Train your brain to be positive

Train your brain to be positive

by Vanessa Ng 19 Jul 2018

Emotions stem from the mind. Whenever we’re met with setbacks, it’s always how we perceive things that determines our emotional response. Like most other muscles in your body, your brain can be trained to work in a certain way instead of keeping to its knee-jerk tendencies. By adopting some healthy practices, you can most definitely re-wire this lump of grey matter to work in a more uplifting manner.


Accept that things can get tough

It can be difficult in the beginning, especially when you have those days where you feel that things couldn’t possibly get any worse and everything looks dull and gloomy. However, it is important to acknowledge that happiness is a construct and can be dependent on your personal thoughts and perspectives. One of the things that get in the way of this process is the belief that things should always work out in your favour. When the situation runs counter to this, it’s often met with a staunch refusal to accept what’s at hand. This dissonance results in mental chaos, which paves the way to negativity. Instead, be open to the possibility of things not turning out the way you want. When you embrace that reality, keeping your head above water will become much easier.


Condition your brain

An optimistic mindset can be achieved through discipline. One way to achieve this is to spend at least a minute a day thinking about positive things. Write them down if visualisation techniques don’t work for you. Say words of affirmation out loud if that allows you to better internalise positivity. Do whatever suits you best to cultivate a sustainable habit of focusing on the good aspect of things. Like any habit, this will take time and consistent practise, so don’t feel discouraged if you fall off the wagon occasionally!


Act on it

After building and developing a strong positivity circuit in your brain, you will be able to PARE your negativity. PARE is a helpful acronym that stands for Personal Agency and Realistic Expectations. Personal Agency refers to the pleasure you experience in choosing the next step. While you cannot accurately predict the future, you can actively decide on the next plan of action for sure. Following that, Realistic Expectations are alternatives that you come up with as responses to various outcomes. In situations such as failures, always remind yourself that success may come in the future. It takes time for your efforts to bear fruit, and success is not always immediate and may not even be apparent. By utilising PARE, you’ll be able to always adjust and manage your expectations to better cope with reality as it develops.


Taking charge of life around you will give you the power to enact changes in yours. Most of the time, it turns out that is ourselves that end up standing in the way of personal progress. While there are people who are inherently more optimistic than others, there’s nothing that says that you can’t have a piece of that positivity pie for yourself!