Some TVWriter™ visitors may think this topic is far afield for the site, but the way we see it, the very act of writing is all about tricking your brain into doing what you want. So we’re wide open to any and all tips, including:
by Whitson Gordon
Ever feel like your brain is out to get you? Like it’s convincing you to do things that aren’t actually in your best interest? Our brain is a funny thing, and sometimes the only way to fight it is to trick it right back. Here are 10 ways you can overcome your brain’s tricks and get it to do what you want.
10. Stay Healthy Instead of Giving Into CravingsP
It’s amazing how the mere mention of cupcakes can make you crave cupcakes. Don’t give into cravings just because your brain tricked you! Serve healthy food before the unhealthy food to curb your hunger, for example, or link up a healthy habit (like exercising) with something you do every day. The more you can reward your brain for positive things, the less it’ll crave the positive reward from something you know isn’t good for you.
9. Declutter Your Life Instead of Getting Attached to Your JunkP
You know your life is full of clutter that you don’t need, but every time you go to clean, you hardly throw anything out. For every item you touch, your brain convinces you that you “might need it one day.” Sound familiar? It’s amazing how just touching an item can cause you to feel a sense of ownership. So instead, work in reverse: what if you lost everything? What would you re-purchase and what would you let slide? If you think about it that way, you can finally kick that clutter habit for good—despite your brain’s illogical protests.P
8. Make Your Day Last Longer Instead of Wondering Where It Went
No matter how productive you are in a day, it always seems like there aren’t enough hours before bedtime. Part of this is due to the way our brains perceive time. Luckily, you can turn this around. The more information your brain has to process, the more time it feels has passed. So, to make the day feel longer, present your brain with new information regularly: keep learning, meet new people, visit new places, or learn a new skill. You’d be surprised what kind of difference it makes.P
7. Get Stuff Done Instead of ProcrastinatingP
Your brain doesn’t want you to get things done. It’s always worrying about what can go wrong, and will abandon ship at the first sign of distress, making it hard to achieve your goals. Luckily, you can trick your brain into getting more done, both with simple tricks (light changing the lighting or playing unfamiliar music) and a new outlook on your goals (like focusing on the long-term benefits). Treat it like any other involuntary bad habit, and you can overcome your brain’s bad choices.P
6. Make Friends Instead of EnemiesP
When someone wrongs you, it’s hard to give them the benefit of the doubt. It’s easier to just make an enemy out of them instead. When that isn’t in your best interest—say, if that person is your boss, or your sister’s boyfriend—you can trick your brain into liking them. Try working on a difficult task with that person, which will bond you together. And if they’re the ones who don’t like you, you can trick their brain into liking you by asking them for a favor.