The Prefrontal Cortex: The one thinking about long-term goals like, “We need to prepare that report for work.”
The Dorsal Striatum: This guy is always voting to do what you’ve done in the past, like, “When it’s time to work we usually start by checking email 9 times, then Facebook, and then watching Netflix.”
The Nucleus Accumbens: The party animal of the three. “Email, Facebook and Netflix are fun. Work sucks.”
So guess what you end up doing?
Yeah… Ouch. But when you exert effort, the prefrontal cortex can override the other two and do the right thing. Repeat this enough times and you rewire the dorsal striatum: “We usually start reports quickly. I vote we do that again.”That’s how the brain builds good habits. So why don’t we do that more often? Often the culprit is stress. Anything that you can do to reduce stress can help strengthen the prefrontal cortex’s control over your habits.
So if you want to build good habits and stop procrastinating, the first thing to do is reduce stress.one small thing you can do to get started. This focuses you and prevents the overwhelm that knocks the prefrontal cortex out of the conversation. ask yourself, “What’s one little thing that I could do now that would move me toward this goal I’m trying to accomplish?”
Taking one small step toward it can make it start to feel more manageable. #1 easy thing to do to cause an upward spiral of happiness in your life…neuroscience can bring happiness Listen to music from the happiest time in your life: Smile Think about your goals: It changes how you see the world and releases happy chemicals in your noggin.
Get your sleep: Depressed people don’t sleep well. And people who don’t sleep well get depressed.
Beat procrastination by reducing stress and doing a simple thing to get started: Listen to those happy-era tunes and then assemble all the materials you need to get cranking.
And what’s that #1 thing that you can start an upward spiral of happiness? Go for a walk outside every morning, preferably with a friend.Go outside. Put one foot in front of the other. Smile with a friend. And you’re on your way to neuroscientific happiness.
Looks like it really is the simple things in life that bring us joy.