Train Your Brain Happy
90% of your happiness is determined by how your brain processes the world, with only 10% being impacted by environmental or external factors. You really do hold the power to change your perspective! Here are several simple daily practices and supplement support you can use to train your way to a happier brain!
Despite prior notions of fixed levels of happiness, your brain is capable of changing to ever higher levels of happiness, or what researchers call neuroplasticity.
Meditation has been shown to reduce stress signals in the brain, leading to more positive thoughts and emotions. Here is a simple meditation designed to promote joy.
1. Get comfortable and become aware of your breath. Breathe in relaxation and a sense of ease. Let go of any tension as you exhale.
2. Find your own way to the still, quiet center of your being, with your body relaxed, your emotions calm, your mind peaceful and spacious.
3. Think of a time when you experienced great joy and well-being.
4. Recall your experience with as much detail as you can. If possible, bring an image of that moment to mind.
5. Remember how the experience of well-being or joy felt in your body. Take a few moments to let your awareness feel the sensations in your body and the mood in your mind. Relax into it with each exhalation.
6. Practice calling up this image and the feelings of well-being regularly each day for one week.
Gratitude has been shown to be one of the most effective ways to lead to happiness. Mindfulness is all about being in the present moment, without judgment. But it’s also about having a good mindset—one that embraces compassion, kindness, and gratitude.
Conduct your own personal gratitude experiment, write down three good things about your day every day for 30 days. By looking for little moments of happiness each day, you’re training your brain to get off autopilot (especially if you’re prone to negative thoughts) and to focus instead on the good that’s already in your life, whether it’s a warm cup of coffee or a text from a friend when you need it.
5 Happiness Boosting Poses
While yoga overall has many happy-inducing benefits, some poses provide more circulatory or mindfulness benefit to the brain than others.
Practice each of these individually or as part of your daily (ideally) time on the mat.
The constant movement and repetition helps focus on the present moment.
Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
All backbends are energizing and stress reducing, but Ustrasana is unique in that gravity helps to stretch the chest and shoulders more efficiently, and you can vary the depth of the backbend by small adjustments.
Handstand or Headstand Pincha Mayurasana
Inversions build happiness not only by increasing circulation to the brain and reducing stress, but they also build confidence as you feel more comfortable in the pose. It’s almost impossible to feel sad and confident at the same time.
Happy Baby Pose
Who doesn’t love a happy baby? It also feels good to feel freedom in the hips and roll around a bit, giving yourself a little low back massage.
Supta Baddha Konasa (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)
When you’re sad, your inhale tends to be short and shallow while your exhale might be long and exaggerated. Supta Baddha Konasana teaches you to focus on your breath, especially with your hand placed over the belly.
When you’re practicing mindfulness, you not only learn to be more compassionate toward others, you also learn to see and communicate with yourself through a compassionate lens.
The simple act of self-compassion can boost happiness as you practice being kind to yourself when things go wrong.
You know that inner critic that lambastes you when you’re already feeling down? Letting that critic go is the best thing you can do for your overall happiness. When you’re compassionate with yourself, you’re quicker to forgive yourself and move on.
The language you use everyday plays a vital role in how your brain processess stress. Positive language strengthens areas of the brain’s frontal lobes & promotes cognitive function. Negative language can block the brains natural de-stress mechanisms.
Look for simple changes in everyday greetings and responses that can feel automatic.
NOT THAT - YES THIS
Less Stressed - More Calm
Not Bad - Pretty Good
No Problem - My Pleasure
Brain Health Through Supplementation
Our brains are constantly under attack from typical metabolic stress and environmental factors that can have negative health effects, requiring a continual infusion of health-promoting nutrients to maintain proper brain structures and their functionality.*
Here are some supplement solutions from NOW.
BRAIN ATTENTION™ CHEWABLES
Stay sharp and focused with NOW® Brain Attention™, a cutting-edge cognitive support supplement made with Cera-Q™, a silk protein derivative that can help maintain healthy brain functions in both children and adults.*
Norepinephrine and Dopamine are key neurotransmitters for the maintenance of alertness and mental acuity and for promoting a feeling of general well-being.*
Ashwagandha is an herb that is extensively used in Ayurveda, the traditional herbal system in India. Ashwagandha is used as a general tonic and adaptogen, helping the body adapt to temporary normal stress.*
5-HTP supports a positive mood, and is the intermediate metabolite between the amino acid tryptophan and serotonin, extracted from the seed of an African plant.*
Since 1968 NOW has been a leader in the natural products industry. Even when healthy foods and natural supplements weren’t mainstream, we’ve never wavered from our mission to provide value in products and services that empower people to lead healthier lives.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.