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4 Healthy Mind Games to Play With Yourself

These mind games will make you happy and successful.

Source: AntonioGuillem/bigstockphoto

Most often when we hear the term “mind games," we think of manipulative people and relationships that seek to take advantage of us. However, not all mind games are bad. In fact, when we learn to take advantage of our mind’s natural functioning, we can achieve sustained happiness and real success.

Visualize success. We’ve all heard about athletes that visualize making the winning shot or crossing the finish line first. Sports Psychology is a known component of elite training, and is utilized by most successful athletes. The psychology associated with visualization, however, is not only available to Olympians. Anyone can go through the practice of visualization to improve or prepare for any aspect of life. Research supports the profound impact visualization can have on success, and some researchers have found that visualization can have a stronger influence than even physical practice!

Become fearless. Mental perceptions of fear can have very visceral bodily reactions. When our minds detect danger, it sends a signal to our central nervous system to release hormones such as adrenaline that cause the “fight or flight” response. While this response can be lifesaving in some situations, oftentimes these hormones alter our ability to make rational decisions, and ultimately can stress our bodies. Learning to harness our mind’s classification of fear can ultimately control how our body releases hormones. Many climbers successfully work through the emotion of fear to maintain calm, rational thoughts throughout their treacherous climbs.

Improve your memory. Our short-term and long-term memories can be strengthened by conscious, intentional mind games. There are many stories of nationally renowned memory champions that practice their memory retention over time to achieve seemingly super-human memory capabilities. The truth is that we all have access to this memory potential by practicing daily, memory-boosting mind games.

Choose to be happy. Research continues to support the truth that happiness is an internal state of being that is very much within our control. Learning to harness our mind’s ability to choose positivity and happiness allows us to be largely immune to the events outside of our control and that are happening around us. By training our mind, we can create patterns of positive thinking that sustain a life of happiness.

Our minds are incredibly malleable, and are influenced by the world around us. We can also choose to consciously influence our minds through thoughtful “mind-games” that ultimately can change our lives for the better.

Authored by Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE and author of 29 books. Pioneering whole-person care nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Jantz has dedicated his life’s work to creating possibilities for others, and helping people change their lives for good. The Center • A Place of HOPE, located on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, creates individualized programs to treat behavioral and mental health issues, including eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety and others.

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