Kirstin Sinclair/Getty images
To live a truly healthy and fulfilling life, we have to train our brain to do the things that are most beneficial to us. Unfortunately, the right choice isn’t always the easiest one. That’s where mental hacks come in. According to Jenny ZW Li, a Ph.D. who Inc. notes has over a decade of research in “in neuroscience, genetics, and related fields,” mental hacks can be boiled down to science. They’re essentially a way of tricking the mind by affecting the interaction between different parts of the brain and its neurotransmitter and hormonal systems.
For instance, Li suggests that a good way to lose weight is by breaking your meal down into smaller portions. It’s a tactic that actually tricks the brain into thinking you’ve eaten more food than you actually have. Another mental hack that will help you maintain your desired figure is by replacing heavier desserts with lighter ones that hit the same signaling pathways in the brain. So instead of ice cream, have yogurt, a dairy-based sweet treat that’s not nearly as fattening.
Another useful mental hack involves always having a set of photographs of those closest to you on hand. Li explains that doing so will “trick the brain into believing that the best moments captured in the pictures are the norm, and you'll feel more positive about your daily life.”
Finally, if you want to convince yourself that something is true, Li suggests writing it down and reading it out loud over and over again. She explains that this trick “uses the visual and auditory inputs that activate different regions of the brain and help strengthen the association of the positive outcome (which hasn't happened yet) with the consciousness.” It may sound tedious at first, but the reward will be worth it.
Head over to Inc.com for more mental hacks.
Learn more mental tricks with a copy of Mind Hacks, and let us know if you have any tips for winning at life.