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There is no denying the fact that we live in a high-demand world, introducing stress and negativity into our lives on a daily basis. You may be surprised to learn the secret to a happy, healthy life may be as simple as rewiring the way you think!

The brain is a complex organ, it’s circuits and pathways capable of everything from altering the way we think and act to how we move and respond to the world around us. What most people fail to realize, however, is just how much control you actually have over that thought process. True, there are certain natural responses hardwired into us, but with the right focus and re-training, we possess the ability to alter the way we respond to the world around us.

What is the big secret to doing this? Is it hard to rewire your brain? It’s surprisingly simple! It all comes down to what you choose to focus on.

Take a moment and think back to the last time that you struggle with feelings of disappointment. Putting your emotions aside for a moment, look carefully at the actual facts surrounding the situation. What happened before you responded? Were you walking into the situation with expectations? How did you come up with these expectations?

Did you realize that your expectations may be the first step towards negativity and disappointment? Often, we set our expectations too high or we fail to communicate what we are looking for to those that have the power to make it happen. Instead, we sit back predicting it won’t work out only to create our own self-fulfilling prophecy. To simplify it – if you’re watching someone pour a glass of water while thinking to yourself that you wish it was orange juice, but you don’t actually ask for orange juice, you’re going to be disappointed. Looking at that same situation, what if you came into it with a different mindset? Start by setting reasonable and attainable expectations.

Then, identify the things that you actually have control over. This may not be easy at first, but if you continue to push yourself you will slowly discover that it will come easier and feel more natural. Were you disappointed because it started raining when you wanted to walk the dog and you were soaked? Well, you can’t control the rain, but you can control whether or not you checked the weather forecast, or if you put on a coat. Taking it a step further, did getting wet really cause you any pain? Is it worth getting upset about, or were there other aspects of the situation you could focus on? Was the sun shining it, making it a warm, peaceful rain?

Your body is going to resist this new way of thinking at first. We are wired to think, act and react in a specific way in order to encourage survival. However, in our modern society, we don’t have to settle for less just to survive and pull through. We aren’t living in the wild, hunted by wild predators and scavenging for food. This process will work to help your brain shut down some of these old circuits, letting go of the habits that no longer serve us in a positive way, opening the door to create new, better circuits for the foreseeable future.

Happiness and positivity aren’t always easy, and they certainly don’t come to us for free. They are a culmination of the little choices, decisions, and habits that make up our daily lives. Are you moving yourself forward to a better place, or are your own thought processes holding you back? The power is in your hands!

Image via Psychology Today