Boost Your Mood: Hacking Your Brain’s Neural Connections

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Your brain is not your friend — at least the type who is concerned about your happiness. This fifteen-centimeter soft mass of tissue would rather have you alive than in a good mood. Survival is the number one priority, even if it will put you in a constant state of paranoia and anxiety. At the surface level, this makes sense because you won’t be able to feel anything if you’re not alive, but what kind of existence is that?

Evolution is the number one culprit why the brain is wired to make you miserable. Focusing and dwelling on bad experiences help the mind guide the body to avoid dangerous situations. While this kind of thinking helped ancient humans survive a perilous world, the bias for negativity has led to a population having mental health issues. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 40 million people have anxiety disorders in the United States yearly.

The good news is it is possible to hack the brain’s system and reinforce more positive thinking. The mind can form new connections and destroy old ones through the process of structural plasticity. That is what happens when you’re learning new concepts and skills, and then using them often. The connections that are regularly used will be strengthened while those that are forgotten will be gone.

Whenever you feel sad and anxious, you can try out these steps to steer your brain to a happier path.

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