How to Quiet Life’s Negative Noise

UPDATED: April 2, 2019
PUBLISHED: June 2, 2015
How to Quiet Life’s Negative Noise

Have you ever wondered why Las Vegas casinos are so loud? By using bright, flashing lights and a noisy atmosphere, they’re distracting you from the fact that you’re losing money. Noise isn’t merely a distraction; it also gets in the way of, and even blocks, signals that can guide you to positive growth. When these signals are not reaching you, your potential is limited.

Positive signals can help create paths to success. Unfortunately, in today’s world, it’s difficult to hear those positive signals through all of the noise. Thankfully, research in positive psychology and neuroscience shows that if you can reduce the amount of information your brain receives by 5 percent, your chances of finding a positive signal improve greatly.

So how can you cancel out the noise? Try these three strategies.

1. Recognize the signal. Signals are true and reliable bits of information that lead you to reach your potential. Noise is anything else; it’s information that keeps you from accomplishing your goals. You can train your brain to separate positive signals from noise.

2. Stop the noise addiction. Try things like leaving the car radio off for the first five minutes of your commute or muting commercials. Over time, these changes will make a difference.

3. Cancel internal noise. Negative thinking—fear, anxiety, doubt or worry—is the most dangerous type of noise. It sabotages your efforts to make a positive change. Simple actions like exercising, journaling and meditation can help eliminate this internal noise.

Related: Feeling Frazzled? Access Instant Calm in 3 Steps

Shawn Achor is a Harvard-trained researcher and best-selling author of The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness. Get a daily dose of happy at Shawn's Facebook page.