When you have a positive mental outlook, you automatically flood the brain with serotonin and dopamine, two neuro-chemicals that cause brain cells to create new connections (synapses) with other brain cells.
When you’re positive and optimistic, you are literally increasing brain mass.
When you have a negative mental outlook, serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain drop, reducing the number of synapses within the brain. When you are negative, brain cells that no longer connect with other brain cells die and are carted away at night by glial cells, the brain’s janitorial staff.
Negativity causes your brain to shrink in size.
Positivity is therefore the fountain of youth for the brain. That is why it is so important to forge habits that maintain or increase a positive mental outlook.
What habits increase positivity?
- Daily Aerobic Exercise – Aerobic exercise contributes to an overall feeling of well being. Aerobic exercise releases endorphins, natural painkillers, that promote an increased sense of well-being and make us feel upbeat.
- Daily Learning – Our brains are hardwired to learn. When we learn something the brain rewards you with specific neuro-chemicals, such as dopamine, serotonin and brain-derived neurotrophic factors, all of which contribute to a positive mental outlook.
- Relationship-Building Activities – The latest science on happiness (Harvard University Longitudinal Study on Happiness) indicates that the more close relationships you have, the happier you are. Volunteering, networking, team sports activities, club participation, mentoring and groups you participate in will help increase the number of close relationships you have.
- Practiced Positivity – Meditation, expressing gratitude daily, daily positive affirmations and reading something inspirational create a positive mental outlook.