How can we change ourselves? Try these 3 methods!

Key Points:

·Our unhealthy or bad behaviors often try to control or reduce our negative emotions.

·Given that our thoughts guide our actions, changing our thoughts in a particular way can make it easier to change.

·Strategies for changing mindsets include changing mindsets, expectations, and emotions.

How you feel about your life

Depressed, anxious

? Do you have a habit you want to break? Or do you want your life to move in a different direction?

Whether you’re trying to quit smoking, start the career you’ve always dreamed of, or be more open and accepting of all that life brings, there are things you can do to start changing yourself and your life.

New Concept Psychologist

Professor Rong Xinqi

Indicates that the first and most important step in changing your life is to change your thoughts, because thoughts often precede emotions and actions. Depending on our thoughts, we may experience different emotions or choose different actions.

For example, let’s say you’re trying to quit smoking, and before you actually have a cigarette, you have a “want a cigarette” thought, then you might try to rationalize why smoking is good now ideas (more ideas). Then you might consider taking a smoke break outside. Next comes the emotion (perhaps excitement), then the behavior (smoking) at the end of this path (of course, other thoughts and emotions may follow the behavior as well).

Given that thought guides our actions, changing our thinking in a particular way can make it easier to change. Here are some ways and suggestions to help you.

Method One: Change Your Mindset

A growth mindset can be one of the most beneficial mindsets for changing or improving your life.

A growth mindset believes that hard work develops competencies over time.

Those with a growth mindset work harder, try to learn new methods, and seek feedback when they get stuck (Dweck, 2015). Perhaps, this is some of the reasons why having a growth mindset is associated with success in various areas of life.

Method Two: Change Your Expectations

Professor Rong said another important thing to make positive change is positive expectations.

Positive expectations are simply the belief that things will work out. We know from studies of the placebo effect that non-active intervention or treatment results in positive change as long as we believe (Moerman & Jonas, 2002). What the placebo effect really shows is that our expectations can have a huge impact on our results.

It’s more likely if we expect what we’re doing to make a difference. For example, if we expect that we will be able to quit smoking, we are more likely to do it; or if we believe a course will help us learn some of the skills we want to learn, it is more likely to do so.

Method Three: Change Your Mood

The theory of expansion and construction of positive emotions suggests that positive emotions build on themselves and ultimately lead to positive outcomes such as career success and interpersonal well-being (Fredrickson, 2004).

In fact, research shows that positive emotions often lead to greater success than frustration or failure (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005).

On the other hand, many of our most self-destructive habits are fueled by negative emotions—we might use smoking to relieve stress, drinking to numb pain, or violent Eat to feel happy. Our unhealthy or bad behaviors often try to control or reduce our negative emotions, and these are just some of the reasons why learning how to change emotions can be the key to changing behaviors and lives, explains Professor Rong.


·Dweck, C. (2015). Carol Dweck revisits the growth mindset. Education Week, 35(5), 20-24.

·Fredrickson, B.L (2004). A theory of expansion and construction of positive emotions. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences, 359(1449), 1367-1377.

·Lyubomirsky, S., King, L. and Diener, E. (2005). The Benefits of Frequent Positive Influence: Does Happiness Bring Success? Psychological Bulletin, 131(6), 803.

·Moerman, D.E., & Jonas, W.B (2002). Deconstructing the placebo effect and finding meaningful responses.