In another activity, I talk about how happiness skills are learnable. Because happiness skills are learnable, then these skills, just like other skills, rely on the brain. Just like recognizing the color of a flower, or recalling the name of a friend requires the brain to function quickly and efficiently, happiness too requires the brain to quickly and efficiently identify positive information.
Unfortunately, the brain is actually quite lazy. The brain’s goal is to use as little energy as possible and still keep functioning. The way it does this is by learning from our experiences and creating neural networks that make it easier for us to continue doing what we have always done with little additional effort.
The bad news is that when we continually engage in thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and behaviors that generate negative emotions, our brains actually get better at generating these negative emotions. And as we get older, the brain becomes more and more resistant to change.
- In short, if we are sad a lot, it is easier for our brains to be sad.
The good news is that the brain is changeable throughout our entire lives. The brain’s ability to change is referred to as neuroplasticity. The more you practice happiness activities, the easier it is for your brain to generate happiness. And, over time, you have to exert less and less effort to increase happiness.
Activity: Positive memory
Now, watch a short (fun) video.
Can you remember the words you memorized?
The more often you do this, the more you'll train your brain and improve your skill for remembering positive things. Purchase my Positivity eBook for a collection of positive words to help you build this skill.