Get Happier Smarter Fitter Richer : 9 actions that can change your life!

- 7 Kinds Of Fruit That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat
- How to have natural miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy

Get happier smarter fitter richer… ‘What’s the best way to change your life?’

Whatever your goal, a new breed of psychologists now believe that actions are the most powerful way to instantly change how you think and feel. So is it time to ditch the visualization and positive thinking?

Description: Get happier smarter fitter richer

Get happier smarter fitter richer

For decades we’ve been trying to think our way to a new, improved self. With visualization and positive thinking dominating the self-help manuals, we were told that if we could only master our minds, we’d become simmer, happier, wealthier and more confident. To achieve it, you merely had to think or desire it enough. Simple…except that, for most people, it has utterly failed to work.

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) encouraged us to think ourselves thin or rich, and the blockbuster book The Secret (Simon & Schuster) urged us to harness the ‘laws of attraction’ – focusing on positive thoughts to attract positive things into our life. The books kept coming and we still kept wrestling with our negative thoughts. Yet, for many, all this thinking hasn’t got rid of the unwanted flab or got them a fantastic job offer.

But now a new generation of psychological research is suggesting this approach hasn’t worked-and indeed will never work-because it’s fundamentally flawed. It may even do us more harm than good – sending us deeper into gloom as we fail to achieve the wonderful life we’ve visualized for ourselves, with its five-star spa breaks, super-toned body, youthful appearance and infinite confidence.

Psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman has brought together the latest research that questions such positive thinking in his new book Rip It Up (McMillan), which boldly claims to be delivering the ‘radical new insight’ that actions are the quickest, easiest and most powerful way to change how you think and feel.

Description: “Fake a smile and eventually you will come to feel happier’

“Fake a smile and eventually you will come to feel happier’

Be the change you want

‘We’ve been spending far too much time thinking about changing our lives rather than actually changing them’, he says. ‘Most self-help books encourage you think differently: to think yourself thin, imagine a richer self or to visualize the perfect you. This is difficult, time-consuming and often doesn’t work.’

Instead, Wiseman is spearheading a call for action that will bring the changes we desire much faster and more easily. He calls it the ‘As if’ approach, and suggests we should simply act ‘as if’ we have already achieved the behavior change – talking, moving our body and behaving like the change was complete. This, in turn, will bring about the desired change.

So, says his theory, fake a smile and eventually you will come to feel happier, walk tall to feel more confident, talk happy to make yourself feel better and behave as if you are in love to ignite the flame of passion.

‘The “As if” principle is not just about forcing your face into a smile, but applies to almost every aspect of your everyday behavior, including the way that you walk and the words that you say,’ says Wiseman.

‘Most people report that just a few seconds of changing their facial expression, for example into a smile, has a big impact on how they feel,’ he adds.

Just do it

Psychologist professor Ben Fletcher, author of Flex (University of Hertfordshire Press), also believes lasting change is all about doing, rather than thinking. He has pioneered the radical ‘Do Something Different’ approach, which suggests it’s our old web of firmly fixed habits and behavioural patterns that leave us stuck on autopilot in a place we don’t want to be – whether that’s overweight, smoking or lacking confidence.

Description: Be the change you want

Be the change you want

Fletcher believes change can come when we make our behavior more flexible – simply doing something different to usual, disrupting the brain’s autopilot by throwing in an unexpected action.

‘It sound simple, but to change behaviour you have to change behaviour’, he says. ‘Most approaches focus on thinking, but this is fundamentally flawed, since conscious processes are not responsible for, or even connected to, the vast majority of our behaviours. This has been proven time and time again by psychological and neuroscience research.’

‘People cannot just thinking themselves happier or more confident unless this is based on changing the underlying behaviours responsible. You have to do something different, not just think something different, to get something different.’

But if positive thinking is so ineffective in promoting change, just why is it so popular? Wiseman suggests it’s because logically it seems as if it should work. It’s counter-intuitive that taking action first will trigger the emotion – for example that tensing your muscles will boost your willpower. It’s a strange ideal, but it works.

A study by Paul Ekman from the University of California found that behaving as if you are experiencing an emotion does not just influence how you feel, but also has a direct and powerful effect on your body. An experiment by Wiseman also found that participants who carried out the smile exercise for a few seconds each day rated themselves as happier than those who used some of the most popular ‘think yourself happy’ exercises, such as reliving happy memories or keeping a gratitude journal.

‘Thinking seems to be the logical place to start, but it is really tough to change. Studies show that if you feel bad about yourself, it’s almost impossible to think yourself out of that,’ says Wiseman.

First things first?

However, many self-help experts strongly disagree that we should ditch visualization and positive thinking and simply act ‘As if’.

NLP trainer Lindsey Agness insists she has witnessed people make huge life changes through using visualization and reframing their thoughts. ‘It’s all very well suggesting you need to act, but you have to decide what your goal is first. You have to know where you want to go, before you can take actions that move you towards it. The thinking comes first, otherwise you find yourself taking random hit-and-miss actions,’ she insists.

