Remember that saying – “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? Well, that’s still may be true for dogs, but when it comes to humans, science begs to differ. New brain studies prove that not only can we learn new tricks at any age, we can also learn to train our brains to deal better with stress, anger, fear, anxiety, and depression!
In this section of the blog I intend to bring you information, suggestions and exercises that will help you make your brain work for you!
Studies show that gratitude is good for our mental health. Focusing on the positive helps our brains create new “positive” neural pathways, and replace old (automatic) negative responses to stress.
I often use gratitude as a technique in my private life, but I’m still amazed at the difference the exercise below makes in the lives of my clients. One client recently told me “when I do this in the morning, it sets my mind for the rest of the day. Then, when something stressful or upsetting happens during the day, I remember what I was grateful for and it helps me relax and approach my problem with calm.”
This is a simple and fun exercise . Why not try it for yourself?
Try this exercise for the next 7 days.
1. Start every morning with writing down 5 things you are grateful for.
Some people may not feel particularly grateful at first. One way to find what you are grateful for is to look around you and ask yourself “what if I didn’t have this_____________(this roof over my head, this bed, these legs and arms, this toothbrush, this friend, etc.)”
2. At the end of the day, right before bed, write down 5 things that went right that day.
It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular. It could be little things such as “my hair looked really good today,” “my lunch was tasty,” “I paid the electric bill,” “the handsome guy next door waved and smiled at me,” and “I had a great talk with Sara.”
This is simple: the more you do this, the more your awareness of the positive things in your life will grow. The more your awareness of positive grows, the better you feel and the easier it is to deal with challenges and stress.