Research-Backed Key to Happiness: Train Your Attention

People have been looking for happiness their entire lives, but the secret may lie in where and when you focus your attention on the good and the bad. By learning to practice your focus, you can gradually become a happier person.

In his book, The Mayo Clinic’s Guide to Happiness, Dr. Amit Sood explains everything he has learned from tens of thousands of patients over several decades and offers a research-based approach to becoming happier. The main thing is to learn how to train your attention and concentration. But you’re not just focusing on positive thoughts going awry. You learn to pay attention to the right things at the right time. Dr.Sud explains to CBS in New York:

“So, for example, if you have a difficult day when you get home, forget about it for the first three minutes, park it and meet your family as if they lost friends long ago.”

Basically, you divide unhappy things into parts so that they do not permeate all aspects of your life. However, Dr. Soud emphasizes in his book that you will still come back to solving your problems later, because suppressing unhappy thoughts and problems can be just as harmful as keeping your attention on them:

… that suppressing thoughts is like compressing a spring: the harder it compresses, the more it rebounds. Research shows that suppressing thoughts leads to more thoughts about the same problem. Your extraordinary imagination, which can invent and destroy all kinds of possibilities, does not help. Your brain perceives whatever you imagine as if it has already happened.

Thus, the more you try to focus only on the positive things, the more you are likely to end up fixating on negative things. If you feel unhappy, at times you feel like you shouldn’t, don’t ignore the source, just put it in your mind, making a mental note that you will consider it later. If you practice this type of thought process and keep your promises to return to what is bothering you, you will probably feel much happier and a little more resilient over time. Follow the link below to learn more about the book.

Mayo Clinic’s Guide to Happiness | Mayo Clinic via CBS New York


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