A Neuroscientist’s Treasure Hunt Technique For A Better Mood


You may think this simple mood-boosting practice may sound too good to be true, but research backs up the link between prayer and mental health: A study published in the Journal of Religion and Health even found that those who feel accountable to a higher power also experience greater mental well-being; when theistic accountability was paired with prayer, associations to mental health were even higher. As lead author of the study Matt Bradshaw, Ph.D.says, “Humans are social creatures, and our psychological health is bound up in positive and constructive relationships — not only with other people but also with God. “And according to Amen, with ourselves.

While you can practice the treasure hunt at any time of the day, there’s something to be said about a bedtime ritual. “I’m actually setting my dreams up to be more positive, which also means I’m going to be happier tomorrow,” Amen says. If you prefer adding a physical element to this practice, you can write down these daily treasures in a journal as well.

However, this doesn’t mean you have to glamorize any negative events that did happen in your day because it’s important to be in touch with those emotions, too. (Note: Toxic positivity is not helpful.) Negative emotions are information, and it’s important to acknowledge them. For example, let’s say you felt frustrated when a friend arrived late to plans — that emotion can teach you that you value quality time with the people you love. (On a similar note, research also shows that canceling unwanted plans can enhance your happiness.)

Anyway, you shouldn’t use this treasure hunt practice to ignore negative circumstances; it’s more about noticing the smaller things that go well every day so that your brain doesn’t become stuck on the one or two things that didn’t.

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