. these are the moments that most guys introduce using the classic phrase, ‘I’ll never forget…’ But as entertaining as these unfortunate events can be while being told at a party (because everybody loves a good tale of woe, especially if makes them feel better about themselves) – perhaps you should forget them. At the very least, you should downplay their significance and instead, focus on collecting a more positive box of highlights, focusing on only the good moments.
Keep in mind that every positive highlight does not need to be earth-shattering to be worthy of your box. When it comes to your happiness it is quantity over quality. In other words, you can ensure your happy box is always full by handpicking these highlights on a regular basis. You can do this by first, mentally recording any moment when something good happens. Second, answering why you think it was a win. Third, describing how it made you feel, and finally, plan how to achieve more of these.
Essentially, this workout is teaching your brain to make a big deal out of the majority of your happy moments, so they can become ‘highlights’. Because when it is all said and done, it is these highlights that ultimately count towards your feeling of success and fulfillment. So it is not just the events in your life that designate success, but the way you perceive them to be.
You are what you think – so make the most of every thought!