The more that we understand about how the brain and the nervous system work in harmony together the more importance we are beginning to attach to the unconscious influences of our environment and how we spend our time. Are you priming yourself for happiness and success?
We are all blessed with an amazing piece of equipment in the form of our body and mind. We have an almost unimaginable number of connections between the cells in our body, performing numerous simultaneous calculations and functions. Cleansing, digesting, growing, forming our perceptions, healing, facilitating movement, and many more.
We are only consciously aware of a tiny proportion of the processes involved in the creation of our individual reality. Most of the time we are only aware of the end result of these processes. Whether we feel happy and healthy. Whether we are getting the results that we want from life.
Often we only take conscious deliberate action to improve our life when we are faced with results that we do not want, when we are faced with problems. For example, we have a health scare and we decide to start taking exercise, we decide to eat more healthily. As we make these changes they set off a chain of events (billions of tiny changes) in our unconscious mind and in our body that lead to the production of positive chemicals, and stimulate healing resources that, over time improve our health and improve our chances of a full recovery.
One of the main reasons that we wait for problems to come to light before taking action is due to the fact that it seems to take a long time for the results of change to take place and become evident to us. If we start to take exercise today, then how long will it be before we see the benefits? How many press-ups do we have to complete before the muscles in our arms start to grow? How long will I have to endure eating less before I start losing weight?
If I decide today that I want to become a little bit more happy in life, then what do I have to do in order to create that happiness? How long will it take before I start feeling a bit more happy? If I decide that I want to create more success for myself, then what actions do I have to take? How long will it take to produce the desired results?
We are conditioned to expect and desire results instantly which leads to us making choices that result in quick fixes, temporary improvements and shortcuts. We go on a shopping spree to make us feel better. We buy a lottery ticket to improve our chances of instant wealth (the illusion of success). The result is that, in the end, nothing has changed, we have the same level of overall dissatisfaction or satisfaction with life. So, we set off in search of other ways of gaining instant gratification.
The only way to gain lasting change and lasting improvement in life is to make changes that influence our entire nervous system. The change has to take place in terms of a lifestyle shift, a change in mindset, in attitude and a change in environment.
One session of exercise is going to make you feel better. It will release endorphins into your system, the chemicals of dopamine, serotonin. These are the chemicals that are responsible for your sense of happiness and well-being. We get the same chemicals from a shopping spree or buying a lottery ticket. The thing is that your nervous system will quickly return to its normal position and the normal balance of chemicals will return. This is the reason why a routine of exercise, regular sessions of exercise are so important. With regular exercise the body develops a new understanding of what is “normal” in terms of the chemical balance. The chemical averages are changed and the body gets accustomed to producing a higher level of positive chemicals. Thus making us feel better all the time, not just when we have exercised.
You condition your body and your nervous system by your choices and your actions. You can get instant gratification and an improved sense of well-being from watching one motivational video. This will produce the same dopamine and serotonin chemicals in your system that will give you feelings of motivation and energy, and it will be short lived unless you act upon it and unless you continue to repeat your actions.
Key habits and mindsets for happiness and success – Priming for success
The key is to put in place certain habits and certain ways of thinking that you revisit regularly and that become a way of life for you. This is the way that you will get a positive shift in the average or normal level of positive chemicals floating about in your body, this is the way that you will prime yourself for happiness and success.
Here are some quick ways that you can prime your life for happiness and success:
1) Start your day with a motivational video:
- We have a large selection of free videos that you can view to start your day on a positive note.
- We have structured online courses that will assist you in gaining professional qualifications in NLP, Coaching, Leadership as well as enhancing your life.
Watching these videos tell your nervous system: “Get used to learning, get curious, get motivated, get focussed on what you want, get creative, get generous, get grateful.” Over time, after repeated viewing, and after consistent reinforcement of these messages, these will become mindsets that you live with and they will shape your life.
2) Get rid of clutter
Even if you are able to block out clutter from your conscious thought processes, you cannot help but distract your unconscious mind with it.
Take a quick look around you. What do you see? Are there clean, tidy surfaces, or is there an amount of clutter on show? Even if you are not looking at the clutter consciously, your unconscious mind is aware that it is there. Your unconscious mind is processing all that you can see at any time. That is, all that you are focussing on and all that is in your peripheral vision.
The less clutter, the more that your entire system can focus on giving you what you want. This can help concentration, creativity. It can help reduce feelings of distraction, confusion and overwhelm.
3) Small improvements in quality
The items that you use in your work, the clothes that you wear, the food that you eat, these things all send messages to your unconscious mind. If you are using a computer that runs slowly, if you are using a pen that scratches across the page, if you are carrying a tatty, old briefcase, then what are these things telling your unconscious mind? The chances are that you associate words (unconsciously) with these type of things that are probably not positive. Old, slow, scratchy, tatty. These words are interpreted by you from your environment and they are sinking into your nervous system slowly. Whether you like it or not, they are becoming part of your life and your life is adapting and shaping accordingly. You become what you surround yourself with.
Buy a quality pen, get a faster processing unit, get a new cup to drink out of. Drink quality coffee, get a shiny briefcase, polish it so that it shines. Get your environment dust free, shiny, clean and oozing quality. These are the words that you want to shape your life: quality, faster, new, polished, dust free, clean.
4) Shape your influences
What sort of things are influencing you?
- Do you read newspapers?
- Do you watch news channels?
- What are you looking at regularly on the internet?
- Who are you spending your time with?
Think about the news headlines. What sort of words are you likely to find?
Here are some of the words from the current BBC News web homepage: Unpleasant, nasty, problem, exhausted, abusing, assault, attacked, loneliness, slow, mistake.
I only got halfway down the page and gave up!
These words are priming your mood, they are priming your thoughts, they are indirectly shaping your experience and your life.
Get in charge of these influences. Decide to spend your time reading from more positive sources (well done for reading this – you are part of the way there already). Spend your time with people who lift you up rather than put you down.
5) Get some daily exercise
I have already explained some of the benefits of exercise. Find a programme that suits you and make it part of your life. Go for a fifteen minute walk at lunchtime, do yoga, do some breathing exercises, sit-ups, press-ups. Get into a routine and stick to it.
6) Learn mindfulness
Ten minutes of mindfulness per day is all that you need to start the unconscious processes moving in the direction of relaxation, less stress, less anxiety, more happiness.
Mindfulness produces the same chemicals as exercise and buying a new toy, dopamine and serotonin. Studies have shown that even after one session of mindfulness it can positively alter the activity in the cells in your body and mind – giving you more of what you want.
Get started right away
I hope that you have found reading this to be interesting and motivational.
Change does not need to take time. Change can take place right away. Make a decision now to implement some of the suggestions above and start priming yourself for success and happiness.