What surrounds us and what we are exposed to becomes part of our lives. It is often more powerful than the self-discipline we try to execute. If you don’t have any sweets at home it is easier not to eat sweets than when they are waiting for you in a drawer. But how can we use this understanding to achieve our goals, manage stress or build habits (not just) within positive psychology?

There are three key strategies:

  1. Creating an environment for success – Our environment has a huge impact on our behavior. For example, if we want to improve our eating habits, it can be much more effective to organize our kitchen so that healthy foods are readily available than to rely solely on self-discipline. The same principle applies to all our goals – from learning a new language to managing stress. Put your textbook down so that it’s already open, for example, and you have to look in it.
  2. Positive Psychology and Exposure – Exposure is not just about the physical things around us. It is also about the thoughts we are exposed to. Positive psychology shows us that if we expose ourselves to positive thoughts and emotions more often, we will feel happier and more motivated to achieve our goals. Even just putting a positivity inducing photo or picture before our eyes makes us feel happier.
  3. Habit and exposure – The more often we do something, the more it becomes a habit. This is why exposure plays such a big role in building habits. If we want to learn a new language, we need to expose ourselves to that language regularly. If you automatically go to an environment where the language is spoken (probably most often via the internet), you don’t have to force yourself to learn the language as much.


#9 / Exposure is a powerful tool that can influence our behavior more than self-discipline. Use it to achieve your goals, manage stress, and build positive habits.


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