5 mental tricks to get ahead in life
What if you turned on the ingenuity of your brain to survive a little better in this complex world? Mental tricks are original cognitive resources that will allow you to break those negative patterns that hinder your well-being. Discover them!
Neuroscientist David Eagleman points out that if our brains were simple enough to understand, we wouldn’t be smart enough to understand them. If this organ, of just over 1,300 grams and one hundred billion neurons, is so complex, it is for a reason: to facilitate our evolution and adaptation to environments that are less and less simple or simplistic.
However, if there is something that we demand of you, it is that you allow us to be a little happier than we are. The brain is an organ that seeks to facilitate our survival. This can cause us to derive too often into somewhat inflexible patterns, those that whisper to us in a low voice that of “better not try it”, “distrust this”, “fear that other”.
Many times we let ourselves be carried away by automatic processes that, although they safeguard us from real -and imaginary- dangers, come at a cost. We feel more and more apathetic, less motivated and prepared to work on our dreams and desires. We need to reprogram our mind to break those inflexible schemes that veto well-being.
In this sense, there are simple tricks with which we can ignite ingenuity, innovation and those approaches based on lateral thinking that are always so helpful to us. Do you want to take note of them?
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
Mental tricks to boost your existence
And you… Do you apply a little psychological trick in your day to day? Do you try to train your brain to be a little more efficient and work for you and not against you? Mental tricks are cognitive strategies with which to create new, healthier and more efficient ways of thinking..
In these resources, there is no magic, what there is is some ingenuity and the commitment to get involved in a series of reasoning that, although they require some effort, can be more beneficial to us. To better understand this need, it is worth remembering a book that was quite successful a few years ago. Is about Everything is f*cked up: a book about hope, 2019, by Mark Manson.
The author in this work compares our mind with a car. We think that whoever drives that vehicle is our most logical, intelligent and rational approach, but it is not so. The one in control is a meat robot dominated by an impulsive and emotional mind. Therefore, sometimes we may need strategies to regain control of our lives and move towards the goals we want.
1. Mental trick to overcome pain and frustration
The brain has a certain tolerance for pain and frustration. Your natural reaction when experiencing any of these dimensions is to stop and block. Thus, a life, sometimes unfair, demands that we implement active strategies to feel better. However, sometimes we get stuck in that unpleasant space.
The same thing happens with frustration. Sometimes we have to live in the most unfair realities, in which anger and frustration seem like natural emotions. Now, we must be clear. Getting caught up in negatively valenced emotions can cause us great suffering..
- Strategy: Accept the discomfort
It is not necessary to feel comfortable in uncomfortable experiences, it is about tolerating them. One of the main mental tricks that we must establish in our psychological record is to accept that discomfort is also part of existence.
To do this, the following sentence will help us: “I accept this uncomfortable experience, I know that it is temporary and that assuming it will allow me to grow as a person in the long term”.
2. Mind trick to find new opportunities
Do you feel that you are in a dead end? Do you need a change in your life and don’t know where to start? We have all gone through those moments of personal crisis in which we yearn for new horizons, new opportunities to redirect our existential project.
- Strategy: open and receptive mind
One of the most effective mind tricks for connecting with other prospects is to ask ourselves questions.. It is a simple strategy that consists of making our mind curious, open and inquisitive: “What do I need right now? Who could I talk to for inspiration, advice, or guidance? How would I like to see myself in a year? What change could you make today to achieve that?”
3. The mental trick to achieve inner calm
Stress is that mental noise that speeds us up, that fills all our psychological spaces, blocking our ability to reflect and decide. It is not easy to achieve that inner calm from which to make contact with ourselves to think better, appease difficult emotions and look at the world from serenity.
Now, we can learn a simple tool that will help us.
- Visualization strategy: your mind is a reservoir of energy
Anglia Ruskin University, in the United Kingdom, conducted an interesting study on visualization and mental imagery as a therapeutic exercise. They are more useful than we can believe. In fact, we can use them as valuable mind tricks to reduce stress and anxiety.
Visualize your mind as a reservoir into which you can only pour healing and nourishing energy.. To carry out this action, you must first extract everything that clouds that interior, everything that makes it dirty. Once those toxic elements have been removed, fill it with gratifying things: reading, walks, pleasant conversations… All of this will give you internal harmony and calm.
4. Mental trick to eliminate your negative thoughts
Negative thoughts are that rust that corrodes our psychological well-being. We all have them, but there are those who walk the world with authentic mental factories of exhausting, irrational and harmful reasoning. In case of not regulating and managing them, we will build the form of some depression or anxiety disorder.
- Mind Economy Strategy
To control the production of negative thoughtslook at them as those non-rent paying tenants in your mind. They are squatters, they destroy everything and they do not offer you any return.
Positive and resilient approaches, on the other hand, do contribute to your well-being, they do generate profits. Therefore, it is time to evict those harmful presences that can lead you to ruin.
5. The mental trick to achieve your goals
We all have more than one dream in our hearts, a goal that we don’t know how to achieve. If this is your case, one of the best-known mental tricks will be of great help. This is the WOOP method, created by Gabriele Oettingen, professor of psychology at the University of Hamburg and author of the book Rethinking Positive Thinking, 2014.
What I was looking for with this proposal was to offer people a rational, objective and practical resource to achieve our goals in a more thoughtful way.
- The WOOP strategy is based on the following acronym:
- Wish = desire. Visualize and objectively detail what you want to achieve.
- EITHERoutcome = desired result. How will you feel when you achieve what you want? What good will it do you?
- EITHERbstacle = obstacle. What difficulties do you think you may encounter?
- Plan. Detail what tools and plans you will put into practice to overcome those detailed obstacles.
The detailed strategies are mental tricks that we can all learn, integrate into our daily lives and gain well-being, motivation and even greater ability to achieve with them. It would just be a matter of committing ourselves a little more to attend to everything that happens in our mental universe.
Let’s stop thinking and responding on autopilot, let’s develop a more focused and reflective mental approach. Only then will we better adapt to a reality as complex as the current one.
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