Description: ‘You must know where you want to go, before you can take action’

‘You must know where you want to go, before you can take action’

Agness says it’s crucial to make sure your ‘head is in the right place first’ – then change will come. Although she concedes that action is needed and you must take responsibility for making changes.

‘If you feel lonely, you can imagine a better, happier life – one that’s busy and more sociable. However, you’d need to do more than just think about it. You’d need to take action and sign up for that salsa class. But the journey starts with the thought process.’

A new study in the journal Psychological Science supports her view that thinking positively can make change happen. Scientists at Victoria University, New Zealand, showed psychological suggestion can influence how people perform in tasks, which products they prefer and even how they respond to medicines. ‘Once we anticipate a specific outcome will occur, our subsequent thoughts and behaviours will help to bring that our come to fruition,’ says the study.

So, if a normally shy person expects that a glass of wine or two will help him loosen up at a cocktail party, he will probably feel less inhibited, approach more people and get involved in more conversations over the course of the party. Even though he may give credit to the wine, it is clear that his expectations of how the wine would make him feel played a major role.

There’s also persuasive evidence that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which focuses on overcoming negative thinking to achieve behaviour change, such as improving self-esteem or treating eating disorders, is effective. It’s widely used within the NHS, and a clinical study at Warwick University found it was twice as effective in helping back-pain as physiotherapy, acupuncture or osteopathy.

Fletcher agrees that CBT is effective, but only because it isn’t just promoting ridding yourself of negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones. Instead, it incorporates real behaviour change. ‘But the change agents are the new behaviours, not the new thinking, so it works,’ says Fletcher.

But whatever the new arguments and theories, the positive-thinking brigade will continue to urge you to think happy thoughts. If it works for you, then keep doing it. But if, like many people, you just can’t become master of your own thoughts, it might be time to start acting. In the end, you have nothing to lose from smiling at yourself in the mirror and walking tall.

9 actions that can change your life!

1.    Get happy in an instant

Looking in a mirror, relax your forehead and cheek muscles, and let your mouth open slightly. Contract the muscles near the corner of your mouth by drawing them back towards your ears – make this ‘smile’ as wide as possible. Extend your eyebrow muscles upward and hold expression for 20 seconds.

2.    Walk your way to a feeling of contended confidence

Take long strides, swing your arms and hold your head up high, rather than taking short strides, shuffling and watching your feet.

Description: Walk your way to a feeling of contended confidence

Walk your way to a feeling of contended confidence

3.    Make a better impression

A smooth handshake makes a positive impression, shows research by Sabine Koch from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Shake with a slow, flowing motion rather than jerky movements.

4.    Talk happy

Write down a paragraph that gives a positive spin on events. Speak it out loud as if talking on the phone to a friend – make your words sound natural and enthusiastic. For example, ‘I feel surprisingly good about myself today’ or ‘I feel especially efficient.’

5.    Laugh out loud

Chuckle away to yourself several times a day, even without the stimulus of a joke

6.    Break the habit web

Do something different to get something different. Break old, unwanted behavior patterns by adding in new, unexpected action into your daily life. For example sit somewhere different for a whole day; leave your watch behind; if you’re usually spontaneous, plan your day meticulously or vice versa. See dsd.me for more inspiration.

7.    Push away unhealthy food

Physically pushing something away makes you like it less and pulling it towards you makes you feel more positively towards it. Next time you’re confronted with unhealthy, sugary or fatty snacks push away the plate and feel the temptation fade.

8.    Move your monitor to boost motivation

Move your computer monitor to a position where you have to sit up straight. A study by Texas University showed it make you work harder and persevere longer.

9.    Boost willpower by tensing your muscles

A study from the University of Singapore showed tightening muscles, for example by making your hand into a fist or holding a pen tightly, increase self-control.

Top search
- 6 Ways To Have a Natural Miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Losing Weight In A Week With Honey
- Can You Eat Crab Meat During Pregnancy?
- Grape Is Pregnant Women’s Friend
- 4 Kinds Of Fruit That Can Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
- Some Drinks Pregnant Women Should Say No With
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy
- Why Do Pregnant Women Have Stomachache When Eating?
- Top Foods That Pregnant Women Should Be Careful Of
- 6 Kinds Of Vegetable That Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
- Lose Weight Without Effort (Part 3)
- Lose Weight Without Effort (Part 2)
- Lose Weight Without Effort (Part 1)
- Get Supermarket Savvy
- Diet Diary : What I ate today?
- What To Drink With… Spicy Mexican Back-Bean Soup
- Restaurants - Secret Garden
- So What Are You Doing At Lunch?
- How To Look Good On Facebook
- The Healing Power of Placebo
Top keywords
Miscarriage Pregnant Pregnancy Pregnancy day by day Pregnancy week by week Losing Weight Stress Placenta Makeup Collection
Top 5
- Cinnamon: A natural treatment for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
- 5 Tips for Safe Exercise During Pregnancy
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 2)
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 1)
- Is Your Mental Health Causing You to Gain Weight (part 2) - Bipolar Disorder Associated with Weight Gain