No one enjoys pain.
However, the time has come to admit that humans have a penchant for wallowing in sorrow and making their problems worse than they should be by blowing them out of proportion. In doing so, we hinder our emotional healing. What might be worse is that this trains us to accept pain as routine and so the more we feel it, the more our ability to recover degenerates. Most of us don’t view our thoughts or feelings as habits — and that is the problem.
However, did you know that you can learn how to rewire your emotions?
Think of musicians. A guitarist will never be a good guitarist until their arms and fingers develop something called muscle memory. This occurs when, after tedious and repetitive practice, playing guitar (as one example of many things) becomes autonomous and the guitarist does not have to think about how to play guitar anymore. It becomes instinctual. Your mind functions the same way, due to something called neuroplasticity.
Your Brain Is A Malleable Thing
Neuroplasticity is your brain’s ability to rewire itself according to your life and circumstance. It is the reason why we are so good at adapting.
When you are damaged, your brain will reorganize its neurons to compensate for what is lost — think of blind people who hear better than the rest of us. Your brain changes according to whatever situation you might find yourself in, but more often than not, these changes are somewhat permanent. Just as with everything else, your brain — the supercomputer that is you — can learn habits. And a lot of the time, those habits are detrimental to your emotional well-being.
If someone insults your singing voice, you will never forget how much it hurt when they said so. If someone breaks your heart, you will find it difficult to trust others afterward. If by some misfortune you are slightly injured by a firecracker, you might develop an irrational fear of all loud noises and heat.
Your brain is a complicated organ — one we still don’t fully understand. However, your brainpower is something that cannot be underestimated. For all of its intricacies, molding it is fairly simple. Learning to rewire your brain is something you can begin doing right away. In fact, rewiring your brain is the master key of how to rewire your emotions.
Old Brain, New Tricks: Here Are Some New Tricks
Just as your brain can trick you into believing things that aren’t true, or developing harmful habits and behaviors that affect your mood and emotional well-being, you can trick your mind into making you a much happier, positive person.
This might sound silly, but being happy can be difficult.
Our brains have a negativity bias, which means that we are more inclined to acknowledge pain than joy. This is the reason why if someone is rude to you in the morning, you’ll remember it at night, but if someone is kind, maybe offers you a smile, or compliments your hair, chances are you’ll forget about the occurrence by the time you fall asleep.
To rewire your brain into a mode of resilience and recovery, you must actively remind yourself of all the good in your life and the world.
A great way to do this is to keep a gratitude journal at hand. Whenever something nice happens — no matter how small — jot it down. Later, read through it and reflect on these small victories. Make this a ritual, and over time you will notice that the happier you are, the happier you will become.
By doing this, you will feel your brain becoming more accustomed to happiness, and you will begin discovering the first signs of how to rewire your emotions.
Practice Makes Perfect
Like with the guitarist and their muscle memory, you can train yourself to never sweat the small stuff (and eventually the big stuff too).
Habits can be broken, as difficult as it may be to do so sometimes. The easiest, simplest way for you to try this is to replace negative thoughts or feelings with positive or neutral ones. You can do this any way you like, but a good practice is to think of something that makes you happy. . .
Let’s choose rainbows.
The next time your soul aches, meditate on rainbows, visualize them if you need to, or look at photos, or even draw one. Focus on how beautiful they are, rather than how much pain you are in.
This is an old trick, most commonly used when we are sick. Putting on a good comedy movie, reading a great book, or even something as simple as drinking a pleasant cup of tea, can greatly increase our emotional well-being.
This same principle can be applied to your behavior. When something bad happens, don’t let it override the good. Rather, try to achieve the opposite.
Take Care of Yourself
When we are stressed, our tendency to fall into misery increases considerably.
We must be responsible. Get enough sleep, don’t overwork yourself, do something pleasant like meditating or savoring some sunshine every day. Drink enough water, eat a balanced diet, and make an effort to exercise.
This coincides with the previous tip — develop good habits instead of bad ones. These are great because they are long-lasting and will benefit you in every way possible.
Who you are now is exactly who you choose, and therefore deserve, to be.
If you tell yourself that you’re no good at your job, you will believe it and become no good at your job. However, if you tell yourself that you are beautiful, you will come to see yourself as such. So, when it comes to healing, you can talk your way out of whatever trouble you are in.
This is a profound step when it comes to rewiring your emotions — first, rewire your brain and how it feels about yourself.
Recovery Is Just The Beginning
Once you begin healing or have healed, you now have the perfect foundation to shape your life however you see fit.
Emotional pain can be quite pointless and a waste of energy at times, but healing doesn’t have to be. Healing can be the first step in a journey to spiritual greatness. Wipe the slate clean, start anew, and make the affirmation that you are worthy of a great life and that negativity and harm no longer has a hold over you. Your emotional well-being is in your hands.
As you will recall, your brain compensates a lot of the time.
Whatever was lost when you were hurt or feeling unwell can either be regenerated or replaced. A broken heart might not hurt, but it still won’t function properly. Make an effort to reclaim what’s yours: your happiness.
Lastly, Rewire Your Brain
The best thing about neuroplasticity, and learning how to rewire your emotions, is that once habits are formed and practiced often enough, your brain will physically change to accommodate it. It will connect synapses that might not have been wired before. With enough practice at being happy, your brain will completely transform to allow itself to stay happy.
If that is not reason enough to rethink your life, then what is?
You are the master of your fate and the author of your own story. With these techniques, you will quickly discover just how easy learning how to rewire your emotions really is.
You have the power within to transform every aspect of your life, but it starts with healing. Meditate on that, and you’ll see how everything else falls into place.