Breaking the habit of trying to be right all the time

White-Tail-Deer-fight_900Here are some extracts of Judith E. Glaser’s blog Your Brain Is Hooked on Being Right,which was also featured at USA TODAY

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/02/break_your_addiction_to_being.html

In situations of high stress, fear or distrust, the hormone and neurotransmitter cortisol floods the brain. Executive functions that help us with advanced thought processes like strategy, trust building, and compassion shut down. And the amygdala, our instinctive brain, takes over. The body makes a chemical choice about how best to protect itself — in this case from the shame and loss of power associated with being wrong — and as a result is unable to regulate its emotions or handle the gaps between expectations and reality.

That’s partly due to another neurochemical process. When you argue and win, your brain floods with different hormones: adrenaline and dopamine, which makes you feel good, dominant, even invincible. It’s a the feeling any of us would want to replicate. So the next time we’re in a tense situation, we fight again. We get addicted to being right.

Luckily, there’s another hormone that can feel just as good as adrenaline: oxytocin. It’s activated by human connection and it opens up the networks in our executive brain, or prefrontal cortex, further increasing our ability to trust and open ourselves to sharing.

Our Brain is hooked on being right most of the time, trying constantly to defend what we believe we are or what we have: our possessions,our title, our career, our image,etc.

But if we are in auto pilot mode all of the time, how can we change that and break the habit of being right? First we need to be aware of that, we need to realize every time we are in a discussion, or just talking with someone, and we start to feel the emotion of anger in our bodies, that is the time to realize we are feeling it, because we have just hooked in defending our point of view.

After we realized that, then we need to ask ourselves this:

What if?

What if the other person is right?, What if I am not right? What would it happen if I would agree with the other person? What if I could listen with empathy?

By doing this, your break the pattern of defending yourself, and activate the Oxytocin in your body, opening your state of mind and your awareness, and experiencing bliss instead of anxiety. By doing that you are giving the first step in creating a new habit, and with every time you do it, the habit reaffirms, until you break the old habit, because an old habit that is not used, dissolves in our brain, giving space to the new habit, which instead of anxiety, gives us happiness.

Learning to be Happy

Learning happiness in Harvard:

Happiness is the desire of any person,

But often do not know how to achieve it. Therefore, Harvard University designed a course helping to achieve that state, a class that has become one of the most popular of that prestigious seat of learning.

The class is dictated by Tal Ben-Shahar.

Tal Ben-Shahar is an author and lecturer at Harvard University. He currently teaches the largest course at Harvard on “Positive Psychology” and the third largest on “The Psychology of Leadership”–with a total of over 1,400 students.

The course is based on field surveys and studies on the characteristics and components to living happily.

Therein Ben-Shahar, also known as the guru of happiness, provides 13 tips to help achieve it. They are quite simple and easy tips to follow.

And here they are.

1. 30 minutes of exercise
All experts agree that physical activity is as good as an antidepressant to improve mood. Thirty minutes exercise are the best antidote to sadness and stress.

2. Breakfast is the key
Some people skip breakfast because they do not have time or do not want fat. Studies show that breakfast helps to have energy, thinking and successfully perform the activities.

3. Thank the good
Write down 10 things you have in your life that give you happiness. When we make a gratitude list, we force ourselves to focus on good things.

4. Be assertive
Ask for what you really want and say what you think. It has been shown to be assertive helps improve self-esteem.

5. Spend on experiences
Spend your money on experiences, not things. 75 percent of people feel happier when they invest their money on travel, courses and classes. In contrast, only 34 percent say they feel happier when they buy things, except if needed.

6. Do not delay
‘Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today’. Studies show that there is more anxiety and tension the more delayed.

7. Be polite and smile
Always greet and be kind to others. Just smile changes the mood. In addition, most people will value to be treated better.

8. Watch your posture
Walk straight with your shoulders back slightly and looked up at the front helps to maintain a good mood.

9. Music is essential
It is proven that listening to music awakens desire to sing and dance, which makes life merry.

10. Think about what you eat
What you eat has a major impact on your mood. For this reason, it is advisable to eat something light every three or four hours order to maintain stable glucose levels. Do not skip meals and avoid excess sugar and white flour. Eat everything and vary the
foods.

11. Accept failure
Accept failure as part of life, go ahead and learn from it.

12. Take care of your appearance
41 percent of people say they feel happier when they think they look good.

13. Surround yourself with your memories
Paste pleasant memories, phrases and pictures of their loved ones everywhere, in your fridge, on your computer, on your desktop … Surround yourself with things that remind you of good times.

Big think

God Bless You