3 Mental Training Exercises That Will Make You Happier

· September 7, 2018

Is it possible to be happier just by doing mental training exercises? The answer is yes! The last two decades of research into positive psychology have revealed that it’s possible to train your brain and that you can actually change the way it works by boosting neuroplasticity, increasing grey matter, and strengthening neural networks.

It’s just like how there are different types of exercises to work on specific muscle groups and physical qualities. In the same way, you can train different groups of mental skills that will improve your general happiness and well-being.

But why do you need to train your brain to be happy? There’s a simple answer to that. Brain scans of the cerebral cortex show that the brain produces more electrical activity after negative stimuli. Scientists think that’s because of the brain’s tendency to focus on the negative, or more specifically, on the fight or flight response.

You can train your mind to get rid of that negative response at times when it’s not necessary. One of the best ways to do that is positive thinking exercises. If you make these exercises part of your routine, you’ll start to feel the positive changes in almost every part of your life.

In this article, we’re going to tell you about 3 different exercises that can help you train your brain to be happy and successful.Woman using mental training exercises with a light in her mind.


Practice gratitude

It’s human nature to think about what’s next, about the next goal to chase after. This kind of optimism pushes you forward and gives you the energy to keep going. But it loses a lot of its power to make you happy if you forget to be thankful for it.

Practicing gratitude is extremely powerful because it’s a reminder of all the things you have. It can also emphasize a specific message: you don’t need as many things as you think you do.

Gratitude has been linked to many different physical and psychological benefits, and happiness is one of them. So whether you do it by saying what you’re thankful for at breakfast or keeping a gratitude diary, the important thing is to remember to be grateful every day. Doing that allows your brain to focus on the positive side of things, and ignoring it just makes things more complicated. This is probably the simplest, most effective way to improve your well-being.

Breathe consciously

Breathing can have some marvelous effects when you take control of it. A lot of people are unaware of the incredible potential of breathing as a calming, tension relieving force. Anger, anxiety, fear, stress, and tension can all lead to a superficial, unhealthy kind of breathing.

All you need is five minutes to breathe attentively. It doesn’t matter whether you’re sad or anxious. Just take 5 minutes a few times a day to focus on your breathing. This is the beginning of a meditation exercise.

That is the simple secret of happiness. Whatever you are doing, don’t let past move your mind; don’t let future disturb you. Because the past is no more, and the future is not yet.

-Osho-

Woman doing deep breathing.

Smile always

There are a lot of studies that show that smiling, whether you do it naturally or on purpose, produces “happiness” in body and mind. This is because smiling sends a positive message to your brain, no matter why you’re doing it.

There was even a 30 year-long University of California-Berkeley study about this very topic. The researchers studied the smiles of the people in an old yearbook and then measured their success and well-being.

The researchers looked into things like how satisfying and long-lasting their marriages were. They created a scoring system and a standardized measure for well-being and looked at how well these things predicted the outcomes in their life. The people who smiled more in their yearbook photo scored higher in every single category.

The truth is that smiling is an easy exercise. Give yourself a chance to laugh and smile every day by seeing things you like, spending time with people that make you happy, reading funny things, etc… Always remember to “put on” your smile and take it out with you. Smile when you greet people, when you thank people, and when you first meet people. It’s easy, fun, and gratifying. It will bring you, and the person on the other end of the smile, a lot of happiness.