Training your mind to look for errors and problems (as happens in careers like accounting and law) can lead you toward a pervasive pessimism that carries over into your personal life.
Why are lawyers 3.6 times more likely to suffer from depression and more likely to end up divorced? They have trained their minds to seek out the bad in life because pessimists excel at law.
Is there a way to get your mind out of these negative loops? Yes.
You must train your brain to seek out the good things in life:
- It can be as simple as counting your blessings. Merely listing three things you are thankful for each day can start training your mind to focus on the positive. This technique has been proven again and again and again. One of the reasons old people are happier is because they remember the good and forget the bad.
- Retrospective judgment is a technique naturally happy people unknowingly use. It’s putting a positive spin on negative past events so you remember them as good. It’s very effective.
- Expect things to get better. Optimism can make you happier. Even the army teaches soldiers to be optimistic because it makes them tougher and more resourceful.
This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.
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