As humans, we’re genetically engineered to be negative. This dates back eons to times when our prehistoric ancestors had to keep their head on a swivel to see if there was some type of massive predator lurking in the bushes. Anything that was brought into your field of view was first analyzed for threats. Or in the nomenclature of Mac from Always Sunny, the full “Ocular Patdown.”
Fast forward many thousands of years and this negativity bias remains naturally in our DNA. The lens that you view the world through is meant to analyze potential threats. In doing so, it clouds your mind with more negativity. This is amplified even more so when it comes to getting over a breakup. The sky is falling, world is ending, doomsday type thoughts take over and everything in your world is negative.
Sucks, right? The good news is that you can absolutely change the way that your brain works and processes information to a more positive inclination. Through repetition, you can rework your neurons to fire in new ways. Here are a few habits to get you started in that direction…
Embracing positive moments
We live in a society that constantly urges us to avoid the present moment. Advertisements vie for our attention. Smartphones bling with notifications begging to be checked. Thoughts of past and future run rampant. The cliché of “stopping to smell the roses” is far under utilized in modern culture. But, it’s necessary.
Think back to moments in your life that you were at your peak of happiness. For me, I remember being at my family cabin in Canada, floating through the lake on poorly constructed raft that I made in middle school. Coming to the surface of the Atlantic during a night dive in Key Largo and seeing an array of amazing stars. Sitting in the bay off the coast of Thailand having Chiang beers with my new long boat taxi driver friend that barely spoke any English.
I remember these positive moments vividly, because I force myself too embrace them fully. Next time you find yourself in a fantastic moment, take time to feel every one of your senses. What do you smell, see, taste, feel. How does the air feel on your skin? What does your face do as it curls back into an uncontrollable smile. Embrace that moment. Live in it deeply. The more that you do this, the more the chemicals and neuro framework in your brain will begin to perceive and process any new event from a more positive perspective. This will change your life.
Embodying a life of gratitude
It doesn’t just have to be the special moments that you cherish. Every day occurrences and blessings must be kept top of mind. I keep a journal in Evernote where every day I write down things I am grateful for. The Miami ocean breeze. My parents’ generosity. The roof over my head. My life on this crazy earth.
Take the time to understand how amazing you have things in life. Say your girlfriend broke up with you. You know what? You still have amazing things in life to be thankful for. Remind yourself of those every day and your mind will stop viewing what you don’t have and focus towards the positive elements of what you do.
Surround yourself with positive people
You are a function of the 5 people that you spend the most time with in life. Check your phone right now. Who are the top 5 people that you call and text with the most? How do they impact your life? Is it positive? Are they uplifting and motivating or do they ride on you and bring negative energy into your life.
Banish toxic “friends” from your life. Existence is too short to be confined to people that don’t empower and help you grow. Odds are that your ex was bringing you down in a lot of ways. So, reach back out to people who have had a positive influence on your life. Spend time with them doing enriching activities that challenge you in new ways. Your mentality, mood, and motivation will all skyrocket in positive ways.
When you break it down, reality is just an illusion comprised of your perception of the world. If your view is clouded with a lens of negativity, you are on a slippery slope that will lead to depression and an unfulfilling life. However, if you bathe in gratitude, appreciation, and positivity, your reality will become a positive blessing.
Think to yourself that life is happening for you, not to you. Everything that happens is an amazing opportunity. Rewire your mind in accordance with this positivity and you will reach an enlightened state of self-love and that will emanate amazing energy. This will naturally attract amazing new women to you that can take your life to an entirely new level.
This post originally appeared on AskMen.com