Boost Your Mood by Changing Your Mental Habits

Mental Wellness Month | Wellspring Counselling Inc.

Learn How to Cultivate Core Needs and Overcome Negativity Bias Through Online Therapy in Canada

Are you constantly struggling with negative thoughts and looking for ways to improve your mood? At Wellspring Counselling Inc., we understand the impact that mental habits can have on your overall well-being. In this blog post, we will explore practical ways to foster positive change in your mental habits, with a focus on Dr. Rick Hanson’s work on countering negativity bias and cultivating core needs of safety, satisfaction, and connection.

Changing the Focus and Contents of Your Mind

Your mental habits can significantly affect your mood and overall mental health. By changing the focus and contents of your mind, you can improve your mood and enhance your well-being. Here are some practical exercises to help you foster positive change in your mental habits:

  1. Mindfulness Meditation (5 minutes, 2-3 times per day)

Mindfulness meditation can help you become more aware of your thoughts and emotions, making it easier to change your mental habits. Set aside five minutes, two to three times per day, to practice mindfulness meditation. Find a quiet space, sit comfortably, and focus on your breath. As thoughts and emotions arise, acknowledge them without judgment, and gently return your focus to your breath.

  1. Gratitude Journaling (10 minutes, once per day)

Gratitude journaling can help shift your focus from negative thoughts to positive experiences. Set aside 10 minutes each day to write down three things you are grateful for. Focus on specific moments, experiences, or relationships that brought you joy or satisfaction. This practice can help you cultivate a habit of noticing and appreciating the positive aspects of your life.

  1. Positive Affirmations (5 minutes, 2-3 times per day)

Positive affirmations can help you counter negative self-talk and develop a more optimistic mindset. Create a list of empowering, positive statements that resonate with you, such as “I am capable,” “I am worthy of love,” or “I can overcome challenges.” Set aside five minutes, two to three times per day, to repeat these affirmations aloud or silently to yourself.

  1. Visualize Success (10 minutes, once per day)

Visualization can help you create positive mental images of yourself achieving your goals and overcoming obstacles. Set aside 10 minutes each day to visualize yourself succeeding in various aspects of your life, such as relationships, career, or personal development. This practice can help you build confidence and cultivate a positive outlook on life.

Countering Negativity Bias with Dr. Rick Hanson’s Work

Dr. Rick Hanson, a renowned psychologist and author, has extensively researched the human brain’s negativity bias. He explains that our brains are wired to focus more on negative experiences than positive ones due to evolutionary reasons. This bias can contribute to a pessimistic outlook on life and exacerbate feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression. Dr. Hanson’s work offers valuable insights into how we can counter this negativity bias and improve our mental well-being.

  1. Take in the Good (5 minutes, 2-3 times per day)

Dr. Hanson suggests that we can counter the negativity bias by intentionally focusing on positive experiences and “taking in the good.” Set aside five minutes, two to three times per day, to reflect on positive experiences from your day or week. Allow yourself to fully absorb the positive emotions and sensations associated with these experiences, and imagine them sinking into your brain and body.

Cultivating Core Needs: Safety, Satisfaction, and Connection

Dr. Hanson also emphasizes the importance of cultivating our core needs for safety, satisfaction, and connection to improve our mood and overall well-being. Here are some practical ways to nurture these needs in your daily life:

  1. Cultivate Safety (15 minutes, once per day)

Creating a sense of safety involves feeling protected and secure in your environment, both physically and emotionally. Spend 15 minutes each day focusing on activities that help you feel safe, such as engaging in relaxation techniques, deep breathing exercises, or repeating reassuring affirmations. You can also create a safe space in your home where you feel comfortable and secure.

  1. Pursue Satisfaction (30 minutes, once per day)

To cultivate satisfaction, focus on engaging in activities that bring you a sense of accomplishment, pleasure, or personal growth. Dedicate at least 30 minutes each day to activities that align with your values and passions, such as pursuing hobbies, learning new skills, or setting and working towards personal goals.

  1. Foster Connection (30 minutes, once per day)

Nurturing social connections is essential for mental and emotional well-being. Allocate at least 30 minutes per day to connect with others, either in person, via phone, or through digital means. You can reach out to friends, family members, or join online support groups and communities to foster a sense of belonging and connection.

By incorporating these practical exercises into your daily routine, you can effectively change the focus and contents of your mind, fostering positive mental habits, and improving your mood. Remember, overcoming negativity bias and cultivating core needs of safety, satisfaction, and connection are essential components of a healthy, happy life.

Improve Your Well-Being & Transform Your Mood Through Online Counselling in BC

At Wellspring Counselling Inc., we are committed to supporting your mental health journey. If you’re interested in exploring online counselling in BC, our team of experienced therapists is here to help. Request a 10-Min Free Consultation to learn more about our services and take the first step towards a brighter, more positive future.

Written by:
Wellspring Counselling

Wellspring Counselling

Wellspring Counselling is a team of certified counsellors and psychotherapists based in Greater Vancouver, BC.

Learn More