When the world around us seems uncertain, unstable and even scary, it’s easy to let fear and negativity take over. Yet there are some people among us who seem to handle the upheaval with light spirits and a calm heart. Is there a way to be more positive and happy in your life?
We’d like to share Cord Coen’s tried-and-true “happiness hardwire” method, to bring you peace (and even JOY) in these difficult times.
STEP 1: Understand how your brain works
Cord explains: “We’re born with what’s called a negativity bias. This means we’re more likely to focus our energy, thoughts, and attention on negative things that happen or could happen than we do on good experiences. This makes them seem much more important (and threatening) than they actually are.
We have all experienced that, right? You are having an amazing day and one negative thing happens and your thoughts tend to stay on that one small second instead of all the other amazing things that happened. Where does this negativity bias come from? Our ancestors, of course! Back in caveman times, we needed to be hyper-aware of danger and threats in order to survive. It was a way for our brains to keep us safe.
Since we no longer need to be on constant alert for saber-toothed tigers, what can we do? Fortunately, humans are also born with something called neuroplasticity. This means that through repetition, you can change your brain’s ‘default settings.’
There are certain activities that, when done regularly, move my thoughts from ‘the world is scary’ to ‘I am safe.’ Once my brain feels safe, I have room for positivity and happiness.”
STEP 2: Daily Gratitude
I like to play what I call “The Gratitude Game” throughout the day. It’s really quite simple. When I notice a negative feeling rising, like anxiety or fear, I stop to quickly jot down a few things I’m grateful for.
What’s happening in my brain in that moment is that I’m taking my anxious thought and connecting it to a happy, grateful place in my brain instead of letting it take me over with negativity.
Especially now in the midst of a lot of upheavals, if we make an effort to focus on the good in the world and in our lives, we’ll be able to handle everything with happiness and courage.
STEP 3: Take Advantage of the Mind-Body Connection
Another way I reroute a fearful, angry or anxious thought is to meet it with pranayama, also called Healing Breath. I was fascinated to learn that our breath is like our brain’s remote control. Breathing directly impacts the electrical signals in our brains, helping to regulate our emotions quickly and naturally.
Here’s a video I made to share the gift of Healing Breath:
STEP 4: Get a boost from Mother Earth
Everything we need to sustain ourselves is right here on this beautiful planet. We bottled the power of mother nature and the healing properties of flowers in our Zen Blend Oral Tonic. We like to call this calming, joyous oral tonic our “stress-relieving happy juice.” In times like these, it helps not only ourselves, but stressed-out kids and animals.
Want some more tips on staying zen through turbulent times? Try these tips for practicing mindfulness throughout your day.
We’re all in this together!
With peace, love, and gratitude,
Cherry, Kendra. “What is the Negativity Bias?” Verywell Mind, April 11, 2019
Bergland, Christopher. “How Do Neuroplasticity and Neurogenesis Rewire Your Brain?” Psychology Today, February 6, 2017