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April 14, 2015

3 Crazy Easy Steps to Happy.

Tired of feeling stuck wondering where your zest for life went? Curious why the urge to change is squelched by old thought patterns that derail your happiness?

There are three easy ways to pop yourself out of feeling blah and move into being happy.

But first, let me set the stage.

I’ve been watching a fly go crazy against my screen for the last 30 minutes.

If he would merely fly around the corner there’s an open door without a screen leading to freedom.  Instead, he continues his same strategy flying circles and buzzing against the screen without success.


I can’t help but wonder if we’re like that fly with our chance of emotional freedom just around the corner? If only we would relax and look around, we might find a new route leading towards everything we want in life (happiness, healthy self-esteem, a positive outlook or renewed creativity and passion).

The reason we don’t is because we’ve literally blinded ourselves to seeing something new. We hang out in habitual thought patterns unable to see outside our own boxes and continue to run the same circuits of the brain keeping us stuck in stressful and reactive beliefs.

When we’re stuck in our old familiar ways of thinking, it’s impossible to consider something new or change emotionally.

It’s also impossible to feel happy when we’re stuck in an emotional rut.

I recently did some international travel and what I discovered surprised me. It wasn’t so much the break from work that relieved my stress and gave me new feelings of happiness, it was the constant sight of something new right in front of me. New people, new food, new routes to walk, and the complete break from everything I’ve grown accustomed to in life.

The reason?

According to Dr. Bill Conklin for Psychology Today, “Science has taught us that the brain is the true home of our feelings.”

Science has also proven that when we are stimulated by the sight of something new, an area of the brain called the left pre-frontal cortex, pulls our attention from the limbic system. The limbic system is the seat of our emotions. It’s where we hang out when we’re stressed, on auto-pilot, or in a fight or flight reaction mode. (This is where we exist when we’re crabby, feeling insecure, stuck in hopeless thoughts, bad habits, or negative thinking.)

The only way out of this stressful area of the brain where our habits and stressful patterns reside, is to stimulate the left pre-frontal cortex.

We do this by experiencing something new.

Before you roll your eyes as you think, but I’ve got no time for a vacation, stay with me here as I share up three easy and inexpensive ways to pull yourself out of self-defeating thought patterns and create some fertile space for happiness.

1. Brush with your non-dominant hand.  

When we do this, we’ve got the attention of our pre-frontal cortex. It’s almost impossible to think stressful or negative thoughts while doing this exercise. The minute our brain thinks: what’s going on here? we have left the limbic system offline and entered into new emotional territory.

The minute our mind thinks: woah, this is odd, we have the pre-frontal cortex’s attention and we’re ripe to receive a new message.

Consider thinking to yourself: I no longer enjoy smoking, I am beautiful, I am healthy, I am loved, I am safe, I have enough money, I am creative, I am abundant, I am happy, etc.

2. Take a new route.

Just like being on vacation, the sight of a new route stimulates the pre-frontal cortex and pulls us out of our reactive stressful limbic system. If there aren’t any alternative routes to work in the morning, consider frequenting a new grocery store, take a walk in a new neighborhood or try out a new gym.

Even rearranging a room in your home can stimulate fresh new perspective and feelings of happiness, because the limbic system is quieted by the sight of something out of the ordinary.

3. Mix up your plate.

Stuck in the same old food rut meal after meal? So is your brain.

When we eat food we don’t normally eat, not only are we giving our body a new source of vitamins and minerals, we’re peaking the interest of the pre-frontal cortex.

Try it.

Feed yourself and your family something new. My bet is you’ll be surprised by the thoughts that cross your mind and the conversation you experience with your family as you see, smell, prepare, and eat something new.

~

There’s an old saying: What you see is what you get.  

When we see and experience the same old day after day, we reside in the limbic system of the brain stuck in old patterns and thoughts. We literally go on auto-pilot going through the motions of our life. When we can activate and get the attention of our pre-frontal cortex by experiencing something new, we can literally create a new story and a new life experience.

Life is too short and way too long to stay stuck. I hope you’ll free yourself by mixing things up.

~

And if you’d like to liberate yourself from feeling stuck in life and as though life is passing you by (or feeling like you’re just going through the motions), please get yourself registered now for my upcoming 40-day personal reboot program.

It’s virtual, so you won’t miss a thing (and it’s yours to repeat as long as I do them).

 

 

Adapted with permission from Daily Transformations.

 

 

Relephant: 

 7 Things Happy People Do Differently.

 

 

Author: Tamara Star 

Editor: Renée Picard

Images via the author/courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net earth by Danilo Rizzuti

 

 

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Tamara Star  |  Contribution: 11,950