Pursuing Happiness Concept #1: Brainwash Yourself


Digital Design by Daniel Prairie

If you have no idea what is going on, I recommend that you read this post first.

As a child I struggled with depression throughout grade school. Sitting in the depths of self-pity, my mother would constantly repeat one piece of advice. “Just tell yourself that I you are happy”. At the time, I passed it off as parental indifference.

I could not have been more wrong.

The power of self-talk is tremendously powerful. Telling yourself over and over that you feel a certain way even when you do not is a very effective to alter your thinking. Repeat the message to yourself ten times a day and you will begin to believe it and alter how you feel.

When I have shared this advice in past, detractors were quick ask “how stupid do you think we are Trevor that we need to tell ourselves to be happy?”

To my critics my answer has always been: pretty stupid.

The brain is vulnerable to suggestion and the act of stating out loud your emotional state in the physical world adds far more weight to the emotion then simply letting thoughts bounce around in your head. This concept can applied towards other ways of course. If you wanted to feel depressed (though unless you are method acting or in a punk-rock band why would you), telling yourself that you feel depressed can make you depressed over time.

Applying the concept:

Tell yourself that you are feeling happy 10 times each day for the next week. It doesn’t have to be in front of others (though that could be a nice way to promote this blog), it just has to be done. Do it in the shower, when you are driving to work, do it whenever and wherever you can. Just keep doing it, no matter how terrible you feel.

Don’t stress out if you don’t experience an immediate mood change. Mood alteration won’t come instantly, but change will come about through repetition of this act. Just keep the message the same and soon you will find your mood has changed!


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