A well-developed thought “is like a ski track in the snow. The more you ski down a path, the easier it is to go down that path and not another,” says Alex Korb, a neuroscientist and author of “The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time.”
Psychologists call this path creation, "cognitive reappraisal." Individuals who develop intent and practice thoughts that stimulate stronger neural networks increase positive thoughts and a joyful brain.
Performing a cognitive reappraisal does not involve turning off negative thoughts. It is also not about turning untrue negative thoughts into untrue positive ones.
The goal deals with reframing thoughts constructively, so they are based in reality. Thoughts are composed of a pattern of activity between proteins, chemicals, gene expressions, and neural connections in the brain. The more we focus on a thought, the strong the circuit grows. The mind, like the body, grows with repetition.
Begin to practice by writing down negative thoughts as they appear.
Then challenge them. Write affirmations: “I am creative.” “I am a good friend.” The goal is repetition.
Reappraise negatives with creative possibilities.
Develop a positive path.