Cultivating a Positive Brain for 2019

Some of you may recall that I posted a daily piece on gratitude for 21 days shortly after being retrenched in order to keep myself in a positive mindset. I tried to include at least three positive observations for the day and it was harder than I thought it would be. There were days when I thought I had scraped the bottom of the barrel.

Part of the rationale for this 21 day gratitude challenge was that I had read that although the human brain is naturally wired to seek out negativity, the human brain can be rewired to seek out positivity. And that a positive brain can lead to a happier you.

I was reminded recently that you should stop at intervals during your day, at least five times a day for just one minute, and take note of something positive that you observed. Your observations can be something really small, like noticing that your forgotten cup of coffee was still warm (yay!). Every positive observation will go into rewiring your brain to seek positivity.

The thinking that positive thoughts can rewire the brain is grounded in science. This is known as neuroplasticity. What this means is that the brain is capable of changing it’s own structure. Repetition of mental or physical activity has been shown to change brain structures. And so repetitive positive thinking is capable of rewiring the brain from negativity to positivity.

Today a light bulb went off! I realized that I have been rewiring my brain without realizing it! A large part of my job is to assist my team members with issue resolution, so I have team members at my desk at all times of the day to discuss options. Of course, when issues are resolved, my team members come back past my desk to provide an update. And without fail, there will be an exchange of positive feedback. I say things like; “that’s great Mike!”, “well done Philip”, “great thinking Jill”, “good job Jon”. Without realizing it, I have been observing and commenting positive outcomes throughout the day, every day!

Having a brain wired for positivity does not mean that you will never think or observe negativity. What it does mean is that you will naturally see more positive things where you may not have noticed before. So for example, where you may have seen your forgotten cup of coffee as cold before, now you naturally see it as still warm enough to drink.

For those of you who haven’t yet decided on a new year’s resolution, consider cultivating a positive brain. There is so much more to having a positive mindset than meets the eye!

From my family to yours, may you have a happy and prosperous new year!

Until next time 🍷

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