Thinking to Happiness?

Is thinking yourself to happiness really such an odd idea?

Let us consider the following 3 factors:

Placebos: A placebo medication (contains no active ingredients) is known to resolve some presenting problems and is regularly prescribed by doctors. This would appear to be little more than convincing our brain that all is now going to be well after taking the medication, and it can work.  Our brain carries a lot of power, but do we use it as effectively as we could?

Psychosomatic illness:  This is generally caused by worry, stress, unhappiness etc. rather than a physical problem. In other words changes have taken place which have impacted our perspectives. That brain has, once again, demonstrated its ability.

Self-fulfilling prophecy: This basically states that what you believe to be true, will in fact become true, from your perspective. If you believe that the whole world is corrupt, then you will focus on the corruption in the news which merely confirms that you are right. If however you believe that, while corruption does exist in our world, the vast majority of people are honest, then you will interpret the news accordingly, and will also be confirmed as correct.

If you dread going to social gatherings because you will feel like an outcast there, then you probably will feel like an outcast! You may well enter the room feeling really out of place and anxious. You won’t engage in any conversations, and people will have no incentive to interact with you.

Conversely, if you believe that you will be the “life and soul” of the party, then you will enter the room full of confidence and will immediately engage people in conversation.

If we can get our brains to adopt the more positive aspects of life, then we will become more positive individuals. How do we change our brain’s way of thinking? Like playing a musical instrument! Practice, practice and more practice. The saying “Fake it until you make it!” would seem to be pretty good advice.

Many years ago, a series of “less than ideal” events resulted in me working for the Combined Insurance Company of America*, a company that was totally committed to a Positive Mental Attitude* philosophy. Prior to starting work for them, there was a mandatory 2-week program which focused totally on the Positive Mental Attitude. For the first few days, my skeptical side simply tolerated this odd (to me) perspective but, by the end of the first week, I noticed some noticeable changes in my attitude to a number of factors. After completing the 2-week program, being positive in a variety of questionable circumstances became almost intuitive and today, I reflect back to that program and believe that it was a turning point for me.

We grow up with so much negativity that we should not be surprised if our brains dictate negative perspectives, but it can be changed. The first step is to consciously look for positives and recognize that they do exist.

Placebos, psychosomatic illnesses, and the self-fulfilling prophecy , all confirm how powerful our brains are and how they can (and will) impact our lives. We do still have the power to change but, like anything else that is worthwhile, it will take some effort, thought, and patience. It will, however, be so worth it.

Have a wonderful, and very positive, day everybody. Just thinking.


18 thoughts on “Thinking to Happiness?

  1. You know, I love this post, Colin! Whatever we find in life is what we try to find in it. We will always get confirmed because life provides it all. Now it is our choice what we want to find. Our brains are computers which we programmed. We programmed them even though we may say we were influenced. In the end, it was us who agreed on a programming. Our program sends out reflexive thoughts which again results in reflexive feelings which cause our actions and reactions. That again brings up those things we experience in life… It is in our hands to reprogram. It is tough but once we are aware of the fact that we can, it helps!
    Yes, whatever we believe is true will be confirmed. So let’s believe in the things that make us happy in order to deal better with the less happy-making things. And the interesting thing is: The more people focus on the good, the less not good things will exist anyway!
    Great post, Colin!

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