It is common in self-help literature to hear that being more confident, believing in yourself, and regularly thinking positive thoughts can all help you to feel happier and to even influence your life in a positive way.
But here’s another factor you might not have considered: brain power. Did you know that mental focus, creativity, sharpness, and more can help to make you happier and even luckier?
Those who are more positive and happy tend to notice opportunities more because they are less stressed. But by the same token you could notice even more opportunities by being more alert and switched on.
Likewise, effective use of CBT requires mental discipline which in turn needs energy and focus. The last section on health will deal with this to an extent but on top of this you also need to ensure your brain is just loaded with energy and that it’s functioning better. If you’re groggy and easily distracted you won’t be able to exert the necessary discipline to change those negative thoughts.
So how do you boost your brain power?
A Quick Guide to Upgrading Your Brain
One way to quickly upgrade your brain is to give it more energy. We’ve seen how sleep can help with this but you can also do it through the right diet and supplementation. Omega 3 fatty acids for instance help to improve brain cell permeability which in turn aids rapid communication and thus brain power. Similarly, studies have shown that creatine – a supplement that athletes use to increase cellular energy – is capable of improving focus and IQ.
Brain training ‘games’ haven’t been conclusively shown to work with the exception of the ‘Dual N-Back’ test which can increase ‘working memory’ and thus pattern recognition – critical for seeing and noticing those opportunities.
Most important of all though is to learn how to get into a ‘flow state’ which is that mental state where everything just seems effortless. In this situation your brain floods itself with the neurotransmitters dopamine, anandamide and norepinephrine which work together to further enhance pattern recognition, reflexes, attention and creativity.
How to trigger these flow states? You convince your brain that what you are doing is hugely important. And you can achieve this through the use of cognitive behavioral therapy (which you now understand) as well as by simply being highly passionate about what you do – by loving your job and your partner. People who love what they do are happier, more focused and much happier.
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